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How to Find the Time to Create Digital Products

This is the fourth in a series of 10 podcast episodes/blog posts all about digital products. Check out the other posts in this series below.

1. How to Create Digital Products That People Actually Want
2. 8 Digital Product Ideas for Your Service-Based Business
3. When is the Right Time to Create Digital Products?
4. How to Find the Time to Create Digital Products
5. 5 Ways to Validate Your Idea for Your Digital Product
6. 5 Limiting Beliefs Keeping You From Creating Your Digital Product
7. The Tools You Need to Sell Digital Products
8. Digital Products vs Courses – Which Should You Create?
9. Your Digital Product Launch Questions Answered
10. Digital Products Not Selling? Here’s What to do

In the last post, I spoke about how to know when the right time is to create digital products and in today’s post, I’m going to share how you can find the time.

When I started out in business, finding the time to work on my own business was challenging. I felt guilty if I was working on my own projects instead of working on projects for my clients. However, I’ve since got a lot better at managing my time and thanks to my digital products and one-to-many offerings, I now have a lot of time to spend working on marketing, product development and other tasks within the business.

But actually finding the time to create these products was most definitely a challenge to begin with as you’ll hear if you have listened to the last episode where I talk about how I struggled to make time to create and launch my Showit template shop and what I did so that I could finally get it done.

If you’re struggling to make time in your business to work on your own projects, whether that’s creating digital products, marketing or anything else business-related, keep reading because this is for you.

How to Find the Time to Create Digital Products

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1. Treat your business as your number-one client

Just like you would when it comes to looking after yourself and putting yourself first, you need to do the same for your business. If you neglect your business then eventually you’ll find that your business will be the one that suffers. 

2. Set aside time each week to work on your business

Something that I recommend to every business owner is blocking out time each week to work on your business. I also recommend doing this towards the beginning of the week if possible as this is the time when you’ll likely have more energy. As a start, I would block out 20% of your work week to focus on business activities so if you work five days a week, that’s one day a week spent working on your business.

During this time, you should not be doing anything that might distract you from what you are working on. That means no checking emails or checking in with clients. Make sure your clients are aware that you won’t be available on this day so that boundaries are put in place and expectations are managed.

3. Write out everything that you need to do to create your digital products

When it comes to writing a to-do list for creating your digital products, there’s no use writing down tasks like ‘create course content’ or ‘create ebook’ or ‘create email funnel’.

These are big tasks that are going to seem like mountains that you need to overcome in order to get to the other side. What you want to be doing is writing down every little step that needs to be done for these larger to-do items. For example, when it comes to creating your course content, you’re going to need to brainstorm the topics that you want to include, outline your course content into modules and lessons and think about any additional resources and bonuses that you want to create. You’re then going to need to write down lesson scripts or outlines, create slides, record the lessons, edit the lessons and then upload these into your course platform. 

As you can see there is so much that goes into creating course content and by breaking it down into much more manageable steps, you can then tackle each task one step at a time which is going to make you feel much more accomplished in getting things done.

4. Use time-blocking and time-tracking to see where your time is being spent

If you’re not time-blocking specific tasks in your diary then I highly recommend starting. Time blocking is a time management method that divides your day into blocks of time. Each block of time is dedicated to completing a specific task and nothing else. So instead of just having a list of things to do, you block the time in your calendar for the week so that you know what you need to work on and when. 

Time tracking is also another great habit to get into especially if you haven’t done it before as you may be surprised by just how long things take or how quickly you can get things done. You don’t necessarily need to time track forever but if you do it over a period of a couple of weeks or a month, you will start to see patterns which is gong to help you manage your time a lot better going forwards.

5. Work on the most difficult task first to avoid procrastination

Procrastination is a problem for many business owners and I find that it particularly comes into play when there are less enticing tasks that need to be done. You may have heard of the expression ‘eat the frog’. This means that you should work on the task that you want to do the least first so that it’s done and out of the way. This alone can be a great way to combat procrastination which means you’re going to feel more productive and have more time to work on your business.

