The Main Trick is Good Time Management!
Creating content is a great way to express your views and opinions with a wider audience, it’s also a great way of building connections and earning money on the side of a 9 – 5 job.
If the content you make is in some way related to your chosen career field, even better! I will never forget when during an interview for my first job in IT, one of the first things one of the interviewers told me was that they liked my YouTube channel.
It showed that I have experience in that chosen field and, moreover, yes I got the job! I guess it provides you with something that sets you apart from other candidates.
The other day, I bumped into an old friend from Uni, and we started talking about how our lives are going after graduating and the usual catchup talk, but there was one question, I just had to note down…
How do you manage content creation alongside a full-time job?
That got me thinking, wouldn’t it be good to make content out of this and help millions of others who are in a similar position? Well, it’s worth a try anyway!
So without any further ado, here is how I manage content creation alongside a full-time 9-5 job…
Decisions, Decisions, and Priorities
One of the most valuable pieces of advice I can give you in this article is to prioritise your life. It’s important to understand where your priorities lie and whether you wish your side hustle to one day become a full-time business or not.
For me, Tech With Dom is a side hustle, and that is how it will remain for the foreseeable future. My priorities lie with my 9 to 5 job, where I hope to build my knowledge and experience in my field.
Not only will this help me personally, but it will also help me create better content for you. This is because building knowledge and achieving certifications not only makes me more hireable, it also allows me to earn more.
In return, because I’m earning more, I have more money that I can spend on better kit and items to review. It’s a win, win!
That is just my example of setting your priorities. You may be in a job that you don’t really enjoy, and your priorities are to turn your side hustle into a full-time business, I mean, why not!
Making the right decision is entirely up to you, and it takes time, it’s not an overnight thing where you wake up in the morning and decide your approach. It really is important that you consider everything, including your financial situation, your future career aspects and your life.
As a content creator, capturing ideas is an important part of my everyday life. But let’s face it, ideas come and go all the time, and trying to remember them can be a real hassle.
Your brain is for having ideas, not holding them.
– David Allen.
Build a Second-Brain
A second brain, you may ask? That is correct! In recent weeks, I have adapted a new method of capturing ideas that I find incredibly effective. It comes from Tiago Forte’s book “Building a Second Brain”.
In the past, I used to use Google Keep to capture ideas, but there was no real system for me to follow, which often left my ideas unorganised. Tiago’s book has seriously improved this for me, as it gives me a process to follow so that I don’t forget valuable information.
Having a second brain has seriously helped me in my personal life, the Tech With Dom project as well as my 9 – 5 life. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you are a content creator or not, it seriously is worthwhile to consider building a second brain.
It’s all about inputting information, processing it and using it in your everyday life, the input, processing, and output. In his book, Tiago talks about the CODE system, Capture, Organise, Distil and Express.
The CODE Framework
I find that capturing ideas is critical in my everyday life. At present, I use a free note-taking app called Google Keep. It’s a basic, straight-to-the-point note-taking app that is available across multiple platforms.
The idea is that whenever you have an interesting idea, you note it down. It could be a link to a blog article, a YouTube video or even a captivating quote. At the beginning of this article, you may have seen me mention that my friend asked me a question that I just had to write down. That is precisely how this article started! I have written it down in my second brain!
The next step in this framework is to organise the notes you captured. One of the key things that Tiago mentions is that you should be organising things by project rather than topic. For example, if I’m testing a new smartwatch, I will create a folder called “TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra” and all my thoughts and ideas go into that one folder.
Doing this allows you to easily search for information when it comes to writing a script for that YouTube video or that blog post.
The third step is to understand the important points using progressive summarization. It’s literally a way of highlighting what’s important.
Unfortunately, at present Google Keep does not allow for the formatting of text, so at present, I just put a manual indent to make it stand out.
The final step is to express or share your ideas with the world.
How CODE Helps Part-Time Content Creators
That’s actually an excellent question, and the truth of the matter is that when you’re in a full-time job, you don’t have a great deal of time to allocate to yourself for planning things. Being able to follow a framework that not only allows you to capture ideas but organise them in a simple way is critical, particularly as it doesn’t take much time.
The best part is that the CODE framework works well in all aspects of life, so you can use it in your 9-5, you can use it for your private life, the possibilities are endless!
