How to Make Time for Your Side Hustle
Whether you’re looking to make a little extra cash, pursuing your passion, or switching gears career-wise, maintaining a side hustle can be draining—and completely overwhelming. You probably have a 9-5 job (that’s more like 60+ hours a week), want to maintain your relationships and not fade away into the side hustle abyss, and don’t want to neglect your health…and, like, sleep (priorities, am I right?). While working the side hustle can seem, and feel, impossible, it is doable. Sure, it would be nice to have a fairy godmother that could tap her magic wand to make everything happen effortlessly. But where’s the fun (read: challenge) in that? Follow these guidelines and you’ll become a side hustle pro in no time.
Set a Routine
There’s nothing as unpredictable as “squeezing in” time here and there for your hustle. Automatically, you’re telling yourself, and others, that your side hustle isn’t as important as other aspects of your life. You’re downsizing it. Whether it’s from fear or it’s because you really are stretched for time, not prioritizing your side hustle will make it just that: not a priority.
Put your hustle at the forefront by building it into your daily routine. Calculate your day-to-day schedule and determine where you can fit in time to work on your hustle. Note: this may mean eliminating your nightly Netflix binge, or foregoing sleeping in to fit in a couple of hours of side hustle time in the morning.
It can be hard to put in more work after you’ve already come from work. Scrolling through Instagram, seeing your friends at happy hour, enjoying their evening, can cause serious FOMO. Or even a little bit of jealously as you’re plugging away at your website, or master’s degree, or <insert side hustle here>, and they’re just having fun.
When you start to feel beaten down, take the time to reflect why you started your side hustle in the first place. Do you feel unfulfilled from your day job? Do you have an insatiable need to learn more? Do you feel like you’re destined for more? Whatever the reason may be as to why you started your side hustle, hold it close to your heart. In the midst of it all, it can be hard to remember why you’re doing something that is oftentimes difficult and requires more work. Just remember, your friends are different people. Maybe they are happy with their jobs or don’t feel a burning need to start an Etsy shop. They are living their best lives and you should do the same. Start by stopping the comparisons.
Give Yourself a Break
On the opposite of the spectrum, don’t overwork yourself just because every entrepreneur or success story you’ve read about claims that getting three hours of sleep is the only way to accomplish your dreams. Everyone is different. Period. If you’re constantly feeling burned out, you won’t be creating your best work.
So take a break. Go catch up with your friends, or read that book that’s been on your list forever, or have a fancy date night with your S.O. It’s important to recharge when your energy is feeling drained.
Just Do It
This slogan is famous for a reason. Sometimes you just gotta put in the work. There’s no shortcuts or loopholes or instant gratification. As tough as it can be, the work has to get done.
Think about the future you: Would she appreciate you binge-watching Queer Eye every night of the week or would she appreciate you spending a couple hours to set up your website or study or whatever it may be that will make your future even brighter than it already is?
Work is work, yes. But if you are doing the side hustle, chances are it’s because you’re passionate about it. Don’t let that passion die just because you have a tough road up ahead of you. Find ways to instill that passion in everything that you do.
Look for happiness in the small victories. Did you make your first sale on Etsy? Celebrate! Did you ace your super hard midterm? Cheers to that! The more you can find to be excited about your side hustle, the easier it will be to show up for it every day.
And remember, everyone is different and everyone finds their passions and successes at different points in their life. As long as you are steering your life in a path that stays true to your intrinsic self, you are exactly where you need to be.