Procrastination: My own worst enemy.

Oh my! I’ve been terrible at keeping to my weekly schedule lately, haven’t I?

I could make 100 excuses, but in the end, there really has been no reason to not sit down at my computer for a couple hours and do my blogging. My procrastination has taken over again, which I am kicking myself for now. My apologies!

I’m the first to admit I can find other things to do when I should be staying on task. Probably not something I should be admitting, but only by admitting it can I make the changes I need to.

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In a sense, it’s like anything else. You do not see it being a problem until you admit there’s a problem. After that, you can then take the steps needed to fix it. I suppose it’s along the lines of health issues. If you don’t think you’re overweight you’re not going to change your exercise and eating habits. If you don’t think you drink too much you’re not going to cut back.

What is procrastination?

In a nutshell, it’s putting off until tomorrow what should be done today.

Procrastination affects us all to some degree. Sadly some more than others. And it’s the tasks we like the least that we procrastinate the most. Or, in the case of writers, not knowing what to write about when we sit down at the computer.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just do what needs to be done so we can move on to the next part of our day?

Don’t get me wrong: I love my blogs and I enjoy sharing what I know/do with you. Perhaps it’s the overwhelm I’m feeling right now with the upcoming move, and having to go through a house full of things. It’s amazing how much “stuff” a person collects over the years.

In all honesty, procrastinating with the sorting and packing is also a thing. I have been trying to do something each day; even if it’s just one box or tote. Or one thing out in the yard. And I may have overdone it yesterday, so I’m glad today is a rainy, breezy day. It’s giving me more incentive to sit down and get my blogs done and spend a little more time on a course I’m taking.

How to avoid procrastination.

I honestly don’t think it can be avoided 100 percent, but there are things we can do to make things easier on ourselves.

  • Start the task and finish it. Chances are the task at hand really isn’t going to take up a lot of time. And if it is, break it up into smaller tasks so there’s some progress made.
  • Be accountable. It’s easy to piss around and not do what you should be doing if you’re the only one who knows what needs doing. (Pot calling the kettle black here.) Something as simple as a little chart (light bulb moment for a printable) can go a long way to show progress. I need to do this, because sometimes my planner just isn’t enough. And seeing a lot of checkmarks, stars, or coloured in squares is a reward in itself.
  • Set a timer. The Pomodoro technique does work…if you stick to it. I have used it and have been much more productive than when I don’t.
  • Delegate if possible. When you’re working for yourself it’s a little more difficult to delegate the tasks. If your budget allows, hire a VA for the little things so you can spend more time on the big things. It’s easy to get caught up in the social media posts, Pinterest pins, and other shiny objects. Let someone else do those while you pay attention to the main project at hand, using the Pomodoro technique if necessary.
  • Reward yourself. I know this sounds a little childish, but it works. We all need a little positive reinforcement, and something as simple as a new book or spending some time colouring in an adult colouring book (yes, the ones with the f-word) is sometimes all it takes.

Now, as I have been writing my brain has been going 100 miles an hour; so I’ve been making notes (better than starting something new instead of getting this done) of things to do later.

If you’re like me, and I feel you are in some ways (or you wouldn’t be reading this), shiny objects do try to lead you astray. By jotting down those shiny objects you can remember them, but finish the task at hand before you start chasing them.

And yes, I will try hard to practice what I preach. 🙂

That all being said, sometimes we get taken away from our writing/task because something unexpected comes up that needs our attention.

Case in point: As I was writing I had an email pop up from an Etsy customer regarding one of my crochet patterns. Instead of making her wait (and risking a bad review) I responded with demo photos of a stitch she was unclear about. I didn’t have those photos handy, so grabbed a hook and some yarn to show her what I meant. Once they were sent off, I resumed my post.

Thanks to my Etsy customer, I have a photo for this post. The link will take you to the listing, if you’re interested in learning how to make a lingerie/doll clothes bag.

At the end of the day we should procrastinate less, but sometimes things do come up. It’s up to us to decide what should take precedence. For me, it was a 10-minute delay in finishing my post. For my customer, it was quick service and the solution to a problem she was having.

Question: Are you guilty of procrastinating a little…or a lot?

