A "side hustle" is something that people have been doing for years but has recently become more popularized with younger generations (like myself). The definition of a "side hustle" is typically any type of employment done in addition to a full-time job. Usually, this means a freelance job that is used to gain a few extra dollars or to start the beginning stages of a potential full-time career.
If you are side hustling just to save up money for a vacation or a little extra spending money, it usually doesn't cause too much stress if you cannot do this and work a full-time job. For me, I started writing as my side hustle in hopes that I could make an income off of it one day. I ran into what a lot of people find doing this; there was not enough time in the day to accomplish everything. Now I write as my full-time career and have a little job on the side for extra cash (because I actually enjoy side hustling now).
Are you stressing out trying to find time for a full-time career and a side hustle? I promise you are not alone. While my story might not work for everybody, you could still try out a few of these ideas and see if it helps alleviate some of the strain of working two jobs. At the end of the day, it is okay to put a pause on your projects if it is just not doable for you. The great thing about this is you can always go back to it later.
Put in some time before work.
One thing that became incredibly apparent to me early on was the time I wasted in the morning. Instead of sleeping in, I could wake up a couple of hours early and do something that pertained to my writing. You could use this time to write emails, watch videos, listen to podcasts, or even schedule out ideas and things to do. While you might not have time to start and finish a project, it does give you time to get a few to-dos out of the way.
This helped me use my time a lot more wisely. Getting the little odds and ends out of the way opened up my after-work hours to focus on projects and writing prompts. If it is impossible to wake up early and do these little things, you can even try this before bed. There is usually an hour right after we wake up till we go to bed that can be used for something pertaining to your side hustle.
Go straight to a coffee shop after work.
After working an eight-hour day, you are exhausted. You want to just go home and curl up next to your dog and binge TV shows until evening. I found that driving straight to a coffee shop not only forced me to work on my side projects but it helped me stay focused (thank you caffeine). Even a few hours of work will help you slowly reach your goal.
Try and force yourself to put in 30 minutes of work no matter what. What I have found doing this is that after those 30 minutes I am usually so focused that I end up surpassing that time. That TV show and the comfy bed will be there when you get home; your time and energy might not be.
Get your projects accomplished at work.
Before you get fired, you should make sure you don't completely ignore actual work duties for your side projects. What I mean is, use your breaks and downtime for your little side projects and daily to-dos. Instead of leaving for a lunch break, you could take your computer or tablet to work and come up with ideas or finish little projects.
Not all jobs are desk jobs, and sometimes you don't get to use this tactic. Typically there is some sort of downtime or break for almost any job. Even if it is just a few minutes you could use that time to write down a couple ideas or jot down a schedule for the time you will have. The point here is to find holes in your day to get something accomplished. Again, don't completely ignore your job; otherwise, you will find yourself with only a side hustle.
Adjust to fit your schedule.
There are going to be days when you don't have time to work on a project, and that is okay. I like to lay out a rough outline of what my week looks like,, knowing that there is potential for change. If you have to adjust along the way that is absolutely fine. Working a side hustle and a full-time job can wear on your body and create unhealthy habits. By learning to adjust and say no to yourself (and to others) you will be able to work more efficiently.
I like to use sticky notes to show what I want to get done in the day. If something comes up that makes that sticky note impossible I'll easily move it to another day. That way I'm not giving up on the project but simply rescheduling it for when I have time. Another thing I have found useful is going above and beyond on days I do have the time. This way I stay a little ahead of my schedule in case there is a day I can't work.
Find a job that matches.
This tip is not something everyone can do. If you can switch jobs that pertains more with your side hustle it will be a lot more beneficial. I started my writing journey while I was a sales representative at a local newspaper. Not only did this put me in the same room as writers but I learned a lot about marketing strategies that I had never known before.
For most side hustles a knowledge of marketing and business is usually beneficial. If you can find a job in this it will help boost your understanding of the world you are trying to get into. This could mean just asking coworkers simple questions or taking an opportunity to go to a seminar your boss talks about. The more you can learn and understand the better off you will be!
While it is never easy to start a side hustle, I think it can be extremely rewarding. Yes, you are going to work more hours and have days where you go to bed exhausted. Remember to keep yourself as a priority and to have fun with the process. If you are not enjoying your projects then it is not worth your time or effort at the end of the day.
I hope these tips help you in getting the most out of your hours each day! If you enjoy my writing and can spare a few dollars in the tip section, I always appreciate it! My readers are the reason I am able to do what I love and share what I have learned along the way. I feel extremely fortunate that my side hustle has become my full-time job, and I hope all of you can say the same thing as well.