Planning and Time Management
Time management is an important part of my daily life. I usually tend to plan a week in advance to try to fit in any tasks I may need to do. This ensures that I have plenty of time to complete the tasks whilst not giving up time I spend with my friends and family.
Plan Your Week In Advance
Planning your week in advance is honestly one of the best things I can recommend. It allows you to allocate time for your projects, and personal and social life so that you don’t miss out on the important things in life.
At present, I use a free app called KanbanFlow, which really does help me manage my time. KanbanFlow is an app available on the web that allows you to create a Kanban Chart.
My process works by me adding all the tasks that I need to complete within the week into the inbox area. I then look at my calendar to check my availability and move the tasks I have to do into that day on the Kanban chart. I never add more than 3 tasks per day.
From the Kanban chart, I then allocate an appropriate amount of time for these tasks and I add them to my calendar.
As you can see at the bottom of the app, there is a numbering system. I use it to set the importance of completing the task. For example, 1 is a task I seriously need to do with no questions asked, and 5 is a task that I could do, but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t. I usually only use 1 – 3 anyway, and I’m thinking of getting rid of 4 and 5.
Now, you’re probably wondering why my Kanban has such a small number of tasks on it. The reason is simple, it allows me to work on tasks I haven’t planned for. It might be an unplanned blog post, YouTube video or even a TikTok video. At the same time, I may choose to spend more time on the tasks I plan to complete for that day.
One of the reasons I like using KanbanFlow is the ability to track time and use a Pomodoro timer within the tasks which also tracks time.
Use A Calendar
I start with a calendar in week view, the calendar will already have entries for my 9 – 5 shifts as well as travel time to and from my place of work. Both of which I set as reoccurring events. I also add any events that I have to do during the week. This may include going to the gym or for a run.
Being in an open ecosystem, I use Google Calendar as it can be accessed from almost any platform and various apps work with it, including two of my favourites Fantastical and Cron. But that’s a story for another day.
Once, I plan my week in KanbanFlow, I allocate time slots for those tasks in my calendar, that way I know that I have to do them.
Now, I will admit that my calendar for this week does look a bit empty, that is because I treat my calendar in a very specific way. Any task I have to do, with no question asked, will go into my calendar, with the empty spaces being reserved for other things that aren’t as important but should be done.
I also like to create unplanned content. For example, when you hear a piece of news that you just can’t wait to share your opinion about. I will use one of those empty time slots to create content.
Use The Correct Apps For The Job!
I can’t stress this enough, but using the correct apps is essential for productivity. A correct app should be an app that works for you, not what anyone else suggests, but what you find most comfortable using. That’s one of the reasons that you should try a few to see what works better.
For example, I find Spark to be an app that I just simply cannot live without. It’s an email client which allows me to check my emails using the inbox zero technique, and as a whole has changed the way I look at email forever. It takes me minutes to read through my emails, a task which would usually be lengthy and boring.
To summarise this article, good time management is arguably one of the most important skills you need to have to be able to create content outside your full-time job.
With time management, it is critical to not go into overload and allow time for you to relax. That’s why I’ve set my Kanban board to have a maximum of 3 tasks per day. It’s also one of the main reasons I don’t create content every single day.
Making the most of your time is also an important aspect to learn because it allows you to find the time to be creative. For example, when I commute to work, I mostly use the trains, the journey roughly takes around an hour, that’s an hour and let me tell you, you can do a lot in that hour. So, I take my iPad with me and I use that time to be creative, from writing scripts, to blog posts and even video editing on my laptop.
It’s also essential to have a system in place for capturing ideas, and Tiago Forte’s approach to building a second brain seems to work best for me. Although, I need to find a better multi-platform app because Google Keep, which I migrated to from OneNote, isn’t really that great for the task.
Overall, being a content creator outside of your full-time job can be tricky, but with the right attitude and the correct approach, it could actually really work well for you. Just make sure that you leave plenty of time for rest and family time.
Do you work a full-time 9-5 job and have any recommendations? Let us know in the comments!
I’m a Tech Enthusiast, IT Specialist and Coffee Lover. This is my personal blog where I write about my experience with technology, tips, guides and more.