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Many of today’s most successful businesses used to be yesterday’s side projects. Whether you are thinking of starting your own business or just want to take on a new project or hobby in your free time, if you are passionate about it then you’ll need to make time for it.
But is it doable? Will you actually have the time and energy to start this new venture? No one wants to start another project and lose steam a few weeks down the road or just get burned out.
In this article, I will share with you my best tips to make room for your side projects and set yourself up for success.
The Daily Review
I can’t stress enough how important the daily review is. It is at the core of my time management and productivity strategy, and it is there because it works.
Making sure to carry out a daily review will allow you to take a step back and analyze your day, identify goals and tasks, find motivation and finally, plan your time accordingly.
When you woke up this morning, you may have thought that you would be able to work for four hours on your new project today. But what if something came up, or you had forgotten about another commitment?
Sitting down and focusing on time management is the best way to make sure that you will assign yourself a doable amount of work, without becoming stressed and nervous as the task list grows but your time runs out.
Once you have a draft of your daily review, make it real by logging your tasks on your calendar, BestSelf journal, or preferred tracking tool. Your side project task will officially find room in your day and be more likely to be accomplished.
Take a Break
When you are working on several projects – even when one of those is your full-time job – it is all the more important that you allow yourself to unwind and relax in between tasks. Let’s say that you finish work at 5 pm. Go for a walk, read something interesting, meditate, have dinner.
If you have given yourself time to relax and let your mind wander, you will be both physically and mentally ready for the next part. You will be refreshed and more productive, whether you have planned to work on your side project for 1 hour or four. Once you feel like going back to your desk, set yourself up for success by listing out what it is you want to accomplish during this period (be specific) and how long you plan on working. Once you’ve accomplished your tasks or the time is up – stop working on it and give yourself time to unwind.
Note: Be sure to have a notepad or app like Evernote handy after this. Your brain will still be thinking about what you were working on and it’s natural to have ideas that may make you restless or not able to sleep. So have a system – put those ideas onto the notepad or app so that it’s out of your head and somewhere safe where you can deal with it tomorrow.
It is normal to have days when you can’t match your own expectations and finish the work on time. But a good way to limit that is to be realistic with yourself. We all tend to assign ourselves too many tasks and end up feeling frustrated and guilty when we can’t complete them.
By using different time management techniques, you will be able to forecast more accurately your productivity and the results you can expect from yourself.
Hopefully, these simple yet effective steps will allow you to make time for your side project and no matter how little that is, be productive and achieve the results you want.