The Ultimate Guide to Balancing Your Job While Pursuing a Side Hustle
Having a side hustle seems to be the way to go these days. Not only do they provide an extra income, they also give you a chance to do what you love. But, they are side hustles for a reason. Most people with side hustles have another job of some sort in order to make enough income.
Having a full-time job or even a part-time job can make a side hustle feel like it’s on the back burner. By the time you complete a full day’s work, coming home to work on your side hustle can seem exhausting.
Sometimes, it may even seem like you’re the only one who can’t figure out how to balance both jobs.
This is where a lot of people fail. After a few weeks of struggling to commit to both a job and a side hustle, balancing both get too overwhelming and people tend to quit.
Well, not you, my friend!
If you have made up your mind that you are going to make your side hustle work, then all you need now is to figure out how to balance all the things you need to do to achieve your success. Trust me when I say that balance is the ultimate key.
So, how exactly do you find the necessary balance? Check out the suggestions below.
Your time is valuable. If you’re already working up to 40 hours a week, it may feel like you don’t have any spare time at all. Take a few hours to write down everything you need to do in order to visualize your time. Here is what it looks like for me:
Monday: Work 8:00am – 4:30pm
Tuesday: Work 8:00am – 4:30pm
Wednesday: Work 8:00am – 4:30pm
Thursday: Work 8:00am – 4:30pm, Class 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Friday: Work 8:00am – 12:00pm
Saturday/Sunday: Free time
Once I write it out, it doesn’t seem as overwhelming. Since I know that I also want to squeeze in work on my side hustles, homework, and writing, I am able to see where I have the most time.
To maximize my time, I started to wake up a 6:00am to do homework for an hour and a half before work. During my lunch break, I usually spend my 30-minute break working on my blog.
When I get home from work, after completing things like eating dinner, prepping for my next day of work, and showering, I know that I’ll have between 3 – 4 hours before I need to go to bed at 11:00pm. During this time I spend 45 minutes writing (sometimes more depending on my creative energy), and the rest of the time goes into blogging and checking up on my e-commerce business.
You’ll see that even though I work full time, I manage to fit everything in around my work schedule. This routine has helped me to stay focused and dedicated to my goals, even though my days are non-stop.
Although your daily schedule will look different than mine, it’s so important that you make one. If you can learn to stick to a schedule, you will end up getting so much work done in a single day.
Visualize Each Week
Each week brings new tasks, goals, and adventures. You’ll have to learn to treat each week as its own entity that needs a schedule.
For one hour on Sunday night, visualize what your week looks like for your job at work and for your side hustle. To keep organized, you may need to make a to-do list for each category.
Once you’ve successfully visualized your week, you can properly create your daily schedule with your goals and assignments.
Another reason visualizing your week is so important, is because our goals tend to get fuzzy and things change throughout the weeks. Time alone with your thoughts can allow you to make the necessary changes to stay on track and feel revitalized to keep going.
This time also allows you to reflect on all that you have accomplished so far. Sometimes, all our hard work goes unnoticed, even to us. Take an hour each week to reflect on what all you’ve done and constantly create gameplans for how you will achieve your ultimate goal.
Focus On One Goal at a Time
I’m referring to your side hustle here. When you only have a limited amount of time to work on your side hustle, it can start to feel like you have to do everything all at once.
Don’t. Seriously, this rarely gets you anywhere.
Instead, pick one goal at a time. This doesn’t have to be a big goal, it can be something small. Often times, we actually need a bunch of small goals to even accomplish a big goal.
Having only one goal helps you to focus on exactly how you will spend the time you have each day. It also helps you to stay focused.
If you have a ton of things you need to get done for your side hustle, make a big list and then pick one goal at a time.
Leave Work at Work
Yes, this can be hard especially if you’re really invested in your job. But, if you know that after work hours you have limited time to work on your side hustle at home, it’s important to leave your work at work. Home time is for your side hustle, no cheating!
