"I just don't have the time!" is the most common reason I hear for why entrepreneurs aren't getting more done in their business.

Whether to start a side hustle, begin a potentially profitable new project, or scale something that's been working, a common obstacle is time.

We tend to focus on productivity--getting more done in less time--but the bottom line is, some things simply take time, and no amount of productivity hacking will change that.

The fact is, if you want to find the time for a new, important undertaking, you must take away something you're already doing. This could mean giving up Netflix, a hobby, or even sleep (not recommended, by the way). Or it could mean delegating something you've been doing that someone else could do just as well, if not better. Or simply stopping another, less important activity.

In other words, you can't just keep adding things on your plate. Something gotta give.

With that in mind, here's how you can free up at least five additional hours every week to work on your business.

How to Find 5 More Hours in Your Week, Every Week

The one thing to do is to put the 5 hours in your schedule as an appointment with yourself. Treat it like an appointment with a lawyer or your dentist. You just have to show up.

I don't mean adding it to your to-do list. I mean putting it in your calendar, on a specific date and time.

If you have a consistent and predictable schedule, make a standing appointment with yourself and stick to it. For example, you will wake up one hour earlier from Monday to Friday, to work on your project. That's how Brian Creager made time for a side hustle that eventually became a seven-figure business selling luxury men's products on Amazon.

If you have an inconsistent schedule where each day looks different from the next, then it gets trickier, but it's still doable. In this case, block time around your other appointments until you've booked 5 hours (or whatever you need) in your week. Do this for the next four weeks.

Set an alarm for 15 minutes before your work time ends. Ask yourself, "Am I stuck? Next time, can I just sit down and start working?" If not, then reach out to someone who can help you with the issue, so that the next time your work session comes, you'll be able to hit the ground running.

Another tip: Set a recurring monthly reminder for you to schedule your next month. This way you never begin a week without those "working appointments."

Sometimes, Life Happens. Deal with It.

"The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray" goes the proverb. Emergencies come up. You get sick at the most inconvenient time. Even technology refuses to cooperate sometimes.

Whatever the reason, if you can't make your appointment, no big deal. What would you do if you couldn't make the appointment with your dentist? You'd reschedule.

Same thing with this special appointment. Simply move the missed session to another day and time. This is where using an electronic calendar or planner is best. You can easily move the appointment, literally, click and drag it to another time slot, so it doesn't just disappear.

If you have a hard time sticking to these work appointments, then take a step back and reassess the project. Go back to why you wanted to do it in the first place. Maybe it's not as important as you thought it was, after all.

Never Say "I Don't Have Time" Again

If you need more time for an important project, then you must clear your calendar of something else. Make appointments with yourself to work on that project. That's the one simple and effective step you can take to "find" 5 hours or more per week.

Although it's an appointment with yourself, treat it as you would any other appointment, with respect and diligence.

See, you do have the time. The only question is, what will you do with it?

Published on: Feb 28, 2017
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