It seems like everyone has a side hustle these days. More than 2 in 5 millennials have an outside project or are pursuing a creative interest outside of their day job. There are now more resources than ever to help you launch your podcast, start that nonprofit or make the moves to start your freelance consulting business you’ve been dying to get off the ground.

But with such a fast-paced environment, it’s often hard to stay focused for long enough to make your things happen. Now more than ever we are bombarded with notifications on our phones, advertisements and by the draw of social media. Our attention spans have dropped to just an average of 8 seconds. With all these channels competing for our attention, it can be hard to get that great idea out the door and into the world.

Practicing mindfulness in the way we approach tasks can not only help organize thoughts, but reduce stress as well. Here are some mindful tips to try out when looking to get your passion project off the ground:

  • Write it down. Carve out a set amount of time each day to sit down without distractions and sketch, write or otherwise visualize your ideas on paper. You might find writing out your thoughts each night before you sleep helps you unwind at the end of the day. Or maybe you’re a visual thinker and prefer to sketch out your ideas at the beginning of the day over coffee. With either choice, the point is to make sure you’re allowing yourself the time to quiet your mind and focus.
  • Meet mindfully. It can be easy to get side-tracked when you’re meeting with a group of people about a potential idea or project. Whether your meetings are in a formal office or across the table in a coffee shop, practice mindful meetings by closing your laptop, putting your phone away and focusing on the task at hand. Not only will it reduce stress and make your meeting more productive, it will also allow you to apply yourself at a deeper level and show your peers that you care about their time and input.
  • Be intentional with your time. It may seem counterintuitive but taking breaks can help you have a more productive day. When you feel your energy start to wane, give yourself a time-out. Take a 15-minute walk, run the stairs or spend some time drawing in your notebook. Pay attention to your schedule and start to plan your meetings and tasks around breaks so that you’re working during periods of the day when you’re the most energized. Or even try taking an ideation vacation.

Being mindful about the way you make use of your time and energy can have major benefits for your personal projects and for your own well being. Starting off with these tips will set you on the right path to a successful side project, and who knows, maybe someday soon your side hustle will turn into the full-time business of your dreams.

Rick Peterson is the Senior Director of Global Alliance Marketing & Business Development for Bamboo and the unofficial director of ideation and mindfulness. For more tips on mindful meetings, check out

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