What my part time job has taught me about being more productive in business

When I switched to freelancing full time, it was pretty scary. This entire year, I've been trying to figure out how to effectively run my business full-time, pay my bills and still have some kind of life on top of it all. And one thing that I'm surprised to say has helped my business grow so significantly this first year: my part time weekend retail job. 

It's weird, I know. But working this weekend gig has forced me to be even more productive then I ever thought possible, which in turn, of course, ends up helping me grow and make more profits. But how is that possible, you ask? 

FORCED TIME AWAY

My currently weekly schedule: Monday - Thursday, working full-time for myself & then Friday-Sunday working for a really rad retail company.

Originally, I took on this part time job to give myself a little more financial stability (which made me less stressed). But being forced away from my desk three days out of the week has been quite the blessing in disguise. I'm the world's worst at "unplugging" from work (even though I try!) and so being forced to focus on something else gives my creative side time to recharge. 

I find that by Sunday night, I'm excited about Monday and excited to get back into the office. I'm nearly bursting with ideas and with that renewed sense of "I CAN DO THIS"! Which is extremely important as it's really hard to run a business when you're burnt out, dread the work day and just feeling creatively zapped. 

further reading: my biggest struggle with full-time freelancing

 

ACCOUNTABILITY

I only have four days a week to work on business and in that time, I have to get things for clients done, run a stationery shop, and work on all of the admin stuff, etc. Which means I don't have time during those four days to dilly-dally and spend hours on Pinterest wasting time. Because, if you already work full-time for yourself, you know how easily your day can get eaten up by checking social media and other non-essential tasks. 

I'm missing an entire day (at least) that other full-time freelancers are getting each week. This way, though, I'm only working with X amount of hours and have to move fast. And while this might sound terrifying, it's actually awesome. 

There have been quite a few studies done that show when you give yourself two hours to do a project or task, you're going to use the entire two hours, even if that same task could have been done in half that time. For example: this week, I've scheduled two blog posts to go up & I've given myself two hours to write, edit AND create the visuals for both. Normally, this kind of thing takes me a few hours each post. But these days, I don't have that kind of time, and now I'll only use those two hours because I'm more focused and on the clock. It seems totally counterintuitive, but trust me, it works wonders. 

further reading: how I keep track of my freelance clients

 

TAKE AWAY

Maybe you don't have / don't want a part time job on the weekends like I do. But you can still use these principles in your own business. 

So this week, I challenge you to force yourself away from work for a couple days to properly recharge. If that means turning your computer off completely for the entire weekend, do that. If it means spending a couple days out shopping or going to movies or the park, do that. I don't care, just give yourself time to completely recharge. 

I also challenge you to give yourself less time on projects. Want to spend an hour scheduling all of your social media for the week? Do it in 45 minutes. It's only 15 minutes less, but I promise you, those minutes add up and you'll be amazed at how much more you can get done this week. 

Do you have any other weird productivity hacks / tips that rock your world? Share them in the comments below, or join the conversation over on Twitter! I would love to hear & share them with the world :) xx