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15 Actually Useful Tips For Managing Your Time Better

This stuff works.

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We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share their best tips for time management, while keeping up a side hustle. Here are some of their best answers:

Please note: Not all submissions are from Community users.

1. Use Asana, a free organizing app, to break down tasks into smaller steps.

asana.com

"I run a sewing blog on the side and I put Every Single Thing I need to do for it into Asana. I love checking those boxes off, and smaller tasks feel more manageable than having giant projects looming over me." —maddiem42f45e370

Get the app for free here.

2. Use the Pomodoro technique and work in 25-minute bursts.

Francesco Cirillo / Wikimedia / Via commons.wikimedia.org

The Pomodoro technique encourages productivity by breaking down a task into 25-minute bursts of work (also called a "pomodoro".) Every 25 minutes, take a short five-minute break, then move on to another 25-minute burst of activity. Every four "pomodoros," allow yourself a break longer than five minutes.

3. Automate as many of your tasks as possible.

20th Century Fox

It's especially worth it to automate tedious financial-related tasks, like paying off your credit card bills, student loans, or other payments. You can free up even more headspace by setting up monthly reminders on your calendar for routine errands like car maintenance check-ups, grocery shopping, and regular meetings.

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4. Once you have a working routine started, don't skip days.

Great Big Story / Via giphy.com

"When I was in nursing school I was a full-time student and worked two to three jobs, because I didn’t have a choice. And honestly I never really felt run down. To keep going, you just need momentum, and to be held accountable to something." —nicolem4dc590154

5. Block out time for every task on your to-do list to make sure everything actually gets done.

Walt Disney

To-do lists are a great way to organize thoughts, but an awful strategy for getting things done since nothing is assigned a specific deadline. Make your to-do lists more effective by blocking off time on your calendar for each task, and commit to it as you would an appointment with a friend.

6. Take advice from Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic, and consider your side hustle as a mistress you always sneak time for.

amazon.com

"It's a book you can keep coming back to and learn something new every time. To live creatively, the author advises you to make your side hustle your mistress, sneaking away at all hours and spending every spare second you have trying to achieve your dreams." —taylorl441ef1598

Get it from Amazon for $11.75.

7. Use the Do Not Disturb function on your phone when you need to get shit done.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

Constantly checking email, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter notifications can be a huge cumulative time suck. Turn on the Do Not Disturb option on your iPhone and commit to checking all your notifications when you have time later in the day, at a set time.

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8. If you can, schedule one hour a day to work on your hobby. It really adds up!

PBS

"I schedule an hour for myself each day to focus on the business — everything from designing, fulfilling orders, blogging, shooting photos, and catching up on finances. It doesn’t seem like much but it adds up." —erikam25

9. Invest in noise-cancelling headphones to block out all your distractions and make the most of your free time.

@konopkaada / Via instagram.com

"I live with my family still so there are always loud people around. Noise-canceling headphones allow me to focus and block everyone else out." —emily anne

10. Always keep a notebook on you so you can write down ideas and to-dos as they come to mind throughout the day.

20th Television / Netflix

"With two jobs, I have a lot of ideas going through my head all day. More often than not, I’ll remember things that I need to get done for one job while I’m working at the other. I carry a purse-sized spiral notebook with me at all times and I use speech-to-text note taking on my phone. This way I have a running to-do list and can maximize my time at both jobs, since I have a clear idea of the things I need to handle." — tarac490b27d7e

11. Learn to be okay with asking for time-saving help from family and friends.

20th Television / whosthatgirl-itsjess/Tumblr / Via whosthatgirl-itsjess.tumblr.com

"I'm a full-time shift leader at a bookstore, as well as a reseller on eBay. The main lesson I have learned is that it's okay to ask for help. For example, sometimes my family will take packages to the post office for me so I can sleep in a little longer and other times my brother will advise me on the merchandise I resell." —alishas475c9a96d

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12. Instead of multitasking, try focusing on a single task at a time.

FOX

Multitasking might work for some, but many studies suggest that it merely splits your focus, drops efficiency, and ultimately wastes more time than it saves. Try focusing on a single task a time, and you might find yourself breezing through your to-do list.

14. Remember to schedule yourself some downtime to relax and refresh your willpower.

Disney-ABC

"My side hustle consists of finishing my master's degree. The only time I truly take off is Friday nights — you need to have some down time!"nataliew4d288629f

15. And finally, don't underestimate the recharging power of friends who will both support you and give you personal space when you need it.

Warner Bros.

"I’m a full-time research assistant and I work at a local bar checking IDs and closing up. Having friends that understand you need nights in or naps on the weekends is the best way to make it work." —carolyndelac

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