Find time in your busy schedule with this ONE mental shift

How many times have you made this excuse?

I would love to work on <insert side project>, but I just don’t have time.

I used to say this too (more than I’d like to admit), but worse, I used to believe it.

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“But April,” you’re thinking, “it really is true!”

I know. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that you’re out of control of all the varied obligations placed upon you in both your personal and professional lives.

You see? Already, in the statement above, we’re accepting that life is controlling us.

But what if we could make ONE mental shift to take back control over our lives? What if we were the ones calling the shots instead of the world?

Before we take the leap together, I have to warn you:

  • It’s difficult accepting responsibility for your choices.
  • Sometimes you won’t like the options available to you.
  • You might worry whether you’ve made the right choice.

Regardless of the challenges, the benefits are glorious:

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  • You’ll feel more confident.
  • You’ll feel more in control of all aspects of your life.
  • You’ll be happier, knowing you’ve prioritized your life based on the things that are important to you.

Are you ready?

The ONE mental shift

Whenever that nasty “I don’t have time” excuse sits on the tip of your tongue, remember this one mantra:

If it’s that important to you, you’ll make time.

Because it’s 100% true.

If updating your portfolio is more important to you than surfing social media, you’ll do it (especially when you think of it like this).

If being at your children’s games or performances is more important than redoing your website this weekend, you’ll be there cheering.

And sometimes you really need the money, so you don’t go to the movies with your friends but stay home working instead. And sometimes you miss your kids’ activities. And sometimes you don’t take that rush job because the sight of your office makes you want to puke you need a break that badly.

Whether you’re making the choice between laziness and productivity, work and family, or vacation and extra money, the mantra still rings true.

It’s YOU making the choice, however difficult, rather than the world tossing you about haphazardly.

Aren’t there any exceptions?

Sometimes you’re so busy with client work that blogging, creating a marketing plan, or working on passive income will creep into your family/social/free time.

At these times it’s easy to make an exception and say, “this time, I really don’t have time.”

Not true! You’re simply placing other aspects of your life at a greater importance than your own business projects.


And let me tell you: that is okay.

*double gasp*

It’s okay to not always prioritize your business first (Americans especially have trouble with this, living in a society that places great emphasis on money and ungodly number of hours worked).

Just don’t make a habit of it. 😉

How do I know I’m making the right choice?

For those difficult choices, the answer lies within.

  • Which choice aligns most closely with your priorities in life?
  • How do you feel deep down inside? (Not what society thinks you should feel.)
  • Which option has the most positive long-term effects based on your priorities?

Still torn?

Flip a coin with your options on either side. While it’s in the air, you’ll find yourself secretly hoping it lands on one side. There’s your answer.

Thoughts? Reactions?

Have you taken control of your life? Are you struggling with just that right now? Share your story in the comments.

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About April Greer

April is the Director of Projects at Reliable PSD, a design-to-code company for designers, by designers. She’s the glue keeping everything together, organized, and right on time, and giving everyone a fantastic experience while she does it.



  1. So true April. I have a side project that will help me better my illustration ability (one thing I have always thought I was not able to do). So I need to set aside time to make that practice happen. Everyone I interview that has a side project, also has bills and other commitments just like me. So how and why can they do it and I cannot. They make it a priority! I am setting it down in pixels. I am going to start on this illustration endeavor tonight! Thanks April for the great advice and opening up so we can realize we are not alone.

  2. Thanks April! Great post. I think I really needed to hear that this week. I definitely kept using the excuse “I don’t have time”. I need to kick my butt up in gear and remember I choose how I want to spend my time! =)

  3. Definitely an on-time article. Needed the kick in the butt to realize that when I say I don’t have time it because of the choices that I have made. Good stuff!

  4. Great article April and this is so true.

    My method has been to dedicate 1-2 hours every single morning to working on my own projects before ever opening an e-mail or even thinking about client projects.

    I never schedule meetings for that time and it is a non-negotiable part of my schedule that comes before all other demands.

    That mindset over time has helped me write books, build up a blog, and grow my audience.

    Great post April!

    Jake Jorgovan

  5. April this is so true. I work in a factory doing Quality Assurance, sometimes 6 days a week. The rest of my day consists of editing photos for photographers, building my websites, designing graphics, and spending quality time (so hard sometimes! Maybe write a piece about QT vs OT?) with my beautiful pregnant girlfriend. With my first daughter a few weeks away, I really feel that it’s crunch time to get work done and make extra income.

    Although quality time has been reduced and daily sleep time is at an alltime low of 3 hours, my dreams are finally being realized. This week I was published for my first, second and third time all in one week!

    • Wow, have you got your hands full! Just make sure to keep evaluating your commitments with your priorities and you’ll be great. (And that 3 hours per night is just practice for your newborn!)

      Love your idea about QT vs OT, Mason…will add that to our Millo post board!

      Thanks for sharing!



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