You’re Losing Money Because You’re Not Focused — So Focus, Goddamn It!

These past few months I’ve been binge-listening to podcasts like you wouldn’t believe. There are just so many amazing and inspirational shows out there (including my own), but there’s one in particular that I just started listening to and haven’t been able to stop thinking about.

You know all of those times I’ve mentioned my favourite workout regime TurboFire on the blog or on my Twitter account? Well, Chalene Johnson who is the instructor and creator of these workout videos has a podcast all about digital marketing and entrepreneurship!

It was as if two of my worlds collided into a beautiful happy place that I can escape to when I’m on the subway or typing away at work. She even has a hip-hop intro like me, so it was pretty much a done deal after I listened to the first 5 seconds of her show.

She talks a lot about how to start your own business and promote it, but she also answers listeners’ questions, and on one of her episodes she’s asked about how to find that oh so elusive work-life balance.

Like myself, Chalene was a self-proclaimed workaholic (okay fine, I’m still a workaholic), but as she became more successful, she started feeling less happy about everything. She had her hand in so many different projects, there was little time left over to actually enjoy life and spend time with her family. So how did she change things? Focus. Plain and simple.

The listener asked Chalene how it’s possible to grow a side business while also working full-time, and that’s something I’ve been struggling with for a while as well. While I was scheming to launch my podcast, I knew it was just the start of me growing my personal brand and reaching a larger audience.

However, the more research I did on how to grow my brand, the more I asked myself “How will I ever find the time to do all that plus work a full-time job during the day?” I feel like I barely have enough free time to maintain this blog, record and edit podcast episodes, and answer emails after work as it is.

So, when I started thinking about how focused I really am during a normal day, I realized that there are enough hours in the day — I’m just not using them effectively. I have some terrible, time-sucking habits. Not only time-sucking, but money-sucking too.

If I was more focused and cut out some of the time wasters in my life, there’s no doubt I’d be able to grow my brand and inevitably make more money. Hell, I’m sure I’d even be able to save more money too because I’d just be more efficient and on-the-ball.

What time wasters am I talking about? The first big one is checking my analytics. I check my stats on Google Analytics, Libsyn, WordPress and all of my social media platforms multiple times a day. Why? If I was to check my bank accounts and investments that often, I’d think I was crazy!

But it’s just a terrible habit I’ve had for a while, and I know why I do it. It’s not to help me strategize better, or come up with new ideas on how to promote my blog and podcast. It’s for self-affirmation. When I check my stats and see numbers that I like, I feel awesome about myself. I feel like someone’s shouting “You’re doing good!” whenever I see that graph line go up. But that’s about it.

I’m not really doing anything with those numbers. And when I think about how much time I waste checking all of those stats, I’m embarrassed to say it but I’m probably killing at least 30 minutes of my day. I could fit in a workout, write a blog post or record a podcast episode in 30 minutes!

Another time waster is watching TV. I never really considered myself a big TV watcher, but I am. When I count all of the shows that I try to keep up with…well, it’s not good. And what’s more, when I’m really into a show, I’ll waste even more time Googling stuff about the show and reading articles about it. I’m talking hours and hours per week wasted on watching crap then reading about it too.

I’ve been meaning to create some sort of digital product to entice blog readers and podcast listeners to join my email list, but I’ve been putting it off using the excuse that I don’t have the time. Email lists are incredibly important vehicles in terms of building up your brand, and creating an incentive for people to subscribe is paramount.

Maybe if I cut out my TV watching, I’d actually be able to record an exclusive subscriber-only podcast episode or develop a how-to personal finance video like I’ve thought about.

With all this being said, as of today I’m going to be making some changes. Changes that will help me stop wasting my time and my money (or potential money). It’s time I switch up my priorities, buckle down, and get to work.

It’s a scary thought, especially since I have a big fear of failure (which I’m going to write about for next Monday!). But if I don’t at least try, I’ll never know what the full potential is for Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses. I just wish I could get up earlier in the morning. But if I can’t get up to even make breakfast and I’m 29, I think I’m just gonna have to let that dream go.

What are some the time wasters in your life? Are they sucking up your time and money too?

Showing 20 comments
  • Rob

    Hi Jess!

    Like you, I watch a lot of TV (mostly in the evenings) as well as at the same time being on my computer in my “man cave” (aka, our finished basement). These activities do tend to suck up time but not so much my money since I’m retired.. TV provides entertainment and at times news. Computer provides me with information and ideas as I surf about a 100 blogs, news sites and technical sites daily. Oh, I guess I could have a so-called side hustle in retirement and make a few more bucks but I’m pretty content with how our investments and savings are performing each month. Of course I do have other activities, mostly during the day: yard work, home improvement projects, volunteer work, as well as activities at our seniors recreational club , It’s all a matter of priorities and preferences.

    As to having time wasters, yes I guess we all have our fair share. Some are minor in nature, others can get obsessive and perhaps present a problem. Excessive control, insecurity, fear of failure, etc. can all be causes for such behaviour. It’s all a part of getting to know our own selves better, setting out what we want to accomplish in life, as well as knowing and accepting one’s limitations in the most productive way that we can.

    • Jessica Moorhouse

      Man, I can’t wait for retirement if I can retire like you Rob! That sounds like my cup of tea.

  • Jordann

    Girl, you read my mind! I have two major projects I’d like to tackle right now:
    1) Free lead magnet downloadable to grow my subscriber list (same as you: email subscribers = power!)
    2) Pitch a local publication to start writing a personal finance column for them.
    I have done neither because I “don’t have time”. Which is a lie, I do have time, I just choose to spend it screwing around on Facebook or watching television with my husband.

    I should at least start one of those projects. Break it down into smaller bits and tackle a bit a week. That would be a good place to start.

