Balancing a day job and a side hustle means I have to be as productive as possible in the time I do have. These are three techniques I use when working in my own business to help me get a lot done in less time.
The Pomodoro Technique
Traditionally, it looks like this:
- Decide what to work on
- Set your timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
- Work on the task until the timer rings.
- After the timer rings, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.
- After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes)
This method has been really effective for me being able to focus in on a task and not get distracted. I can do anything for 25 minutes! It makes getting things done seem much more doable.
I don’t always do 4 pomodoros, or set my timer at 25 minutes. Sometimes, I just do one pomodoro, or set a timer to 20 minutes. Some days, I only have 20 minutes to an hour to work in my business.
Also, if I know that some really focused time will help me get the task at hand done (particularly something I keep putting off or getting distracted when I go to work on it), I will use the pomodoro technique to crank it out.
Another favorite time management (get stuff done technique) is time blocking!
Setting blocks of time throughout the week with specific goals really helps to stay productive. So, maybe you have time blocked every MWF for two hours to just focus on content or an hour each week to do self-development work.
Sometimes I even see people approach time blocking with “theme days”. For example, on Mondays they use their work block time for writing content, Tuesdays for “big picture” planning, Wednesdays for administrative business tasks, etc.
During those time/day blocks, I make a commitment to not work on anything else but what is assigned for that block.
You can even Pomodoro during your time block! Or, if you prefer to stay focused the entire time, that works too. 😊
Batching was the first time management technique I used in business. When I started my first blog, I would batch all the content creation and social media. It’s a huge time saver and helps you to have more time to focus on other things in your business because you blog posts and social media is scheduled out!
Here are some ways to batch business tasks:
1) Batch write all your blog posts for that month/record podcasts/etc., then batch to set up all the graphics and formatting for posting, etc.
2) Batch time at the beginning of the week to schedule out all your social media posts
3) Batch making new connections/following up on leads
Depending on your business, the types of tasks you batch could be different. Either way, by doing them once a week/month/etc., you are freeing up time on other days.
The helpful thing about all three of these techniques is that you are able to stay in the zone and reduce context switching (e.g., switching back and forth) from writing to designing graphics) which in turn helps you to be more productive.