How to Plan Your Side Hustle Around Working Full-Time

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Side hustles are the new thing. Seriously! As of 2018, 37% of Americans reported having a side hustle. That’s 4 out of 10 people, and that number will only continue to grow.

People start side hustles for all sorts of reason. Some people want extra money, some people want to utilize their free time better, and some people want their passion to turn into a business. 

Regardless of why you started (or are planning to start) a side hustle, there is probably one thing in your way: your full-time job. 

For most people, working full-time is a necessity. After all, we need a steady income in order to make it day by day. 

That’s where things get a little tricky. How can you work full-time and still have enough time dedicated to a side hustle?

Trust me, it’s possible. It’s not always the easiest thing, but it’s absolutely possible. 

If you’re struggling to find a balance, or you just don’t think a full-time job and side biz is possible, these tips will help you be able to balance it all!

Fully commit to your side hustle

I know way too many people who start a side hustle that they are half committed to.

We can all probably think of those people who claim they have a side hustle but never actually puts any effort into it.

Don’t be that person!

If you’re starting a side hustle or you already have one, you need to be 100% committed to it. This might mean passing up on fun activities like hanging out with friends, watching TV, taking trips, and so much more.

But, that is just the reality of planning your side hustle and keeping your full-time job. Something has to go and it can’t be your side biz or your job.

If you really believe in your side hustle and you want it to succeed, there should be no reason that you don’t dedicate all your time to it. In the end, it will all be completely worth it as long as you are fully committed.

Basically, always stay focused and 100% dedicated.

Utilize your spare hours

Although it’s called “working full-time”, full-time only accounts for 40 hours a week. 

Think about it this way, there are 24 hours in a day. 7 or 8 of those hours are for sleeping and then another 8 or 9 is for working a full-time job. You also have to factor in time for getting ready/unready, eating, commuting, and family time.

That leaves roughly 5 hours left each day to work on your side hustle. 

5 hours is a lot of time to get some things done on your side hustle. 

Instead of wasting those hours watching TV or being lazy, use those hours to make some necessary progress on your business. 

This also goes for the weekend. The weekend is a great time to get work done on your side hustle. In fact, I do most of my blogging on the weekend because my weekends are so busy with school and work!

Related: How to Use the Weekend to Chase Your Dreams

Schedule office hours

Part of the commitment to your side hustle is making sure to show up. This might sound silly. You might be thinking, of course, I’ll show up! But, it can be so easy to get home from work and not make time for your side hustle.

If you treat your business like a real job, then you need office hours. After all, your boss at work expects you to come to work each day at the agreed upon time. This is no different. You are your own boss and you need to expect yourself to show up every day to put in work.

You likely won’t be able to put in 40 hours a week since this is a side hustle, but you need to work as many hours as you possibly can.

I suggest that you write down your business office hours and put them where you can see them every day. This way you have some sort of accountability to yourself.

Set goals and make deadlines

Goals are gold. You should definitely set them for the important milestones of your business. But, they have to be attainable and realistic.

Here is an example of a poor goal: I will make 1 million dollars within the first 6 months of my business.

The reason this is a poor goal is that it’s not very attainable or realistic.

Here is an example of a good goal: I will set up and implement a solid marketing strategy within the first 6 months of business.

This is a good goal because it gives you a big project to work on and a time to create and implement it.

In addition to setting goals, you also need deadlines for yourself.

If you make a deadline for when you want to get a project done, it gives you more motivation to get it done.

The tough part about running a side hustle is that if you don’t get something done, the only people you are letting down is yourself.

Don’t let yourself down!

Don’t slack on your full-time job

Your full-time job is paying your bills, remember? Stay loyal and don’t work on your business during your job. You should still strive to be a good employee.

Even if you want to someday quit your day job and work on your business full-time, it is morally responsible to remain honest at your job. Besides, you wouldn’t want to get fired and have 0 income!

Even if you’re feeling frustrated with your full-time job because you’d rather be working on your side hustle, don’t quit until you can afford it.

Work during your lunch break

If you aren’t utilizing your lunch break to work on your business, you’re missing out on a valuable hour to work.

Think about it. If you spend your lunch break working on your side hustle, that’s 5 extra hours a week dedicated to your future. Who wouldn’t want 5 extra hours to put toward their business?

The trick for me is to use my lunch break to work and then eat my actual lunch during work hours. Since I’m a secretary and work out of an office, this is no problem for me.

However, double check with your boss that it’s okay to do this. If they would prefer you didn’t, eat your lunch in the first 15 minutes of your break and then use the last 45 minutes to do your side hustle.

Related: How to Be Productive During Your Lunch Break

Take 1 day a month to get organized

Sometimes we need more than just a few hours to really get organized.

Finding the time to do this, on top of everything that we have going on, can be difficult.

I recommend taking an entire day to focus just on organization.

Start by making a ‘dump list’ of everything you need to do. Then add the tasks that you want to do.

Once your list is complete, and it will probably be a big list, start making deadlines for when you want to accomplish your tasks.

Since you can’t quit your day job to work on your side hustle, take the days that you’ve earned to give yourself a little more time.

If you have vacation or sick days saved up, take a day here and there to get some much-needed work done.

These are days you earned and have every right to use.

Learn the power of saying NO

If you want to scale and succeed at your side hustle, it’s okay to say no to distractions and people.

It’s okay to say no, even if you want to say yes. If you have tasks that are a priority, sometimes you have to sacrifice hanging out with friends or relaxing in order to get things done.

Saying no to friends (or even family) can be difficult, but if you want to make the most out of your day, sometimes saying no is what’s best for you and your future.

Time is limited. There is no use in saying ‘yes’ to things you don’t want to do.

Remember, your time is YOUR time which means you need to stop saying yes just to be a people pleaser. Sometimes our biggest distractions come from those closest to us.

It’s okay to turn friends down every once in a while in order to work on your goals and priorities. Your friends will understand.

This doesn’t mean you have to cut off friendships and cause problems with your loved ones, it simply means that it’s fine to pass up on hanging out in order to manage your time better.

Keep in mind you also need to learn to say no to yourself.

Plan your side hustle without cramming your day

It is completely counterproductive to cram your day full of tasks that you know you won’t have enough time to complete.

Instead of overwhelming yourself and feeling disappointed at the end of each day, make a more realistic to-do list so that you can check off every single thing.

This might feel like you aren’t getting a lot done, but you will go to bed knowing that you accomplished everything you set out to do that day.

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