Once upon a time, people decided what they wanted to do, and then they’d go ahead and get a job doing that. Unfortunately, in this day and age, jobs in certain industries are more difficult to come by. However, if your full time job isn’t what you want to do forever, there’s no need to feel downhearted. With a little work in your free time it’s possible to complete amazing projects. That could be producing theatre, making films, or starting a new business. It’s a lot to take on, but there are things you can do to make sure you’re prepared.
Make a list of steps
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you think about what you’re embarking upon. Yes, taking on extra projects is a big undertaking. But humour us, and make a list of all of the steps you’ll need to complete to get there. We’re talking about really breaking it down. That way, when you get home at the end of the day you don’t have ‘plan a huge event’ as your one task for the evening. Instead you’ll just have ‘find five possible venues in East London’. By following a list of small steps you can make any projects seem much less overwhelming. You’ll also be able to keep track of everything you’ve already accomplished.
Do one productive thing every day
In the spirit of not being overwhelmed, think about doing one productive thing every day. It could be sending an email on your lunch break or designing a logo but, however tiny, at least you’re actively working towards your goal in your spare time. So many people fall at that first (and very obvious) hurdle, and this way, you won’t be one of those people. You’ll probably find that once you’ve done one thing you’ll have the momentum you need to do a bit more too, because you’re brilliant and an overachiever.
Think about everything you need and how you’re going to pay for it
It might be that you don’t need much in order to complete your projects. But if, for example, you need equipment, or a set, or a space, do your research about what that’s going to cost you and think early about how you’re going to pay for it. You might have the savings, or you might need to pursue funding, but forewarned is forearmed. There’s no shame in putting things on hold for as long as it takes to acquire what you need – better that than losing out later on.
Make the most of networking opportunities
Yes, it’s a pain to leave work after a long day and then have to go to a networking evening or some other similar event and pretend like you’re not knackered and desperately in need of some dinner to soak up the free wine you didn’t really fancy. And it’s not ideal to have to spend your weekends travelling far and wide to hear advice from people in the know. But if the alternative is not making connections or missing out on some valuable information, then it’s definitely worth the minor inconvenience. Plus, it totally counts as your one productive thing per day.
Go easy on yourself
Just because you’re basically working two jobs doesn’t mean that you never have time for a social life. What it does mean is that you might feel a pang of guilt if you spend an evening in the pub when you had a budget spreadsheet to fill in. But at the end of the day you’re not a machine. It’s essential to take a bit of time out occasionally to avoid burnout so don’t beat yourself up.
So, what kind of extra-curricular projects are you working on in your free time? Don’t forget, if you need advice on anything, it’s very likely you’ll find an Expert who can help on HowNow.