How to work on personal project, when there is so much to do? (6 steps I’ve taken)

Hi guys,

Today, I would like to focus on how can you do some stuff on side, if you have full time job, family to look after and many other things to take care of. For me, it seemed to be impossible at some point. I usually came back from work and the only thing I wanted to do is to take shower, eat something and go to the bed. But still, I needed to cook, do some cleaning and when I was done with it, it became insanely late already.

Basically, at the moment I am starting my job at 2 pm and I am done by 10 pm, so when I am home, it is easily 10-11 pm. And this was my excuse for not doing anything after that. Of course, in the morning I couldn’t do anything, as I had to prepare food, so it wouldn’t take me too long to cook in the evening and generally get ready for work. And in the evening I used to make sure that food is ready, take shower and just go to the bed. At least this is what I believed at that time.

So now I would like to share with you some steps I have take to change this situation.

STEP 1: Track how do you spend your time and determine where it goes

This might seem easy and pointless. But it isn’t. If you will be honest with yourself, you might realise that you have a lot of time spend on activities, you are not even aware of. When I first started tracking, I decided not to see results for one week. And when seven days passed, I got shocked. Each day I have spent at least 2-3 hours watching next episodes on Netflix or YouTube; I was sitting and doing literally nothing for at least half an hour each day. And although amount of this time spent at not being productive was so huge, I wasn’t aware that I am doing this at all. And I haven’t even mentioned how much time I have spent on scrolling through my social media…

Step 2: MinimiseĀ an amount of time spent on unproductive activities

Tracking my time helped me also determine, when I am wasting hours out of my time. And I simply made sure that I have some productive tasks scheduled for this part of the day. I also make sure that there will be a reminder refreshing my memory. There is still problem of procrastination, by having my phone screaming to me, that this is time to get work done, I am forcing myself, to shorten my Netflix session (usually, one episode does pretty well as well). And to reduce time spent on scrolling through my social media, I have scheduled a time for this particular activity. I have also removed spamming and not really useful users and simply stopped following them. So my news feed became much shorter and my scheduled time is more than enough to go through it.

Step 3: Find some time for activities you reduced

This have been mentioned in previous step, but for me it turned out to be very helpful to reduce time spent on other activities instead of eliminating them completely. I had an attempt to stop doing them, but usually I used to fail. Having this scheduled time for these activities just make me stick to the new way of living.

Step 4: Sleep less

And this will not work for everyone. If you already sleep only 4 hours, this advise is completely reversed for you: “Sleep more!”. However, if you are like me and you like to sleep for 12 hours each day, consider reducing it to 8 hours. I did it and I have gained 4 hours of awake time each day. And guess what? I am still rested. But remember, don’t reduce it too much. Being sleepy will reduce sharpness of your brain and it will make it harder to stay focused. This way, even if you’ll get this extra hours, you are most likely to get much less work done too.

Step 5: Try to prepare meals for at least two days

This was just amazing for me. Cooking bigger amounts of food doesn’t take much more time, but saves you a time the next day. This way, instead of spending one hour each day on cooking, you are going to spend one hour every other day. This is definitely a good deal.

Step 6: Take an advantage from your commuting time

Are you travelling to work by train, or just walk? You can always find some podcast to listen on the way. This will not slow you and at the same time, you can get skills which will help you in things you want to do as your personal project.

And these are all advises I have for you today. I hope you enjoyed it and that they will be helpful for you. If you have any other advises, I will be happy to read them in the comment section.

For now, I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

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