If you’re already in your 50’s and are on a salary, saving for retirement can seem like an unachievable dream. Sure, you get a raise here and there, but your expenses always seem to go up with it.
That’s why for many GenXers, starting a side business is the best retirement fix. Build a steady second stream of income in your spare time and protect yourself in the long run.
When I mention this idea to someone, here’s the most common barrier they put up:
I don’t have time.
But I’m not buying it. I’m a firm believer that there’s always more time in the day. I learned it from improving my own time management. Here are 7 great ways you can save time to start your side business and reach your retirement fix.
- Conquer Your Mornings
Even if you work a corporate job, it can be hard to stick to a routine, especially on the weekends.
But years ago I started going to bed at 9:30 every night and woke up by 5:00 every morning. Creating a routine and sticking to it gave me more productive hours every day. Set a standard for your week and make sure you get enough sleep.
Simply getting a jump on the day and methodically identifying and finishing off what is both urgent and important (not just easy) FIRST is critical. Do the “One Thing”or use Pareto’s Rule (80/20), but make progress on your life away from your job.
- Stop watching TV
People don’t realize what a huge time-suck TV can be. When I tried this one, I easily cleared up an extra 10-15 hours a week. Just make sure you don’t replace TV-watching with mobile games or social media.
- Eliminate interruptions
Are you one of those people that allows your emails, phone calls, and other interactions through while you’re working? This can have a serious affect on your productivity.
According to University of California research, regaining momentum following an interruption can take up to 20 minutes.
So shut down your email notifications, silence your phone, and do whatever else you can to eliminate interruptions.
- Plan strategically
Especially if you work a corporate job, it’s easy to take things day by day. But if you want to build a side business and gain real growth, you’ll need to plan strategically.
Go beyond just a to-do list and create a long term calendar. Plan out small and large tasks throughout the month.
- Make your meals social
Social time is a great way to allow your brain to rest and get some much needed human interaction. You also have to eat at least 3 times a day. So take this as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone by making your meals social.
Eating alone at your desk is very much an American habit, and not a healthy one. Take a leaf from the book of many European countries that prioritize social eating.
- Combine exercise and education
One of my favorite pastimes is taking a 30 minute to an hour walk while listening to a podcast or audiobook. Combining exercise with education can help you feel refreshed and get more done. According to academic research, regular exercise can increase your productivity by 15%.