Maximize Your Time, Expand Your Hustle


“Be not afraid of going slowly. Be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb.

If you follow me on Instagram, or if you read my previous post “3 #CheatCodez to Consistent Blogging,” then you probably already know that I’m a pretty busy worker bee. Since I graduated undergrad in 2011, I’ve worked at least two jobs at a time. For a brief stint I worked three. I did all of this while putting myself through graduate school. I took a brief hiatus from the two-job track for military training in boot camp (two months) and a nine-month deployment out to sea (for obvious reasons). But even while I was deployed, working 12-hour days from Sunday to Sunday, I continued my graduate education. Returning stateside, November 2015, I decided I’d continue my two-job/grad school hustle and then I threw blogging into the mix. So, what gives? Why go so hard in the paint?

Diversify those goals, b.

I’m all about maximizing my opportunities and opening as many doors as I possibly can to gain success. It’s not a novel concept – why put all your eggs in one basket? You’d be surprised at how you can excel at multiple ventures at once. First, you have to clearly define those goals, of course. People make excuses that there are not enough hours in the day. How many of those hours in the day are you actually productive? Be honest with yourself. Did you sit out for an hour or two to binge watch your favorite show on Netflix? Did you take a cat nap when you could have been at the gym? Yeah you’re tired, yeah, adulting can be rough but it’s reminiscent of this meme:

but did you die
#CheatCode: If you choose working out over napping, you're more likely to feel energized. Click To Tweet

How do I define my goals?

That is completely up to you. The one thing that I will caution is that goals are very different from timelines. I don’t bother myself with strict timelines because I find them to be limiting and, sometimes even, unrealistic especially considering the many different responsibilities I juggle from day-to-day. I don’t set timelines such as, “I want to be married by 27,” or “I want a child by 31.” Instead of saying “I want to run every day this week,” I tell myself, “I want to be active every day,” or “I want to be active 4x this week.” I don’t want to set myself up for failure because that can deter me from setting and following through on future goals. Be realistic. If you know you work one job, you’re single, you’re not in school and you do not have any kids – you have PLENTY of time to achieve your fitness goals. Hell. You have enough time in your schedule to be a friggin body builder as far as I’m concerned.

I break down my goals into focus categories and time (not to be confused with timeline) categories. Some examples: financial goals, academic goals, career goals, personal goals, short-term goals, long-term goals and big picture goals. That’s my breakdown. Regardless, everything is strategic.

  • My part-time job helps me achieve my financial goals.
  • Obviously, my master’s coursework is to help me achieve my academic goals.
  • The optional training I pursue helps me with my career goals.
  • My personal goals are ones like this blog and fitness – the things I do for personal fulfillment.
  • The goals I set within a six-month time frame are what I consider short term.
  • Long term would be the goals I see myself accomplishing within the year.
  • Big picture goals are the goals I set overall. All of my goals – financial, academic, career, personal short-term, long-term, all work together to create the big picture.

Hold yourself accountable.

Often times we set expectations for others that we won’t even hold ourselves accountable to. We bend over backwards to stay true to our word for others but we won’t even maintain the promises we have to ourselves. Why are we so harsh on others when they don’t return our phone calls or when they take too long to text back but we give ourselves slack when we told ourselves we’d take better care by working out 3-5 times out of the week? We don’t even make these decisions consciously but the decisions we make at a subconscious level can be monumental differences between fortified character traits and those of the weaker sort. Stop making excuses.

Don’t overthink it.

I almost titled this section, “Just do it.” Nike really said it best when they coined the phrase. Take one task at a time. Don’t overthink it! We’re our own harshest critics so truly it can’t get much worse than the negative talk we have with ourselves. Who cares if other’s will point, stare or ridicule? Be proud of your conviction to go out there and get it! The chatterboxes from the sidelines only have time for all the chatter because they’re not maximizing their time focusing within. If you have time to listen to or engage with the chatter – neither are you! 

24 hours is more than enough.

On a typical day, I wake up at 0400 to get ready for work as a photojournalist on an aircraft carrier. I get out of work typically around 1500 and I rush home to shower, and get ready for my part-time waitress job. I usually get off at around 2300 (the earliest) or 0100 (the latest). I wake up the next day and do it all over. On the days where I get off of my second job early or on the days that I’m not scheduled at the second job at all – I’m in the gym, doing homework or spending time with friends (usually while pursuing personal goals at the same time via hiking, running or business talks). I don’t say all of this to boast – I’m only here to be a testament that IT IS POSSIBLE! You’re not doing yourself any favors by producing excuses – produce results!

You’re not doing yourself any favors by producing excuses - produce results! Click To Tweet

Find ways to decompress. 

Live a little! It doesn’t have to be all work and no play. I’m a Virgo (so what, right?) so I tend to be a critical thinker and extremely analytical. With my mind going 1,000 mi/min, reading people and interactions left and right, I like to be read from time to time. Movies and books tend to read me and reveal things to me that I didn’t even know were there. My friends act as a sounding board or a mirror, revealing to me my innermost workings and motives – helping me attain self-awareness. Sometimes I don’t even need that sort of validation so journaling serves my introspection needs. And of course, I enjoy the occasional nightcrawler hour outings. I’m not completely washed (yet).

How do you decompress from the normal hustle? What does your day-to-day hustle look like? What do you want to make more time for?

Photo cred: Andrew Langholf


  1. Dari G says:

    Great article! Keep it up, b. Lol

    • Danica Michelle says:

      LOL! Thank you! I’ll be sure to check out your website. I could probably use design expertise too, BTW!

      • Dari G says:

        Yea, definitely. I’m sure we can help each other. Im getting deeper into this blog world as well. link me!

  2. Donta Knight says:

    Great article!

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