How To Balance Your Full-time Job And A Side Hustle
If you’re reading this, chances are you have a full-time job and a side hustle. Hello, welcome! I haven’t seen you at the meetings before.
So many people balance a full-time job with a number of things (family, kids, another job, a side hustle, etc.). The idea of finding balance outside of your job is not new. The topic of work-life balance is a HOT one on the internet.
However, it doesn’t change the fact that balancing a full-time job with anything is hard. Add some sort of urgency, despair, or downright desperation… that’s a different ball game. Having a side hustle while working full-time is not for the weak.
I’ve been balancing a full-time job with some type of side hustle for over 5 years! Maybe it’s the entrepreneur in me but I just can’t do one thing. I’ve come to terms with that and have had to learn some hard lessons along the way.
If you are currently trying to do it all, keep reading! Let’s chat about balance and how you can find it.
Why balance matters
Balance is key to happiness. Without some type of balance, you live in chaos.
As humans, we don’t usually do well in chaos.
Having a balanced life really just means you are making time for the things you need to do and still having time to do things you want to do.
Without this balance, you can become burnt out! This is why so many people talk about creating a work-life balance.
Avoiding burnout is important when you are working full-time and side hustling. You simply won’t be able to sustain a crazy schedule which will hurt your current employment and the growth your side hustle could be achieving.
Having balance also allows you to maintain important things outside your job or side hustle (think of yourself like a Sim with all those bars you need to fill – health, social, hunger, etc.).
By keeping a sense of work-life balance (or work-side hustle balance) you can still have time for your friends and family, self-care, eating nutritious meals, and maybe even a weekend away here and there!
Balance ultimately looks different to everyone so it’s crucial that you ask yourself what it means to you.
Ask yourself questions like:
- What is most important to me?
- What do I enjoy outside of work?
- Who is supportive of me?
- What are my non-negotiables?
Is balance even possible with a full-time job and side hustle?
“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create” – Jana Kingsford.
There is a conversation happening online about whether or not balance is actually possible.
Some people say yes of course it is and others say no, there will also be this unequal distribution of energy.
What do I think? A mix of both.
Balance is possible in the sense of creation. You CAN create more balance in your life by making time for things. Schedule more dinner dates. Go to the spa once a month. Cook breakfast each morning.
However, some things will take more energy than others and it won’t always be in your control.
For example: if your kids are sick your energy and time will go into them. Work will take the back seat. That isn’t necessarily balanced but it has to happen. The same goes for launching a new product in your small business. More time and energy will go towards marketing, meetings, etc. Your partner might have to step it up at home for a couple of weeks.
To me, balance means 80% of the time. There will be times when you are pulled more in one direction and that’s just life.
However, the stuff you can control can be balanced. If you can control something it becomes a choice. You can choose to be more balanced. Work-life balance exists but takes practice and effort.
Tips for making time for your side hustle while working full time
With all that said, let’s talk about how you can make more time for your side hustle.
Often, it’s not a lack of time but a lack of organization, priorities, and productivity! Is this 100% true about every person? No. But it seems to be true about A LOT of people.
So, here are some tips!
1 – schedule time and days
You might not have time every single day after work to work on your side hustle and that’s okay!
Schedule 2 or 3 days a week and set times like 5pm- 8pm and work!
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing (read my post on all or nothing mindset for help with that).
2 – habit track
I find that sometimes I think I’m doing certain things more than I really am.
Habit tracking is a good way to track your progress, especially when you’re crunched for time.
You could track:
- Days a week worked on your side hustle
- Days you’ve responded to emails
- Days you’ve done certain tasks (like research, write, create, etc)
Don’t forget to track things not work or side hustle related to make sure you’re still getting some balance! Track your workouts, healthy meals, and so on!
Related post: How To Change Your Life With A Habit Audit
3 – wake up earlier
This is obvious! If you don’t have a ton of time to work on your side hustle outside of your full-time job, wake up earlier!
Even 30 minutes is helpful. That’s 30 minutes you didn’t have before.
4 – work in small sprints
After work (or before work) you might not have much energy in the tank.
Set a timer for a short period of time and just work! Pick one task and just get it done.
When the “sprint” is over you can decide if you want to keep going or if that’s all you got for today.
Even if that’s all you can do, you at least did more than you would have if you waited to do it when you have more energy!
5 – outsource
While you can practice good time management techniques and try making more time for your side hustle, sometimes there are only so many hours in the day.
Outsourcing some work to someone else is okay!
That might look like hiring a social media person or working with a website developer instead of doing it yourself.
It’s no different than working with a personal trainer versus making your own workout plans.
Also, if you ever need a blog post writer for your business, I offer that service 😉
6 – focus on the needle movers
Make sure that you spend time on the things that actually make a difference.
People have said 80% of your success comes from 20% of your actions. Its called the Pareto principle.
For example, I noticed that focusing time on Pinterest was more beneficial to my blog than Instagram. Now I don’t worry about posting on social media as much as I do getting new pins up!
7 – say no
Remember how I mentioned balance comes in waves? Sometimes you need to say no to things to make time for other things.
You don’t need to go out for dinner with your friends 3 times a week. You can say no to a couple of those. It’s okay to not attend every party or event. Saying no to one thing means you’re saying yes to another!
Mindset shifts that make life balance easier
Your mindset truly makes a world of difference when it comes to your goals, habits, and overall lifestyle.
Changing the way you think can actually make you more successful! So why not make mindset shifts that will benefit you?!
No more all-or-nothing mindset
An all-or-nothing mindset is when you think in generalizations and see things in black or white. Things are either good or bad. You are either successful or you’re a failure.
You need to ditch this thinking!!
I used to think this way about working out. If I didn’t work out every day what was the point? Then I would just stop and then feel like shit and get into this constant cycle of starting something and giving up.
It’s okay to miss days. It’s okay to fail. Life will continue and you will be fine. But when you give up before you even start… that’s not okay.
Allow for flexibility
Many of us are quite rigid. Change is hard. When you have a plan and it doesn’t work out or needs to be altered… It’s not always easy.
However, having a mindset of flexibility and adaptation allows for much more success in life.
*Cue Ross screaming PIVOT!*
Changing how you think of change will make your work-life balance so much easier. The stress of a missed deadline or switching up a whole plan will be gone (mostly)!
Redefine what productivity means
Gone are the days of busy equaling productive.
As mentioned above, it’s all about the tasks that move the needle. You don’t actually need to be busy all the time.
If you can make progress and get your top to-dos done in an hour then BOOM! You’re done! No need to fill that extra time with random stuff just to feel productive because NEWSFLASH, you already are!
Having a side hustle while working full time is keeping you busy enough, no need to make it harder on yourself.
Related post: How To Boost Your Productivity Using Theme Days
Finding balance in your life can be difficult but it’s ultimately a choice. How bad do you want it?
Are you willing to make the time for your side hustle? Can you say no to extra things you don’t need to do? Is there any way you can wake up earlier or outsource some work?
Having a side hustle while working a full-time job is HARD. No one ever said it would be easy– if they did they lied.
Work on your mindset around having a work-life balance and what that means and looks like to you.
The way I see it is that people do it every day and they are successful which means it’s possible. Not every day will be a good day. That’s where a positive, growth mindset comes in!
If you’re balancing a full-time job with a side hustle, we’re in this together and I believe in you!
What’s your side hustle? Or what would you want your side hustle to be?