Not Enough Time to Work on Side Projects? You Need Short-Term Planning

By on May 31, 2021

If you are working on any kina project it is crucial to have a short-term plan. This will ensure you maintain a steady output, even when your time is limited. By this, I mean thinking about the next month-to-two months and having a concrete idea of what that is going to look like, at all times.

This can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to staying productive and making progress.

staying productive

For me, that means having a content schedule. I have a pretty solid idea of the next few videos I’m planning to upload to the channel and the next few posts I’m going to share here. While this might fluctuate a little, it’s a generally accurate roadmap of what I need to be working on. Content schedules are common for content creators, but perhaps not common enough.

We can apply this same strategy to many other types of work and productivity.

If you are writing a book you should know what the next couple of chapters will look like.

For example, if you are writing a book you should know what the next couple of chapters will look like in some detail. If you are building a business, you should know the next several steps you need to take. If you want to learn a new subject, you should map out your plan of attack.

Why Short-Term Plans Are Crucial

By knowing what you are going to be working on over the next few weeks, you can make the most efficient use of your time.

Knowing the next three or four videos I’ll be uploading means that I can film in batches. Lately, I’ve had extremely limited time to work owing to some “life stuff.” I’ve had a few hours a day maximum, and this has been the case for the past few months. Despite this, I’ve so-far managed to churn out a video each week. Often those videos are 14-15 minutes long.

Working with little time

The way I do this, is by filming in 2-3 hour blocks. If I am fortunate enough to have a few hours to work, and good enough weather to film, I’ll take my camera out to a park or my garden. Then I grab as much footage as possible for the next few videos, all in one go.

Seeing as setting up the camera and getting all my equipment out to train takes a good 20 minutes in itself, this is a FAR more efficient way to get the footage I need. It also means I’m not reliant on another period of good weather and good fortune: all that’s left to do is edit. If there’s a week where I can’t get outside, for whatever reason, I’m still good to go. This is only possible because I know precisely what I have coming up and what I’m going to need.

Likewise, when I sit down to write, I might write the next several blog posts or the next few scripts.

This may seem obvious. But most YouTubers I know work on just a single video at once. I’m sure this spans industries.

More Reasons to Have Short-Term Plans

There are more reasons to have short-term plans, too. Just as I can film in batches, this also lets me research topics multiple topics at once. I often watch YouTube or listen to Audible while cooking. If I know the subjects I need to swat up on, I can keep all the relevant information fresh in my mind while I work on those things.

This approach also ensures that there is a steady stream of varied and interesting content for the channel and the site (I hope!). I know that I have different visitors who prefer different types of content. Some like the superhero stuff, some like the straightforward exercise advice, some like the out-there brain stuff. By having a content schedule, I can make sure those topics get rotated in a logical manner that will keep everyone happy.

Visualization

Working outside

Just as important as knowing the next several videos I intend to make, is having a rough idea of how they’re going to look. I’m not the sort to draw out storyboards, but I do have an idea of the key shots I want to get and the type of b-roll I’m likely to use.

To do this, I simply plan in my head. The great thing about this, is that you can do it anywhere. And it means that when it’s time to work, I can simply go about getting those precise shots and be done with it. Of course, that still leaves room for improvisation and adapting on the day.

Applying This to Your Own Projects

This is how planning out the next few months has helped me to grow my own side project to the point where it is my full-time job (woohoo!). The key is to always be planning in my head and to have a rough outline of what’s upcoming. That way, I can make the most efficient use of any time I have to actually work.

I can make the most efficient use of any time I have to actually work.

This can apply to any type of work. If you’re writing a book, have a good idea of the entire book but also plan out the next chapter or two in more concrete detail.

If you’re trying to stick to a training program, know how you’re going to fit the next four workouts into your routine and what type of training you’re going to be doing (if you don’t follow a set plan).

If you’re running a business, know what the next actions you need to take are if you want to see growth occur.

Let me know down below if you guys do this, and what other tips you have to maintain a steady output when time is limited!

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About Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, is a writer, personal trainer, author, entrepreneur, and web developer. I've been writing about health, psychology, and fitness for the past 10+ years and have a fascination with the limits of human performance. When I'm not running my online businesses or training, I love sandwiches, computer games, comics, and hanging out with my family.

One Comment

  1. Lucas says:

    You help me a lot!
    Thank you, man!

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