Your Best Posts…All in One Place

Do you find yourself clicking on my posts from weeks ago just to find some side hustle information?

After some searching through a few posts to find out what I have already talked about, I decided there had to be a better way. That’s when it hit me…compile an ebook to make it easier for everyone.

I did just that, which took me the better part of two days. As the content was already written, all I had to do was copy and paste from my post editor. Add in the copyright, disclaimer, table of contents, and some back matter…and done! Each post is in its own chapter, and linked from the TOC. That in itself makes navigation so much easier.

The end result: Side Hustles Anyone Can Do

This is a prime example of how your content can be repurposed. It would have taken me days to write all of that content from scratch. In fact, over the course of when it was written, each post had several hours put into it as is.

If you write articles on your own site pick a dozen or so of the best/most related ones, and compile them into an ebook. By doing so, you’re giving your readers all of your knowledge from those articles in one place. If you have a lot of posts under your belt, consider doing a set of ebooks: Volume 1, volume 2, etc.

Set up a landing page for your new book, and include a payment method. I use PayPal for mine, and use the advanced features so the customer is taken to the download page after purchase. If they choose not to purchase, they are taken to my Tools & Resources page.

My landing page and download page were both done within WordPress. It took some trial and error to get it right, and if I didn’t I do hope someone tells me. (I can’t go through the entire process on my own because my emails are linked to PayPal and it won’t allow me to buy from myself. I can completely understand the logic there.)

Don’t forget to include an About the Author page in the back of your book. This is the perfect place to showcase yourself as a person and writer, plus link to your website and mailing list signup. If your readers like what you write, give them a freebie in exchange for their email address.

You can either sell your new ebook on your site, or publish to online retailers. Be sure to indicate it is previous work republished, as some retailers will not accept content that has been made freely available online.

I have chosen to publish my book only on my site for the time being just to see where it takes me. I’m testing some marketing efforts, and publishing exclusively on my site will give me more accurate data.

Have you considered compiling posts or articles into an ebook? If you’ve done it already, what type of results did you have in terms of sales? Let me know in the comments below.


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12 Services You Can Provide as a Side Hustle [EP 11]

Introduction

Welcome to Episode 11: 12 Services You Can Provide as a Side Hustle

When we think of side hustles, we often think about creating products, both physical and digital.

If you’re subsidizing a pension or other income, you may want to have daily interaction with others. If that’s the case, providing a service may be more suitable for you.

Not all services require you to be out and about, however. Some allow for face-to-face interaction with others, while some can be done remotely. You choose whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Now, before I get into the main part of this episode, I do want to let you, my listeners, know I will be scaling my podcast back to one episode per month until November. My blog posts will still be weekly, and will contain more side hustle information. It is a little change as I am working on creating a course, which I’ll get into more in an upcoming blog post. Plus, I’m taking a week’s vacation next month which I’m looking forward to. It’ll be nice to have some reprieve from the cold and snow.

Services

As mentioned, not all services have to be done in person. The following list contains some that involve little interaction with clients, while others are more face-to-face.

