Holding down a full time job while monetizing your talents after hours can seem chaotic for new entrepreneurs. However, if you can’t afford to quit your day job, your side hustle doesn’t have to suffer. With a little focus and time management, it is possible to juggle your 9-5 and 5-9 without stress and sleep deprivation. The following habits can help ease your side hustle struggles.
1. Develop Your Time Management Skills
Planning and prioritizing are major keys to success. To prioritize your side hustle, start by leaving your office as soon as your shift is over. Complete your responsibilities within working hours and minimize the habit of bringing assignments home. Establish designated times outside of office hours for running errands and working your business. Sync these into your smartphone’s calendar to ensure there are no conflicts. Set realistic long term goals and interim goals for your 5-9 and craft a game plan to achieve them. Ideally each goal should have a corresponding to do list, with 3 tasks as top priorities. Crossing off each task will give you a sense of accomplishment that will motivate you to keep going.
2. Eliminate Distractions
Nothing ruins a working session like message notifications, screaming children or the crafty mind of Shonda Rhimes on one of her hit tv shows. Create a time and space for you and your side hustle. Unplug from social media and turn off your phone if necessary. Open a fresh browser window to research any ideas strictly related to the development of your business. If you have children, ask your spouse or a sitter to watch them or simply wait until they’re asleep. DVR that sitcom and catch up on it later. Consider going to a neutral spot like a coffee shop or library to work if you can’t find quiet space at home.
3. Don’t Multitask
If you’re an overzealous side hustle newbie, passion and excitement may cause you to want to do many things at once. But replying to clients while working on your logo and balancing your cheque book, only leads to chaos and burnout. Multitasking will leave you overwhelmed and result in minimal progress. Tackle one task at a time and don’t move on to another until you have completed the first.
4. Maximize Your Down Time
Use that long commute home as an opportunity to unwind from your day job and mentally prepare for your evening shift. Trade your iTunes for a relevant audio book, podcast or motivational mix. Use your commute to research or draft blog posts. During the day, have a working lunch by taking business calls or sending out emails while you grab a bite to eat.
5. Hustle Before Work
If your line of work leaves you feeling burnt out before the afternoon, consider building your business before you head to the office. Go to bed early and set your alarm to get up and grind. Creative minds function best when they’re refreshed, so this may work in your favour. The early morning tranquillity will help you focus and it starts your day off with a feeling of accomplishment which ultimately fuels you throughout the day.
6. Say No To Procrastination
Wasting your already limited time will only delay your dreams of working your side hustle full time. Set aside an allotted time to be inspired, whether it’s reading a magazine or taking a walk in the park. Choose a motivational mantra and repeat it any time you feel discouraged. Even if you have a lot on your plate, take a break. Studies suggest that relaxing for 17 minutes for every 52 minutes of work, increases productivity. But don’t let your break become a momentum buster. Your thirst for success should be greater than your desire to rest.
7. Make Other Areas of Your Life Less Taxing
As if juggling a full-time job and side hustle weren’t enough, you still have run errands, do chores and have a social life. Meal prepping on weekends or making dinner in a slow cooker gives extra time to invest in your business. Take the guess work out of social media by scheduling posts ahead of time with apps like Hootsuite, Buffer and CoSchedule. A night out with the girls may be a great stress reliever but don’t be afraid to decline social invitations. They’ll be plenty of chances to say ‘yes’ when you become your own boss.
8. Continue To Give Your Full Time Job 100%
While it may not be your dream job, your 9- 5 pays the bills and funds your side hustle. You don’t want to lose it before you’re ready to leave, through low performance. Ask your boss for new projects and opportunities to help keep you engaged. If you’re able, consider switching to part-time to minimize your hours. Keeping your boss happy while achieving your objectives will help you ease through your day job with peace of mind.