More people have realized the benefits of keeping a side hustle in recent years. A 2019 survey from Bankrate estimates around 45% of Americans have a side hustle, majority of which are millennials. It’s no surprise that millennials comprise the majority of side hustlers. They experienced the Great Recession of 2008 and saw how their parents had to make ends meet. They recognize the need to save and have disposable income within reach. Side hustles are also seen as a way to pursue passion projects or monetizing one’s skills and talents.
But maintaining a side hustle while doing a 9-to-5 job can be hard to pull off. It may take time to turn our side hustles into full-blown businesses that will replace our jobs. And this is what discourages some people. They feel that adding a side hustle to an already stressful day job is a recipe for disaster. While finding time for your side hustle is easier said than done, it’s not an impossible feat. Here we share 7 tips so you can pursue your passion projects with confidence and gusto.
7 Tips for Finding Time for Your Side Hustle
Proper Time Management
Some people will say, “Time management is a myth.” “You can’t manage time because it’s a constant.” We’re not saying we can extend time or bend it at our own will. Time management is not about managing time itself but managing what you do with your time. It’s about managing your activities and making the best out of the time you’re given. A day job has its schedule. What’s your schedule for your side hustle? Treat your side hustle as you would your day job. Identify pockets of your time in the day that will be devoted to your side hustle. Some people wake up earlier than usual and spend some hours during the wee hours of the morning to work on their side gigs. Some do the opposite and work on them during late nights.
Finding time for your side hustle means dedicating time during your day to execute your ideas and commit to it. You can start by plotting your day and identifying time blocks for each of your activities whether that’s for work, your side hustle, personal errands, or me-time. You can do this on a notebook, spreadsheet, or your calendar app.
Be Clear with Your Priorities
Setting clear priorities makes all the difference. If you want to make your side hustle work, you have to make some sacrifices. This means saying “no” to things that don’t contribute to your long-term goals. It’s about setting boundaries. This could mean saying “no” to a night out with friends or a favor from one of your colleagues at work. It also means saying “no” to spending time on distractions such as social media, Netflix, unnecessary emails and meetings. Saying “no” to these means saying “yes” to growing your side hustle.
Setting your schedule and making sure only important activities go into your schedule is what prioritization means. You can explore using a Personal Kanban Board as your task management tool to make prioritization easier and highly visible.
Turn Lost Time into Productive Time
The time you dedicate to your side hustle can impact how fast or slow it will take off. If you want to make the most out of your time, you need to grab any chance you can get. If you’re paying attention to where your time is going, you might find some pockets of time when you’re idling and doing nothing. These are usually during wait times or queuing times. It could be your daily commute, your doctor’s appointment, or queuing at the grocery store. You can do small tasks while you wait so that you can free up your mind and schedule for when it’s time to work on your side hustle.
Avoid Time Wasters
While you know that watching Netflix, scrolling aimlessly through your Facebook feed, or playing video games won’t help you launch your side hustle, sometimes you still push your money-making-activities to the next day. After a long day at work, you tell yourself, “One episode won’t hurt.” That is until you see yourself fully immersed in watching and you’ve completely forgotten about building that contact form on your website. What is gratifying or satisfying now can prevent you from reaching your long-term goals. These small sacrifices will help you make big wins for your side hustle.
Find Extra Hands
I’m a big believer of the saying, “If I can’t do it, I’ll find someone who can.” If you have some money to spare to hire a freelancer, do it. Let’s face it. You can’t be good at everything. If you want to launch your side hustle faster and have a higher success rate, find someone who has the skills that you lack. You don’t know anything about building a website? You can find a freelancer for that. Need a hand in your accounting responsibilities? There’s a freelancer for that. You can even try and find someone within your circle who can help you out, for an ex-deal or fair compensation, of course. Having an extra pair of hands doing the operations or administrative tasks will give you more time to strategize and scale your side hustle.
Join a Support Group
There are plenty of online and offline communities of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners. Joining these communities will help you learn from each other and also network with like-minded people. You can share your experiences and also get ideas from them on what has worked for their side hustle and what hasn’t. This is also a great avenue to get help and advice when you need it. And trust me, you’ll need it.
Working a day job and a side hustle can take a toll on your health. Expect to work longer hours so you’ve got to stay in tip-top shape. Although the majority of your time will be split between work and your side gig, push yourself to squeeze in a 30 to 45 min exercise. Eat a well-balanced diet. Strive to get enough sleep each day. Stay in touch with your friends and family. Being physically, mentally, and emotionally will help ensure that you’re at your best for your side hustle to take flight.
Easy Side Business Ideas You can Run from Home
Convinced that you have enough time for your side hustle? Great! If you already know what you’d like to venture on, that’s awesome! But if you’re still coming up with ideas, here are some guide questions that can help your brainstorming.
- What am I naturally good at or enjoy doing?
- What types of problems do I enjoy solving?
- Where do I already excel at work?
After you’ve identified those, it’s time to assess whether your skills or talents can be monetized. Are people going to pay for your product or service? If the answer is yes, and I hope it is, then decide how much time you can dedicate to your side hustle.
If you want more inspiration and ideas on what types of side hustles you can explore, here are 50 ideas to get you started.
Finding Time to Hustle and Make Money
Having a side hustle is fast becoming the norm. More people will explore taking a side hustle as costs of living rise and the workforce becomes more mindful about how much they are able to save and invest. Juggling a day job with a side hustle can be daunting to imagine. But when you reflect on what goes on your day, you may find that you still have the bandwidth to take on a side project and make money out of it. It all boils down to how much you want it and what you’re willing to trade in terms of time. No more excuses when it comes to finding time for your side hustle. The only question is, “When will you start?”