  1. We’ll start with bookkeeping, which I have done in the past. One of my clients dropped off an envelope full of receipts and papers each month, and I entered everything into an accounting program. She was then able to hand the USB in to her accountant at year-end. One of my other clients preferred me to work in his office, which I did a couple days a week. In his case it made more sense as he had a lot more paperwork for me to go through.
  1. Another service you can provide, and make a decent amount of money at, is cleaning people’s houses. Now this only works if you like to clean. An aunt of mine used to clean for others on a weekly basis. She would clean their houses during the day while they were at work, which made it easier for both parties. When I worked for Family and Community Support Services, my clients were at home when I cleaned. There are pros and cons to the latter, however. One pro is the client is happy to have the company. A con is it took more time because they wanted to visit. Keep in mind the latter was also cleaning for senior citizens, so my being there made it possible for them to stay in their own homes for longer.
  1. Lawn and Garden Maintenance is another service you can provide if you enjoy working outside. Some people either don’t have the time or their own equipment to do their own. And let’s face it, some people would just rather pay someone else to cut their grass, trim the hedges, and even pull the weeds. I don’t mind mowing and trimming, but pulling weeds is not my favourite. My experience in yard care has been mostly my own, plus for elderly family members from about the time I was around 14.
  1. Snow removal can be done during the winter for the same clients, so you have the opportunity to earn income year-round. Businesses also need snow removal done, so that could be another option if you prefer.
  1. If you love animals, pet-sitting and dog-walking are two services you can provide. When people go away they aren’t always able to take their pets, and many would prefer to leave them in a familiar environment. By providing a pet-sitting service your clients will be more relaxed while they’re away.  Plus, you can enjoy the experience of taking care of turtles, snakes, birds, and other not-so-common pets as well as cats and dogs. Dog-walking is nice because it gives the dog exercise and breaks up their day, which results in less destructive behaviour than one left to their own devices day after day. A bored dog is often a destructive dog. Not only will you be providing the dog exercise, you’ll be saving your clients’ furniture.
  1. A grocery delivery service is another option, especially in a small community. Smaller grocery stores may not have the extra staff to deliver groceries during business hours, and are generally more than happy to pay someone per delivery. It’s an added-value service they can provide to their customers, which in turn encourages local shopping.
  1. Providing healthy home-cooked meals for seniors in your area is an option if you love to cook. Just think of the meals-on-wheels larger communities provide. In my experience it’s a service that used to be provided by the local hospital, but with cutbacks in services, it may not be available in a small community. My great-uncle used to deliver meals to the seniors in his community a number of years ago, which gave him some extra income plus provided healthy meals for them. 
  1. You could play an integral part in someone else landing their dream job by providing a resume writing service. Presentation and simplicity are key components of a resume. Prospective employers will often not look at a resume that isn’t broken up by white space. As with most things today you want to make it skimmable, yet highlight your client’s attributes so they have an increased chance at being hired.
  1. Copywriting is another service you can provide to businesses near and far. Once you know how to convey a sales message, the rest is easy. There are courses available to teach you how, and I have taken a couple; but the best book I have come across is called The Copywriter’s Handbook – 4th Edition by Robert W. Bly. And copywriting isn’t necessarily about being salesy. All you essentially need to do is address a pain point and how your client’s product or service will fix it. The bonus is you can work for more than one client at a time, and you don’t have to be tied to your home office to do it. Have laptop…will travel.
  1. If you love a variety of music, then offering a DJ Service could be right up your alley. With the world opening up again to gatherings, people are anxious to be able to celebrate life events together. You can decide if you want to book one event a weekend, or one event a month. And if you don’t mind travelling, you could book events further away. The nice thing about the digital age is there’s no longer a need to pack hundreds of CDs, but you can if you like.
  1. Party Planning is another option if you have a flair for themed events. Whether it be weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, bachelor parties, birthday parties, or whatever else people celebrate; it’s sometimes nice to have the stress of the planning taken care of. If you’ve enjoyed planning your own parties over the years, perhaps it’s time to do it for others for a little extra income. And just like a DJ Service, you decide how many events you want to plan in a month. Keep in mind not all events are limited to weekends, so you could easily do a retirement party during the week and perhaps a birthday or engagement party on the weekend.
  1. Clutter control is something we all struggle with at some point or another, and the older we get the more of it we seem to have. Home organization is so popular nowadays there are entire TV Shows about it. If you have found a way to combat the clutter and let go of material things, there is someone out there who could benefit from your expertise. It’s not so much that you’ll be physically helping them throw things out (although you can if you wish), but rather help them differentiate between keeping things for emotional reasons or practical reasons.

Conclusion

As I went through my list, I thought of at least another dozen services any side hustler can provide, from small engine repair to handyman services. It really doesn’t matter what service you can provide, because chances are there’s a need for it in your community. And because it’s your side hustle, you determine to what extent you do it. As with anything else be sure it’s something you enjoy doing, otherwise it just becomes another job.

Now, as mentioned at the beginning of this episode, I’ll be scaling my podcasts back to once per month until November. I’m excited to be working on something that will help fellow side-hustlers, so please stay tuned. And as I said, the blog posts will still be weekly so don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed.


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