Get Stuff Done: How to GTD when you work a full time job
When you work a full time job it's very hard to get stuff done. I don't know about you but I have things I want to do in my life outside of working my full time job. have things I want to do to change my life so that I can live the life of my dreams.
One of those things is building a business. As I have been building my business and working on my projects I've found several ways that I can squeeze out extra minutes to help me get my stuff done. And we need to take advantage of all the extra time we can find.
If you employ these tips you can get more of your stuff done more of the time. Everyone has the same amount of time in the day. These tips will help you think about how else you could be using the time when you were probably doing nothing at all or messing around on the internet. Use your time for you. Use it to help you get your stuff done.
Read and Research on your Breaks
If you are working full time I'm sure you get some sort of breaks. At the very least a lunch break. I use the time when I take my breaks to read and research projects and ideas. I read books about business. I watch videos to help me on the next step of the project I'm working on. I use the time to help me get my stuff done.
Really what's more important, working on your project or seeing what everyone else is doing on Facebook? Gossiping about what Susie is doing or worrying about what you are doing? If you want more out of life then you have to make some hard choices and some sacrifices. Do you still want to be working that job 5 years from now or do you want to be doing your own thing?
Schedule Time Off to Work on your Projects
While you can work in little bursts here and there, and you will need to do so to get your projects done, working in a concentrated manner for a longer period of time can really help your project take off. Seeing how much you can get done will give you momentum to keep going.
I'm lucky that I work for a company that gives me lots of PTO time. This past year I decided that I needed to start using that time to work on my projects. To get my stuff done.
I usually schedule a day off on a Friday about once a month. Now keep in mind that I don't take a week or two off for vacation every year. I've decide to use my time for me. I do take the occasional four day weekend, but for the most part I take my time off to work on my stuff.
I choose a Friday off because then it gives me momentum going into the weekend. If I have a great Friday, I'll usually have a great Saturday too. Momentum breeds momentum. Progress breeds progress. So get your stuff done. Schedule some time!
Start Working as Soon as you get Home
This may seem counter-intuitive or just plain wrong. Who wants to do more work as soon as they get home? I have found that if I start when I get home I can get more done and actually quit earlier. I also then don't have that nagging feeling of "I really need to go get some work done." I'm already doing it. When I do take a break I can feel good about it. I know that if nothing else I was able to get something done.
What happens on the days when I don't heed my own advice? Those days when I pick up my kindle to read just for a few minutes. I don't get as much or anything done. And I feel guilty. I hate feeling guilty, don't you? I would rather work for as long as I can stand it and then know that when I do stop for the night I got some stuff done.
Concentrate on One Task
If you are like me then you have lots of things that you want or need to do. When you sit down to work start with the most important task. What's the one thing you need to do or work on? What's the one thing that will help you get further along in what you want to accomplish?
If your days are pretty consistent then you can schedule a task for each day. If you have larger blocks of free time on some days of the week then you can work on harder or longer tasks or projects.
I personally have a list of tasks that I need to accomplish for the week in my planner. I try to get the most important tasks done at the beginning of the week. For me those are my YouTube videos and my blog posts. Those are my do or die tasks. Even if everything falls apart I have to get those done.
Then I pick and choose what I want to work on from my list during the rest of the week. I try to get at least one thing from my task list done every day. If you work on it every day you will be amazed at how much you can get done.
Take a Housewife Break
Are you feeling stuck and not sure what to do next? Instead of getting frustrated I take a housewife break. What's a housewife break? It's a small ten minute or less break where you do some mundane task that lets your brain rest and think.
If you are doing something with your hands you can usually come up with an idea of what you need to do next or where you went wrong. I often get up and wash dishes, put on a load of laundry, fold some clothes or sweep the floor. All of these are simple tasks that you have done a thousand times and they let your brain take a break or find a solution. After you are done with your task get back to work!
Eat at Home
It's much easier to get work done if you are actually at home. And it's much healthier for you if you eat at home. It's a win win! I often get started with my work when I get home (see tip above) and then get dinner started. Most of the recipes I make are very simple and easy. I get the veggies started sauteing or get the meat started browning (usually on medium heat) and then I set the timer on the stove for ten minutes so I don't burn anything. Burnt dinner is not a good thing. Even Piper wouldn't eat it.
This trick also works if you are putting something in the oven to bake. Use those 30 minutes or so to get some of your stuff done. The timer will tell you when you need to get back to worrying about dinner.
Take a Dinner Break
Once dinner is done I take a break. I don't eat while I'm working. I usually spend this time reading or watching a video or show on Netflix or just talking to my husband. I get away from my project for about 30 minutes and then I get back to work.
I get home around five. I usually eat dinner by seven. That gives me about an hour and a half of actual working time before I take a break. After dinner I work for an additional hour or two and then I'm done for the night. That's a lot of extra time that I can use to my advantage.
Stop Working an Hour before Bedtime
You need some time for yourself, your family and just to get everything ready to go to work the next day. I usually stop working by nine each night. Then I have time to jump in the shower or take a bath. This also gives me enough time that I might get a few minutes of reading in before I go to sleep.
Your eyes need a break. Especially if you are doing anything with video. Your brain needs a break too. It needs time to shut down and get ready for sleep. I find an hour of time works best for me but you can play with that suggestion and see what works best for you. It's a great feeling to go to bed knowing that you got the things done that you needed and planned to get done.
Listen Podcasts, Videos or Books on Tape
When you have down time or times of boredom listen to something that will help educate you or get you further in your project or even something that will inspire you. I hate being bored. I don't know about you, but I hate it. I like to keep busy.
I often listen to podcasts and videos while I'm driving. And I listen to them when I'm doing boring paperwork. I don't often listen to books on tape, but I know many people do. I would rather read my books. I usually don't like the voice of whoever is speaking and for me that takes away from the experience of the book. Am I the only one?
Take Advantage of the Weekend
Plan some time on the weekends to work on your projects, to get your stuff done. This time is your time away from you job. Use it to benefit you.
I get the majority of my side projects done on the weekend. I'm using my time to make my life better and to get done the stuff I want to get done. Don't just crash and veg out all weekend. Schedule some time and work on what you want to work on, not what someone else tells you that you need to work on.
Take a hard look at where you are spending your weekend hours. That's a lot of time that is up for grabs. Schedule some of it for you.
I hope my tips help you find some time to get your stuff done. I know. I really, really know just how hard it is to find time to work on what you want to work on. You need to schedule the time. You need to take advantage of every little break that you can. If you want to change your life you have to find the time. Otherwise your life will stay the same. And I don't want that for you. I want you to find the time to get your stuff done so that you can live the life of your dreams.
Thanks for Reading!