How do you get the most out of the precious day, hours, or maybe just minutes you can dedicate to your side hustle?
Here are 6 (excluding sub points) productivity tips to maximise the time you spend hustling.
Before you get started
Get your favourite pens and bestest journal (sorry about the pic having lines - annoying!) ready to take notes. Please only implement one item at a time, it will work heaps better that way. Maybe pick your top 3 and implement just one a week.
1. Plan your week
Planning your week at a macro level can be helpful to target blocks of time to be side hustling.
It is super easy to get distracted or binge watch the latest Netflix series, if it’s not clear what time you will dedicate to your side hustle.
So block out time, one evening here, a Saturday morning there. It’s not necessary to go into minutiae of detail about what you will use that time for, just allocate blocks of time.
When planning your week you might be able to determine what you will use that block of time for. Sometimes that doesn’t work, so I would suggest spending the first few minutes of the block looking at what would be the best use of that time. The later tip about follow the energy might help here.
2. Use ‘dead’ time
Your daily commute could be a put to better use then, catching up on social media. A more effective use might be to write a blog post (like I am doing right now) or brainstorm your business names or tag line. Use that time productively people!
Productive use of time can also be reading a book, fiction or non-fiction to give you a different perspective or escape time.
You don’t need to make it an every day, every minute thing. Only do it Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday or only in the morning commute. Change it up, maybe you try every morning for 2 weeks and then try only early in the week for another 2 weeks. Take the time to determine what works best for you.
3. Create ‘space’
I know you are trying to squeeze your side hustle into an already full day/life and I am now telling you to slow down and create space.
Creating space has critical benefits, it helps you sleep and you are more creative, just to name two. The best benefit though is it allows you to ‘hear’ your intuition.
2 of the most effective creating space activities that I have introduced to my daily practice are:
Both of these practices are talked about in detail in this Blog Post about Life Hacks.
4. Follow the energy
I think this one is the secret essence for me. Let’s say you have a few actions to take. One is to update your accounts the other is to look for Merch (merchandise). Focus on the action that will give you the most energy. I am not saying don’t do the other things on the list, I just think start with the one that energises you.
There is advice saying to “eat that frog” or do the worst thing on your list first. This works for some people and if it works for you, go for it. I find that drains me or I end up procrastinating so much that everything else will get done, eg house is clean, the fridge is sparkling, and the cutlery draw has all been washed.
If I follow the energy and do the tasks I want to do first, then it energises me for the other tasks on my to do list.
5. Batch work
This has been a new and welcome addition to my productivity tips.
When I found out about batching and gave it a red hot go it really works. Batching is about putting like tasks together. It could be writing blogs, doing emails, returning phone calls or posting blogs on your website with the photo that works best.
By doing these tasks together you get through a lot more and are not swapping between tasks. Which is no good for your brain (see multitasking disengages the brain)
I had done this for clothes for the week, planning them on Sunday, but hadn’t thought of applying it to different tasks.
6. The dreaded to do list
A ‘to do’ list helps you focus on what needs to be done, when. When checking something off the list, you get a little happy feeling as well, which adds to the reason for to do lists
The good news is there are loads of apps and methods to try. The bad news is trial and error is the best way to determine what works best for you.
To provide some assistance in your search for better productivity, here are some hints about what your "to do" list should do;
- Include some prioritisation
- Easy to use
- Help you feel “on top of things”
- Be done regularly, daily would be best
Here are some methods I have liked;
Bullet journal method
It creates a rolling to do list and journal details and you can use in any notebook. It can take a little while to get used to, but is helpful in tracking information and making it indexable. Go herefor a step vey step explanation.
App accessible on devices, but also online. It is visual and you can move things around. You set up projects with other people as well as design what works for you and a broader team of collaborators. The 101 of Trello is here.
What I use?
I use a combination of the 2 above and also a good old paper Mind map. Mind maps are my go to since I discovered them in high school. I don’t do it like you are meant to (yep, there are mind mapping rules), but it works for me and all the bits are in one place.
I create one at least once a week and then prioritise what I will deal with based on what needs batching and where my energy is. This one shown in a personal one, I also have one for my day gig as well.
What hacks have you found to maximise your side hustle time?
I would love to hear.
Keen to get started?
If you are ready to start or scale a side hustle and want to unearth some possibilities, all of your own. Hit me up for a free 15 min convo, regardless of the stage you are at, by emailing me on Christina@incahoots.com.au.
Christina Morgan-Meldrum (CMM) is an author, speaker, curator, change professional and podcaster. She particularly loves helping people start and scale side hustles, especially creatives and musicians by unearthing what’s possible and working with you to make it happen.
She has cultivated the ability to walk into any industry; see what is not seen, distil what is complicated, and simplify the chaos. This skill has been forged in a deliberate and concentrated way for over 20 years, through Personal Coaching and working in Organisational Change Management (before it was even a thing). She is currently working at TAFE on the SMS program as well as exploring many, many side hustles of her own.
Christina fills her time, coaching people on their side hustles, blogging, podcasting - Quirky & Chenille (Christina is Quirky), learning the piano, while working on Change Management gigs. If you are looking for her, she is likely at her spiritual home JB Hi-Fi or exploring stationery stores or artisan markets.