Even if your day job sucks up a big portion of your week, you can still find time to get ahead on that side project. Here’s how.
With our busy lifestyles, we all need to be multitasking geniuses. Because while our 9-to-5 takes up a good portion of our week, the truth is we often have a lot of things going on outside of work that need our attention, too.
Whether you’re moonlighting, setting up or organizing your best friend’s birthday drinks, where do you find the time? On the commute to work, while drinking your chai soya latte or on sneaky time during your workday?
Your could just let things slide, like did when she drove to school one recent morning…. without her son in the car.
Or you could stay on top of everything, managing to get your work done and make headway on your personal projects.
Here are some tips to make you a multitasking guru:
Throughout your busy day, keep your mind on the job at hand.
This sounds obvious, but it’s more difficult than it appears, especially if you’re thinking about a side project. How often do you start doing one thing, only to find yourself doing another?
Make a list at the start of the day and stick to it. Keep trucking, keep your important appointments and hit your deadlines. If you , you’ll feel more in control at the end of the workday and better equipped to deal with your personal projects in the evening.
Treat your personal project with military precision – but not on work time
You’ve got to make time (yes, make time) to sort out your personal projects. Whether that’s updating your blog, planning a going-away party or , get it done after office hours.
Skip that happy hour with a friend after work, or call people in the early morning, on your commute or on your lunch break (if you get one). But do everything in your power to avoid getting ahead on that project during work hours.
Rope in a friend to help
If your side project is becoming too much, share the load. Don’t force yourself to organize your entire wedding on your own; get your other half to do something or god forbid, your mother and mother-in-law will be too happy to help. Just ask them to keep their status updates until the evening or weekend; no one likes your mother’s urgent calls at 2 p.m. to discuss fuscia floral arrangements.
If you’re planning a reunion, friend’s night out or soccer match, remember there are other people involved, and share the load. There’s always someone less busy than you who is likely willing to help out.
Use the force
Well, not exactly the force, but . Catch up on your emails on your commute or during your lunch break. If you’re organizing events, use social networking invites, so everyone knows where they stand and you can see who’s in and out in a flash. (Maybe don’t use Facebook invites for your wedding though.) And find other sites (like ) that will help you stay on top of everything.
Remember, doing personal stuff on work time is not cool. It’s not appreciated by your manager or the business that’s paying your salary. Besides, you don’t want to be known as the chick (or dude) who brings all her personal stuff into the office, do you?
Elaine Knowles writes at , a career advice blog for ambitious 18-to-34-year-olds. You can also find Working Sirens on , and .