23 Sep 5 Ways to Boost Side Hustle Productivity
Whether you’re freelance writing, tutoring online, walking dogs, or delivering food – are you being as productive as you could be? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably not.
Taking on a side hustle often cuts into time with the family, time for yourself, time for home maintenance, and more.
Which is why it’s important to find ways to boost productivity.
Unfortunately, we often associate productivity with giant to-do lists.
That is not productivity. Or at least not the type of productivity that yields quality results.
True productivity results from being organized, prioritizing time and tasks, and striving for efficiency.
To boost productivity, you have to master these skills.
When it comes to side hustle productivity, this means looking for ways to manage your day-to-day tasks and workload, in addition to finding ways to succeed in your side hustle.
Not to worry. Productivity is not an innate skill that some people have and others lack.
Productivity is a habit – not a character trait.
This means everyone can learn to be productive.
Moreover, productivity has been studied for decades, and the results are clear.
There are things we do that hinder side hustle productivity.
The flip side means that there are things we can do to boost productivity when side hustling.
Here are 5 guaranteed ways to boost side hustle productivity.
# 1 Plan
The first side hustle productivity habit you must embrace is some good old-fashioned planning.
You need to schedule for productivity and calendar your success.
Plan everything in advance. Every. Single. Thing.
Plan time for…
- Your full-time job, if you have one.
- Your side hustle (or side hustles).
- Meetings and phone calls.
- Dinner. Cleaning.
- Date night.
And don’t stop with the big stuff.
Plan time for …
- Scrolling through the internet and social media.
As Entrepreneur explains, “You may not realize it, but your calendar habits can make or break your success and your productivity. That’s because without proper calendar management you aren’t able to be as focused and productive as you should be.”
Today, it is easier than ever before to boost productivity using technology.
There are tons of apps available, designed to help you be more productive, such as Google Calendar.
While we love a good calendar app, there is something to be said about an old-fashioned planner.
Like apps, today’s planners are designed to help you boost productivity – so much so that there is an entire subset of planners deemed productivity planners (including this one aptly named The Productivity Planner).
As Calendar.com notes, “Of course, nothing beats a good, old-fashioned to-do list for keeping individuals on track. Writing things down saves you the trouble of remembering them. And the reward of crossing things off your list can be highly motivational.”
One final tip on planning – learn to say no. If there is no any space left on your calendar, say no.
# 2 Stop Multitasking
The next habit you need to break is multitasking.
For some reason, many people mistakenly see the ability to multitask as a sign of success. They’re wrong.
Study after study has proven that multitasking hurts productivity, efficiency, and even our health.
For one thing, when you think you are multitasking, you’re not. You’re actually task switching. You stop one task and switch to another.
When thought about this way, it is easy to see why multitasking takes you longer to get things done.
Rather than allowing our brains to focus on one task, our brains have to adjust to the new task each time we switch.
According to Health.com, “When University of California Irvine researchers measured the heart rates of employees with and without constant access to office email, they found that those who received a steady stream of messages stayed in a perpetual ‘high alert’ mode with higher heart rates. Those without constant email access did less multitasking and were less stressed because of it.”
Not only does multitasking stress you out, but it also affects your memory.
Health.com explains, “Even interrupting one task to suddenly focus on another can be enough to disrupt short term memory,” according to a 2011 study by the University of California, San Francisco.
Finally, multitasking is not only inefficient and unhealthy, but it also yields poor results, which are not great for side hustle productivity.
A 2013 University of Utah study found that those who think they are great multitaskers are the very worst ones.
“Most people believe they can multitask effectively, but a University of Utah study indicates that people who multitask the most – including talking on a cell phone while driving – are least capable of doing so.”
Your side hustle success depends on your ability to stay focused.
# 3 Eliminate Distractions
Speaking of staying focused, your ability to boost productivity largely depends on how well you eliminate distractions.
According to an article published by Inc.com, “Distractions are costing companies millions.”
If everyday distractions, such as emails and phone calls, are costing companies millions, imagine how much they are hurting your side hustle productivity.
The Association for Psychological Science explains, “Plenty of research has shown that distractions cause people to take longer to complete a task, but now a team of psychological scientists from George Mason University has found that interruptions don’t just take up time, they also degrade the overall quality of people’s work.”
But distractions are going to happen – unless you put a plan in place to eliminate them.
For example, turn off email and social media notifications on your phone while you are working.
Create clear boundaries. Tell others what times you are available for correspondence and stick to it.
If you find yourself constantly distracted by the world at your fingertips (the internet), invest in a service like Freedom.
Freedom is a web tool that blocks distracting websites across all your devices for designated periods.
If you try to visit one of the sites or play on an app on your blocked list during that period of time, you won’t be able to access it.
# 4 Delegate Tasks
You likely already had a lot on your plate before adding a side hustle.
If you want to succeed in your side hustle without burning out, you must delegate tasks.
This will look different for each side hustler depending on your work and family life, but it is critical to success.
Start by identifying the tasks that are not at the top of your to-do list, such as household chores.
Delegate these tasks to someone else, such as having the kids do the dusting.
Side hustling parents who need help delegating tasks – Check out Todoist.
Todoist has been named “the best to-do list app.” With Todoist, you can create and assign (delegate) tasks to your family members.
Then, consider which tasks seem to take more time than you have to give.
Is there a way to delegate these tasks?
For example, if grocery shopping takes a chunk of your time you could use to improve your side hustle productivity, outsource it.
Consider hiring someone to do those work-related tasks, such as invoicing, that take you more time than you have available.
Next, think about the tasks that just aren’t your favorite things to do, such as paying the bills.
Rather than spending time completing these tasks every month, find ways to automate repetitive tasks, such as signing up for automatic bill payments.
# 5 Take Care of Yourself
Last but not least, if you want to boost productivity, you must take care of yourself.
If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t show up 100%.
The Productive Woman explains, “If we are not well — physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually — then we have fewer resources available to do any of the things that matter to us. Just taking care of ourselves gives us the physical resources, the emotional resources, and the mental energy to do the things we care about. Self-care is not ‘taking a break” from being productive. Self-care is an essential element of productivity.”
Self-care starts with the basics – getting enough sleep, exercising, eating well.
If we don’t take care of ourselves in the most basic ways, we can’t expect to be productive in a healthy way.
Moreover, science proves self-care can boost productivity.
“People that look after themselves [and practice self-care] do have better cognitive ability. They do have better focus and they do have better concentration,” Dr. Russell Thackeray, a licensed clinical psychologist who consults on the topic of productivity, told Trello. “They tend to actually produce more.”
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