6. Decrease the amount of time spent mindlessly scrolling on your phone

Now I know this one may seem obvious but if you take a look at how many hours you are spending each week on your phone, I bet you’ll be surprised.  At one scary point, my screen time was 3 and even 4 hours a day! I could believe it. Now granted some of that time was listening to podcast episodes whilst driving or watching a YouTube video whilst washing up but when I took at look at how much time I spent on social media, it was an eye-opener. 

Something that I now do is set a time limit on Instagram so that it notifies me when I’ve reached my set time limit for the day. There are also apps you can use that turn off access to specific parts of your phone during time periods that you have preset and block access to apps once you’ve reached the limit for the day. 

7. Take a look at what you can outsource

Write down a list of all the tasks in your business and how long they take and then go back through the list to see what you can outsource. I know that some people can spend an hour a day just engaging on Instagram (which I don’t actually recommend but that’s for another day). Engagement is something that you can easily outsource which is going to free up more time in your business.

Marketing is another area of your business that can be outsourced. If you’re spending a couple of hours a week writing a blog post or outlining and recording podcast episodes and then spending further time turning that content into social media posts or an email to your list and you’re doing all of this yourself, why not outsource the repurposing part?

Perhaps you’re a brand designer and you’re spending a couple of hours packaging up design files for clients. This is something that can be outsourced therefore freeing up more time.

8. Get up earlier

Now I put this toward the end as this isn’t one that is going to work for everyone and it doesn’t actually work for me because as soon as I wake up, the kids are up but if getting up earlier is an option, then it’s one to consider. Getting up 30 minutes earlier 5 days a week gives you an extra 2.5 hours and an hour gives you five hours a week.

9. Understand that there are times in business when you need to work more hours 

Despite what you may hear on social media about business owners working 2 hours a day, 3 days a week and earning multiple six figures in their business, you’ll need to accept that there are times when you need to dive in and spend more time working so that you can reap the benefits later on. 

During these times, you’ll need to accept that you can’t do everything. It’s impossible to give 100% to being a good mum, having a clean house, running a business whilst still making sure that you have downtime for yourself too. If possible, see where there are areas where others can pick up the slack for a while. For example, can you hire a cleaner to do the housework? Can your partner pick the kids up from school and do the majority of the cooking? Don’t be afraid to ask for help where needed.

10. Take a look at your overall business model

If you really think that there is no way that you can find time to work on your digital product, even after listening to the suggestions in this episode then it’s likely that you are going to need to take a look at your overall business model.

Your business model should be designed in a way that allows you to have at the very minimum 20% of your work week spent working on your business. If you’re unable to reach your monthly revenue goals by doing this, then it’s time to take a look at your offers and your pricing. It may be that you need to increase your prices so that you can take on fewer clients and be able to afford to outsource some of your tasks.  Perhaps you have too many offers that feels overwhelming. If this is the case, take a look at what you sell the most of and what you enjoy doing that at the same time gets your clients the best possible results and see what offers you can cut back on or turn into digital products so that you can still help your clients but in a way that involves less of your 1:1 time.

I know that putting these recommendations into practice can sometimes be easier said than done. Building new habits takes time and this is something that we work on doing together inside of Expand Your Brand.

Be sure to check out the other posts in this series. Here’s a reminder of them again.

1. How to Create Digital Products That People Actually Want
2. 8 Digital Product Ideas for Your Service-Based Business
3. When is the Right Time to Create Digital Products?
4. How to Find the Time to Create Digital Products
5. 5 Ways to Validate Your Idea for Your Digital Product
6. 5 Limiting Beliefs Keeping You From Creating Your Digital Product
7. The Tools You Need to Sell Digital Products
8. Digital Products vs Courses – Which Should You Create?
9. Your Digital Product Launch Questions Answered
10. Digital Products Not Selling? Here’s What to do

If you’re looking for support, accountability and guidance in building digital products into your business, be sure to check out Expand Your Brand, my 12-month high-touch group program for online service providers who want to grow their audience, launch their digital product and make consistent sales.

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