    • Tanya Vipond

      Great piece Jessica. It is hard to conceive of one more minute of time available when it feels like we are already run off our feet trying to fit everything in … BUT, as you rightly point out, or say as much in your own words, there are always ‘time-wasters’ that ave somehow disguised themselves as useful activities. Checking stuff on-line is a big one; as is just surfing around on FB or whatever. Having said that though, it is important to include ‘escape time’ or ‘downtime’ where there is a letting go and doing something useless or at least ‘functionally useless,’ i.e. downtime doing a favorite activity not related to work or the promotion of work. That cold be going for a walk, or a work out, but it could just be having a decadent come mocha at a cafe with a friend , or alone with a book (ooh what’s b-o-ok??!!! I’m old fashioned girl 🙂 ) or you could just make a special coffee at home and enjoy a little break with nothing on the agenda, you frugal girl you!

      • Jessica Moorhouse

        Totally agree Tanya. I’ve actually been setting aside time at night to read. I used to be so tired by that time, but I’ve made it a priority and it’s so fulfilling!

    • Jessica Moorhouse

      Totally! Break it into smaller bits and I think it’ll be more doable. I usually just have so many idea I get overwhelmed and then do nothing. Need to just start with one thing, then take baby steps. At least I started a podcast like I thought about a year ago? That’s a start right?

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life

    I do all of these things too- such time wasters – and then I complain about having no time. Oi!

  • Pira

    Guilty! I watch far more TV than I should, and while I try to cut myself off at a certain point sometimes it’s just far more appealing than getting work done. Of course our Netflix culture of endless access to fun shows doesn’t help either.

    • Jessica Moorhouse

      Netflix is the worst…and the best. I’ve binge watched shows where I’m like “Why did I waste 6 hours of my life on this crap?!”

  • Heather @ Simply Save

    So true! I’m aware of my time wasters and lately they’ve been driving me nuts! They include TV and constantly checking my phone and keeping up on social media. It’s making me so crazy I think I might try a “no TV week” and also have designated time frames where I’m not allowed to check my phone. Think of all the things I could accomplish! So much with Simply Save, and read so many books…

    • Jessica Moorhouse

      I check my phone way too much. I’ve gotten better because I’ve turned off notifications for more things, but I still have the habit of checking pretty frequently.

  • Jess @ Best Credit Cards Canada

    Is it wrong that I enjoy wasting time? I love taking an evening to binge watch my fav show on Netflix or sit idly on my phone reading articles or playing Candy Crush. Haha! But I think it is great to have a goal and try to cut out some of your time wasters to reach it. I would just say, if you enjoy these activities, maybe try to find a balance so you can still get some great time-wasting in? 🙂 Good luck with all your projects!

    • Jessica Moorhouse

      Dude, I love binge watching shows on Netflix! I think with me it’s I just don’t have a good balance right now. I’ve got a ton of projects I want to do but time and time again I don’t get them done or even started then freak out because I keep putting it off and wasting time.

  • Jason

    Isn’t “Build Your Tribe” great!? That’s how I discovered Chalene I didn’t even realize she was in the fitness niche. She recently did this series on online security and it moved me to act. I implemented 2 step verification on most of my accounts (email, twitter, Facebook, paypal) I feel much more secure online now. Her story about getting her Instagram hacked was really powerful.

    I can totally relate to you on checking your stats daily. I do the same thing!! What a time waster. I feel like I’m in a constant loop of doing things that add no value to my life or my business. I feel “busy” but know I’m not productive. I’ve got to stop that. You say you are going to make “some changes” to deal with the time waste issue and I hope you share them here. I am all ears!!

    Finally, on the TV issue, thankfully I nipped that in the bud. I cancelled my cable TV 6 months ago and couldn’t be happier. Saved money, but more importantly, saved myself from getting distracted. Yes, there are certain shows that I miss but it really works out for me on a life level.

    • Jessica Moorhouse

      I’m obsessed with Build Your Tribe! And I’ll definitely write a post about ways to curb time wasters. And I loved that episode about security. There’s a few things I need to implement now including using that password app she mentioned.

      • Jason

        Hi again!

        Not sure if you are a Mac or a PC user but I use 1Password for Mac (she recommended that or LastPass) and I L-O-V-E it!! If someone can crack my 26 random character passwords then good for them. The tool makes it SO EASY to manage these crazy generated passwords. Highly recommend you use it. Takes some getting used to but now I don’t know what I would do without it.


  • Mery

    Man! I hate to sound like nagging, but… Talk to me about not having enough time! I have 2 toddlers, a full-time job and -thankfully- a husband that helps!

    My mornings start at 4:30 am to work out (I’m adding another 45 min as I haven’t seen any major changes so far and I do not want to diet!), I get home at about 6 am and start with the morning routine, pack lunches, shower, wake up people around the house, feed kids, dress kids and cross my fingers to be able to get out of the house by 8 – 8:30 am. Drop off the kids at the daycare and head to work.

    After work, I pick up the kids and head home with two cranky and very hungry little ones, fix dinner for everybody and hopefully start on lunch for the following day. If my husband is not working late, he’ll give me a hand with the going-to-bed routine for the kids.

    Since I haven’t being doing much for myself lately, I have decided that I will knit every roll of wool that I own, even if it means a whole lot of hats for everybody! So, I have shaved a couple of hours from my sleep to use towards that. Plus I’m helping my mom launch a blog and internet business!

    As of now, I sleep about 5 to 6 hours a day, catch up with my series while knitting, catch up with my podcasts while working out, catchup with my games on my lunch time…

    I agree that keeping things somewhat organized can translate in some “free time”, if not, Thank god for the ability of multitasking!

    • Jessica Moorhouse

      Oh wow, props to you for getting all that done in a day (and only getting 5-6 hours sleep!).

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