Top 10 Ways to Make Time for Your Side Hustle
“I don’t have time.”
We’ve all heard that saying hundreds of times. Maybe you’ve even said it once … or twice.
If you’re working a full-time job, that takes up about 40 hours a week. Add on other important activities and tasks like school, taking care of the household, taking care of family, maintaining your health, and having a social life makes it seem like there is just no extra time to spare.
That’s why most people say, “I don’t have time.”
The good news is, you can absolutely make the time.
After all, we make time to binge watch tv, hang out with friends, go workout, take naps, go to the beach, go hiking, go to concerts, get our nails done, go to happy hour, and so much more. The time is there.
The bad news is that if you have dedicated yourself to building a side hustle, you will have to give up some things. But, in the end, it is 100% worth it.
I’ve been working on growing my two side hustles for over two years now while in graduate school, and although I have had to make some sacrifices, my friendships are thriving, my grades are straight A’s, and I still work full-time hours.
Trust me, there IS time.
The best part is, you get to decide how must time you want/can dedicate to your side hustle.
Success is always just around the corner, you just have to make time for it.
Here are the top 10 ways to make time for your side hustle.
1. Be selfish with your time
You’re trying to build a side hustle. This is something you are doing for you and your future.
Sometimes, it’s okay to just be selfish. I mean it.
You can’t expect to successfully build a business if you aren’t serious about the time you have.
Think about it this way.
We all know there are only 24 hours in a day. 8 of those hours you are working. 6-7 hours are meant for sleeping. Possibly 2 hours are for commuting to work. And then hopefully another 2 hours are left for family time. That leaves roughly 6 hours left in a day.
Those 6 hours are so important for you to use toward building your side hustle.
It’s okay to turn down hanging out with friends or to skip watching tv in order to get valuable work done.
When it comes to building your side hustle, it’s okay to be selfish.
2. Be clear on your goals (so you don’t waste time)
Building a side hustle is no easy task. Depending on the type of business you are growing, there is usually a ton of work.
With all the in’s and outs of making a side hustle succeed, it can be easy to lose track of why you started in the first place and what your goals are.
Write your goals down and review them often.
What I like to do is set overall goals. These are my big goals.
Then, I break them down into quarterly goals. This helps to make the goals seem more attainable and less daunting.
The good thing about goals is that you can always change them and make adjustments as you go.
Nothing is worse than having some down
As long as you always have goals, you’ll never have a day wasted on figuring out what to do next.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Setting Goals
3. Make a schedule with your free time
We all have a little bit of free time. It might not be much, but time is time.
Free time can range from a few hours to entire days. Often, we also have evenings and weekends free.
When you’re building a side hustle, this free time is so important.
If you know that each weekday you have 3 hours of free time in the evening, use those hours as office hours.
The same works for the weekend. If you know that you have every Saturday off, schedule a few hours to dedicate to your side hustle.
You can’t use the excuse “there’s no time” if you aren’t utilizing the little bit of free time that you do have. Trust me, these few hours make a huge difference.
Keep in mind that it’s so important to be realistic about how much free time you actually have.
As motivated as you might be to get work done on your side hustle, you are busy! So when you are making a schedule with your free time, take into consideration all the things you have to do and then come up with a realistic number of how much free time you actually have.
4. Keep a to-do list
To-do list should be your best friend. Seriously.
There is always so much to be done. Always. When you’re building a side hustle, the list never ends.
But you know what can happen? You can easily forget something important that you have to do.
You can sit down a have so much to do, that you don’t know what to start on.
This is why a to-do list is your best friend.
I have a few different to-do lists. My first one is what I call a “dump list”.
A dump list is a giant list of all the things I need to do for my business along with any extra ideas I might have.
My next list is my actual to-do list. Once I have my dump list, I use everything on it to build my weekly to-do list.
Each week I make a new to-do list, and I only put tasks that I know I can complete in a week.
That means that if I don’t think I can get to it that week, it stays on the dump list.
By having a to-do list, I never sit down aimlessly to work. I always have something to work on and I never waste time trying to figure out what to do next.
5. Stay ridiculously organized
Imagine that you sit down to work on a document. You open your desk drawer and rummage through the piles of papers. The document you’re looking for isn’t there.
So, you go to your cabinet and rummage through more papers and office supplies. Still no document. Now, you’re looking through the clutter on top of your desk. Nothing. You look through the mess on the floor that you’ve been meaning to clean but you still can’t find it.
