Running a side gig can bring you the funds you need to thrive instead of survive. Most side hustlers spend less than ten hours a week on their bonus job, bringing in the money they need to prevent struggling financially.
With inflation on the rise, it’s no surprise that the gig economy is booming. Millions of people have jumped into the freelance industry, with some of the most popular side jobs here on this list. Your side hustle could be providing you with the cash you need to enjoy life or the much-needed income to pay your essential bills.
A raise would be nice — but it isn’t as helpful as it sounds. If you make $50,000 annually and get a 3% raise, you’ll have an extra $1,500 after all that time. But if you put in a few additional hours and make $50 per week at your side job, you have $2,600 more at the end of the year.
The potential for growing your side hustle into a full-time role is great, but you aren’t quite ready to quit your day job yet. How do you find the balance and still keep your sanity? Follow these three tips, and you’ll keep growing your discretionary income and improving your quality of life.
1. Focus on Time Management and Organization
Before you take another step toward growing your business, stop and get yourself organized. What are your goals for your day job and your side gig? How are they similar? Where do they disconnect? What are the action plans you’re going to take to reach them?
With your goals firmly in sight, you can implement more organization into your day. Without this essential factor, you’re going to be working harder, not smarter. Getting organized helps you not only know what goes where but also what goes when.
This distinction is crucial to getting to and maintaining a balance when you’re working two jobs and trying to keep your personal life running smoothly, too. How well you’re organized helps you avoid spinning your wheels as you try to decide where in your schedule to include your business and relationship responsibilities.
Two Moves to Get You Started
There are various ways you can do this, but they all rely on you separating your work, side gig, and personal lives as much as possible. Start with these two vital moves.
Keep three email accounts (your work, gig, and personal). Add them all to your main email app, whether it’s Yahoo, Outlook, Google, or something else. They all let you include outside emails directed to one dashboard, which stops you from checking multiple places for your messages.
Find a calendar app that works for you, and get consistent about scheduling your day there. Use different colors to code each listing to separate your job, gig, and personal tasks. Calendly and Google Calendar are two popular free digital apps.
The sooner you implement these two changes into your week, the easier everything else becomes.
2. Schedule Personal Time Into Your Day
One of the challenging parts about balancing full-time jobs with side gigs and personal life is finding and setting boundaries. You’re working extra hard because you want to make a better future for yourself, your health, and your family, but in the meantime, your loved ones still want access to you.
Their demands on your time can make you feel stretched thin, especially if you have to keep telling them “no” when their requests infringe on your work. Instead of the constant push-and-pull, go ahead and schedule time for them into your calendar, and let them know when it is.
Keep that time sacred. Don’t schedule meetings, social media business posting, or anything else when you’ve set the time aside for your personal life. If your friends and family can’t make that time, use it as a self-care block. You can try to reschedule their “appointment,” but you don’t have to feel guilty if you can’t.
3. Cut Out What Doesn’t Move Your Goals Forward
Do you still feel like there’s not enough time in the day for everything you need to do? It could be that, in reality, you just need to optimize your minutes better.
A minute here and there scrolling on social media, playing games, or doing other things that don’t move your goals forward adds up. Even if it’s an hour a week, that hour could’ve been spent productively.
Now, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you can’t relax with your family, play video games with your kids, or horse around. If your goals include building a strong relationship with your loved ones, those things are part of that.
What doesn’t move you forward are the hours you spend mindlessly engaging with other people’s drama on social media or going down the Pinterest or reel rabbit holes.
You have the same amount of time as other successful entrepreneurs who balance their work and personal lives. Analyze how you’re spending those minutes, and reallocate them into things that improve your productivity.
It is possible to find that coveted work/life/side gig balance. And if your job lets you promote your hustle, that’s even better! If you want to keep all three of your “hats” on steady, use these tips, and you’ll find the journey to achieving your goals becomes a much smoother trip.