You had a hard day at work, a long commute home, and you still have to make dinner. You want to work on personal projects or learn new skills, but you just don’t have the energy or time. Before you know it, it’s already late and you need to sleep before work the next day, so you put it off for another time. Rinse and repeat.
Many of us want to learn and do things outside of work, but with such few hours in the day, staying passionate about projects outside of work can feel draining.
Here, we’ll cover how to ensure you boost your productivity even after a full workday.
Learn to manage your time better, then make it a habit
Time management is at the heart of productivity. We’ve covered some time management tips in the past, from timeboxing to scheduling events on your calendar, but it’s important to develop a habit out of these tips.
Be patient- too often people believe time management drastically improves after a few days of owning a bullet journal, miss a few days, then give up entirely. The same goes for after-work activities. Schedule your projects and set aside time each day, then stick with it. You may need a few weeks, even months, but without that discipline, you’ll likely always procrastinate your passions.
Limit your distractions and find your zone
There’s a reason people go straight home after work- they want to collapse on the couch, spend time with their family, and watch television or play video games. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, it can be extremely counterproductive if you want to work on a passion project.
Learn how to limit your social media activity, avoid binge-watching, and other distractions. Inc recommends a few apps for avoiding time-wasting on your smartphone. We’ve covered StayFocusd and Freedom as both excellent apps that can cut down on those troublesome, distracting websites.
Sometimes, you get the most work done outside of your home. Consider finding another place to focus on your project- might we suggest a coworking space?
Pick passions and interests that you actually care about
If your project isn’t something you particularly care about, then of course you’ll continue to put it off until another day. If you really want to get some traction, pick something that you’ll actually enjoy doing or that you care about.
You’re always going to be tired, or lack the hours during the day, but if you really love what you do, you’ll find the time and energy to do it.
Set realistic, achievable goals to hold yourself accountable
For certain activities, you may only want to do them when you have time, and that’s acceptable. However, if you have a personal project or skill you’re trying to accomplish or improve on, you should make it a point to set a standard for yourself.
Every month (or time interval that best suits you), write down a few goals you want to reach. Perhaps you want to cover certain lessons every week or learn ten concepts every month. Maybe you want to read thirty pages every day. Whatever it is, the more concrete objectives you set for yourself, the more you can hold yourself accountable and actually track your progress.
Need a little help staying productive? Check out our previous post on productivity podcasts to tune into.
These are but a few different tips you can try, but by no means are they the only ones. What projects are you working on, and how do you stay productive? What tips do you have for others? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter accounts and we’ll reshare the best responses.