The Habits of Highly Effective Side Hustling Moms: Habit #3 - Put First Things First and Don't Let Others Control Your Time and Life

Habits of Side Hustling Moms

Note: If you missed the prior posts for Habit #1 and #2, read them here:

Habit #1: Define Outcomes Before Acting (article and video)

Habit #2: Begin With The End In Mind (article and video)

This third habit is so vitally important—I know I’ve said that about the last two, but mastering Habit #3 will enable you to elevate your life in ways you only dreamed possible.  And I mean that seriously.

If I were to ask you right now, how are you?  How would you respond?  Would you say something to the effect of “oh, gosh.  I’m just sooooo busy.” If you’re always saying some version of this, to yourself or to others, we’re a lot alike.  “I’m so busy” was pretty much my knee jerk reaction to anything and everything!

But I know.  You ARE busy.  You’re working your 9-5, you’ve got all these personal commitments like being team mom, room parent, PTA volunteer, you’re trying to make sure you spend enough time with your kids, your friends, your parents.  It feels like you’re always racing and you’re exhausted.

Here’s the thing— the stress we feel is partly due to the fact that although we’re always busy, we aren’t necessarily giving attention to the people and activities that are most important to us.  That’s what causes us a great deal of internal conflict.

So you wonder if it’s even possible to start that side business you’ve been dreaming about. Mastering Habit #3 can make it possible.  Here’s how.  Steven Covey calls habit #3 “putting first things first.”  By learning how to prioritize your important relationships and tasks, you take control of your own life and you design your life to look like what you envisioned in Habit #2 “beginning with the end in mind”.  If you haven’t read the article or watched the video for habit #2, I would urge you to go back to do the work in Habit #2 before moving on.

First, you have to figure out what and who the important things and people are in your life.  To illustrate this point, picture a glass jar with some big rocks and sand outside of it.  The big rocks represent the people and activities that are most important to you—your family, your career, your friends, your kids’ sports and extracurricular activities, volunteering, your passion for making jewelry, exercise, eating healthy, etc.  The sand is everything else, all the tasks and people clamoring for your attention that aren’t a big rock.  

If you put the sand into the jar first, it means our attention is focused on other people’s agendas and desires and other things that just aren’t that important.  If you fill the jar with the sand, and then try to put the rocks in, it’s really difficult to fit in all of the big rocks.  Is this what your life looks like?  What big rocks aren’t fitting into your jar?  Exercise?  Time with your kids? Or starting your side hustle?

Our lives need to be the other way around.  We need to put in the big rocks first, and then fill in the rest of the space with the sand.  

This is what Dr. Covey calls “putting first things first”. So if your side hustle is important to you, you’ll need a way to prioritize it and make it a big rock in your life.  

How To Prioritize Your Important Tasks and Activities

To do this, you need to intentionally plan your day and week ahead of time, by putting the important things on your calendar.  It involves planning your day the night before, and planning the week ahead as your current week ends.  When you begin identifying the important and prioritizing them in your life, you control your time, and you don’t allow everyone else dictate how you spend your time.

A side note:  I have a pretty comprehensive training on how to do the weekly and daily planning, all based on Dr. Covey’s method.  I created a 5-day training and challenge, and at the end of 5 days, you will have an entirely new system to ensure the important things in your life get attention!  Join below

To recap, you need to prioritize your side hustle and make the time for it in your life by intentionally planning out your weeks and days.

Second, we’ll also need to prioritize the important tasks within your business.  In the video and article for Habit #2, we reverse engineered our end goal to be a highly sought after freelance copywriter.  After we created our plan, we were able to clearly see what the very first step was.  This is what you need to do in your side business.  Every week and everyday, drill down to the very next thing you need to do to move the needle forward.  Don’t jump ahead, just work on “first things first”.

Mastering Habit #3- putting first things first is how you’ll get the time in your life to make your side hustle dreams a reality.  Carve out some time for you every week to do your weekly planning, as well as a few minutes at night to plan the following day.

I really hope you found this information helpful. If you did, I would be so grateful if you would help me to spread the word and share it with a friend or on your social media channels.


Jennifer Wilson