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How To Use Periodization To Boost Your Side Hustle

Cover photo for How To Use Periodization To Boost Your Side Hustle

If your breaks are not efficient, you must follow this 3-step plan.

I used to practice weightlifting during high school. I started when I was in my second year, and I got pretty good at it.

Also, I was bigger than my peers, so I competed for a while. But weightlifting is not a sport suited for a teenager. And as soon as I felt pain in my back, I left.

Recently, I turned back to the gym after more than ten years of staying away from it. I’ve been training again for at least six months. And even if I am working towards consistency, sometimes I still remember the first lesson my coach gave me.

If you want good results, consistency is the first step. You must stress your body every day. But before each sprint, you have nothing to do in my gym — he used to say.

What is periodization?

Sometimes, I realize I don’t relax enough. But then I remember I have so many things to do and forget those worries.

It is wrong. But it happens often.

Yet, productivity without relaxation doesn’t work. You can stretch it as much as you wish. But you will have to take a break sooner or later. And if you don’t, your body will force you to do it.

Periodization is a well-known technique athletes use to work out and train, mostly before a competition. Typically, the three-to-one ratio of training and recovery is the most used. And the results are better than you could expect.

The Benefits of Periodization

My old coach didn’t want to see me in the gym one week before any competition. He never told me he was using periodization. I never knew if he was using it, to be honest. But it’s intuitive — you must prepare first to reach the maximum potential possible.

When you do the same thing every day, it drains your energy. Soon you will exhaust your body. And you will burn out.

On the other hand, variation is healthy. And when you introduce variety in your routines, you remove the boredom and tiredness of always doing the same thing. And periodization can help you with that.

Using periodization gives you many benefits:

  • For example, it improves your performance by allowing you to work harder after a deserved relaxation period.
  • It pushes you to learn new skills in the free time you get away from your usual work.
  • It helps you avoid the effects of burnout by distancing yourself from your daily life.
  • And it makes you avoid accommodation by introducing a variety that forbids you from getting used to your job.

So let’s see how to use periodization over one month to boost your side hustle and content.

How To Use The Periodization Method To Boost Your Side Hustle

Photo by Nappy from Pexels for How to use periodization to boost your side hustle
Photo by Nappy on Pexels

Sports and side hustles are very similar. You work on them every day. You train to get better and build new skills. And you compete with other content creators to gather the wider audience possible.

But there is a big difference in how people approach them.

When you start practicing a new sport, you hire a coach that teaches you everything. You will start with the basics, and you will progressively get better. But a side hustle is different.

You usually start it as a passion, and then it grows bigger. It evolves with you as you grow older. And only a few people hire coaches that follow them.

Nobody is telling you when to work and when to stop. And this behavior usually leads to burning out and giving up. So here is a three-step plan to use periodization and boost your side hustle without a coach.

The Setting Phase (Day 1)

The first phase of the periodization method is about setting up the work. So you will:

  • define the best environment for your work,
  • pick the activities you want to accomplish,
  • and schedule each task.

You must give the right amount of time to each activity without rushing it. Otherwise, you will organize too many tasks and won’t finish them. But scheduling too few is also problematic. So one technique I use to avoid planning too many activities or too few is the double to-do list.

I built many approaches to achieve the same results as the double to-do list. But this is the easiest one.

In the setting phase, I always write two lists:

  • The first one contains the activities I am sure I can do in the following three weeks.
  • The second contains all the tasks I may do if I work at my best and finish everything else early.

So I start working on every activity on my main to-do list. And if I still have time, I start working on everything else.

The Productive Phase (Days 2–24)

For the following three weeks, you must follow the path you scheduled on the first day of the month. But you might have made some optimistic plans.

Activities that should take one day might be longer. So you must work with two objectives besides finishing everything you wished.

  • First, adjust your plan by analyzing the impact of the change and how much time you gained or lost. If you can anticipate other tasks from the to-do list, do it. Otherwise, fill the remaining time with activities from your second list.
  • Second, improve your performance. Track what slows you don’t and what speeds you up. So you will schedule tasks better in the future.

The intensity of the work also matters.

With periodization, you cannot start with the most challenging tasks. Your body comes from a week of complete relaxation. So your mental muscles have to warm up.

In sports, for example, you must warm up your body before each training session. And you have to start even slower if you haven’t worked out for a while. So treat your mind the same and give it time to ramp up. Start slow, and try to peak around the third week.

The Relaxation Phase (Days 25–31)

Trainers designed periodization to allow athletes some time to recover after more than three weeks of intensive work. Therefore, during this period, you can’t produce anything new. Or, at least, it doesn’t have to feel like work.

Of course, you can take a few notes if you have a good idea and want to build it in the future. Your side hustle still matters, and you have to maintain it. But don’t work on any new idea straightaway.

Give it time to grow and wait for the next productive session. Your motivation will grow, and you will be more prepared to start working.

Also, during this phase, try to consume as much content as possible to keep your ideas flowing.

Your curiosity and creativity might take over and produce new ideas to create content and improve your side hustle. So don’t ignore the benefits of this relaxation week. It could bring you to the revolutionary thought that will change everything.

Final Thoughts

Periodization helped me boost my side hustle and become a better content creator.

For years, I underestimated the power of taking breaks. And I tricked my mind into thinking I wasn’t working when I was. But with periodization, I structured my productivity and pauses so they never overlap. And it only took me a three-step plan.

  • In the first phase, I schedule each activity I want to finish during the following three weeks.
  • During the second, I work on my to-do list and try to finish everything I have planned. Also, I note the activities that disrupted my flow to optimize my schedule next time.
  • And then, I take a break for one week. I cannot work on anything during this period. But I can consume content and build new ideas for my side hustle.

Athletes have used periodization to boost their performance for centuries. And this is how you can benefit from it even outside of sports.

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Cover photo courtesy of the Author for How To Use Periodization To Boost Your Side Hustle.