How Do I Find Time for Things Other than my Day Job?
This depends on what things you want to use your time for. Learning and exploring demands a different cognitive load than working on a side hustle to replace the current day job.
Assuming that your current job value output than office time. Your goal is to keep the same output but with less time/effort. Use the saved time to optimize your day to work on other things.
1. Do an inventory of your daily activities at work
First, be aware of how you spend your time at work. Then remove the time wasters, meetings, long lunches, etc.
2. Block time on your calendar so people can see you are busy
3. Use lunch time to plan the things you want to do
In a previous incarnation, I stopped eating lunch with the team or other colleagues daily. I instead use the time to eat and read or study.
4. Find your 20/80
Keep track of the activities that bring the most value when you do the inventory. One o ones, planning sessions, documenting processes so people will not keep coming to you, etc.
A lot of taks can be automated if you have the right tools. You can automate data entry, excel manipulation, etc. If you are a developer, many tools help you work more productively, like good IDE, addons, test automation, quality gates, etc.
6. Wake up early
This is the best habit I have developed, along with journaling.
7. Deep work
Block a couple of hours to do your things before starting your workday
8. Change job
The other option is to change your job to a less demanding one so you can pursue your other things.
9. Use Services like Fiverr or Upwork
You can also delegate the things you are working on. You can use on-demand services to get things done for cheap to test ideas, etc.
10. Plan the day/the week
You cannot improve what you do not track. Daily and weekly review is a great way to improve and learn about how you spend the week.