So, how do you do this? For starters, leave on time. If you’re off at five, you’re off at five. After all, when you were hired that’s most likely the time you and your employer agreed you’d finish work.
Sometimes, myself included, it’s easy to feel guilty if a project didn’t get finished or you know your boss is working late. But, if you have a business waiting for you at home, that should be your top priority. So, get out of there as soon as the clock strikes 5:00pm.
Another way to leave the work at work is to not have your work email linked to your personal email. When I first started my full-time job, I had my emails linked.
I was soon responding to emails at 9 and 10 at night! I’m not a CEO or a Director or any top level position so there was no reason my email responses couldn’t wait until the next day. I simply unlinked my emails and I’ve been way happier.
One final way to leave work at the office is to have two separate calendars. If you use your personal calendar to schedule dates, appointments, and other personal items, it can be a downer to see that you have a 3pm meeting or a deadline you need to complete for work.
Instead, keep your personal calendar personal and your work calendar for your job. The separation will do wonders for your clarity.
No one really likes the word sacrifice. After all, it means giving something up, usually something you like. Well, if you are having a hard time finding a balance between work and your side hustle, chances are you need to sacrifice.
This sacrifice doesn’t have to be permanent, but it has to happen while you’re working toward your grand goal.
So, what type of things should you sacrifice? First things first, technology. I don’t mean throw away your phone or stop texting, that’d be impossible. But, I do mean sacrificing television, social media, video games, etc.
It’s said that the average person could spend up to 5 hours a day enthralled in some form of technology. If the technology you are using doesn’t aid in your side hustle, it’s time to sacrifice it.
Another area to sacrifice is in your social life. This can be the hardest because often times our friends don’t understand what it is we are doing with our side hustle.
If after work you are used to hanging out with friends, it’s no wonder you have a hard time finding a balance between work and your side hustle. Remember when I said no cheating on your side hustle? Well, choosing to always hang out with friends is a huge form of cheating on your dreams.
Try cutting back to hanging out only once or twice a week with friends. Your time is already limited. If you are truly committed to your goals and you really do want to succeed, this is a sacrifice you’ll have to make.
Remember, this sacrifice is only temporary. With hard work and dedication, you’ll reach your goals.
Assess Your ‘Free Time’
By free time, I mean all the time you have after (or before) work hours.
Sometimes we feel like we have a ton of time because we only work 8 hours a day. Well, once you take into consideration sleeping, commuting to work, eating, cooking, getting ready in the morning and at night, and family time, your 24 hour day is pretty full.
I suggest you write out all the activities you do each day and how much time it takes you. Then you will be able to see exactly how many hours (or minutes) you have left over.
From there, what you have left over is the time you have to work on your side hustle. Regardless if that’s 4 hours or 1 hour, it’s valuable time and should be used wisely.
While it might not seem like you have a ton of time to work on your side hustle each day, it helps to look at it from a ‘per week’ perspective. Let’s say you only have 2 hours a day to work on your side hustle. If you times that by a 5 day work week, you are actually spending 10 hours a week on your hustle. That is a decent chunk of time!
My personal goal is to try and put a part-time effort into my side hustle(s). That means I work 20 hours a week, weekends included.
Speaking of weekends, let’s talk about this now.
Weekends as Workdays
I’ve talked over and over about the importance of the weekends here on my blog. But, I’ll say it again. If you are working toward a goal, the weekends are not your days off.
There is so much valuable time during the weekend to get work done. If you are having a hard time balancing work and a side hustle, the weekend is two full days that you hopefully don’t have to worry about your job. Why not utilize that time to the fullest?
For a more detailed article on how to use your weekend check out this article: How to Use the Weekend to Chase Your Dreams
Balancing a full-time or part-time job with a side hustle can be difficult. However, it is possible as long as you have a game plan in place on how you will tackle your goals and balance your time.
Best of luck to you! You totally got this.