By the time you find your document, if you find it at all, so much valuable time has been wasted.
I. Can’t. Stress. This. ENOUGH. Organization is so important.
Now, I know this isn’t for everyone. In fact, you might be rolling your eyes thinking “I’m a free spirit.
That’s not a good mindset. Let me explain why.
When you’re building a side hustle, there is so much to do and so little time. After all, it’s a side hustle, something you have to do on the side.
You don’t have time to waste looking for things, constantly stepping over your mess, or letting important documents pile up.
Organization helps you succeed.
If you feel like your workspace is unorganized, take a day (or two), and get that place clean. Organize everything from your drawers, to your files, to your paperclips.
Let the next time you sit down to work, and every time after that, be at a clean and organized desk.
6. Become a night or morning
Nights or mornings can be your secret superpower. It doesn’t matter which one, but you need to pick one.
It’s really popular nowadays for people to say that if you are going to succeed, you need to wake up crazy early in the morning.
I work best at night. In fact, I start doing my best work around 10:00pm. I’d much rather stay up late and work than to get up early in the morning.
If you think about it, it’s the same time as waking up early. If I stay up until midnight each night working, it’s the same thing as someone waking up at 5:00am and working for three hours before they go to work.
The secret is to find out when you work best, nights or mornings, and utilize that time to your advantage.
7. Use lunch breaks, weekends, holidays, etc.
When I first started my side hustle, I started dedicating my lunch breaks to working on my business.
That was huge for me. Each day, I looked forward to getting some work done during my hour lunch break. That became 5 extra hours each week that was dedicated to my business.
Next is the weekends. The weekends might be for fun, but they are also great times to get work done.
While I love hanging out with friends on the weekend, I feel guilty if I don’t get a little bit of work done.
What I do is wake up a little earlier on Saturday and dedicate a few hours to working before I hang out with my friends late into the night.
Or, if I’m planning a brunch or coffee date in the middle of the day, I might arrive early and bring some work with me. I love changing up my scenery when I’m working, especially since most of my work is on my laptop.
Something else I like to do is to plan all my hangouts in one day and leave another day wide open for work. If I know I want to have breakfast with my cousins and then go out to a movie with my husband all on Saturday, I won’t plan anything for Sunday so that I can work all day.
Finally, there are the holidays. I LOVE getting a paid holiday from work because it’s a day that I can stay at home, get paid, and work on my side hustle.
It’s a win win.
Even if I can’t dedicate hours and hours to doing work on a holiday, even one extra hour of work during a time I normally can’t work is a win.
Remember, this is all about finding the time to work on your side hustle. Sometimes you have to get creative.
8. Be consistant
Consistency is an easy way to tricking the brain to do something everyday.
We already have habits that we have formed from consistency such as the time we go to bed, eat dinner, shower, watch tv, go to the gym, go to school, and more.
We can easily develop this consistency with the amount of time we put into working on our side hustle.
If every day when you get home from work, you immediately do 1 hour of work on your side hustle, your brain will start to look forward to the hour of work.
Then, after being consistent for a long enough time, a habit will form.
Consistency also helps to ensure that work is getting done. If you week turns out to be crazy busy, and you aren’t feeling successful, you can always look forward to that consistent time that you know you will work on your side hustle.
9. Get rid of distractions… like now
Uhhhh, distractions. Think of all the things that distract you in a single day. Let me make a simple list for you:
Any social media!
Should I go on or do you get the point? I think you get the point.
Distractions are everywhere, every day, all the time. It’s up to us to say no to them.
Think of the amount of time you could be
It’s not going to be the easiest thing you ever do. Trust me. As I was writing this blog post, I literally stopped to go get a bag of popcorn. So I get it, distractions happen.
Just don’t waste your whole day watching Netflix and then complaining that you “don’t have time.”
10. Realize when you need help
Let’s face it. We all need help and that OKAY!
When I started my blog, I had no idea how to set up a website. Instead of spending months and months learning the In’s and outs of website development, I hired a company to do it for me. Talk about time well managed.
We might be good at many things, but no one is good at everything.
It’s absolutely okay to get help on something, especially if that means it will save you time.
We are already extremely busy. If you can outsource or hire someone to do something for you that will save time, might as well do it.
So there you have it, the top 10 ways to make time for your side hustle. If you ever feel like there isn’t enough time in the day, just remember, success is always just around the corner, you just have to make time for it.