Perhaps, you’re opting to join the side hustle bus because your 9-5 job isn’t giving you enough money to live the life you want for yourself. Or maybe it’s about living your dreams, delving into that hobby you’ve been dying to bring to life. Whatever the reason is for fixing more work into your daily schedule, there’s one fact about it that you won’t be able to escape: you need time to make it function.
However, you can’t manufacture extra hours out of thin air. You must find a way to shove all the extra work into a 24-hour day that’s probably already bulging with activity. This reality causes a lot of people to give up the hope of plying the side-hustle route to greater income. They simply retreat to the status quo, shrugging their shoulders in the “what could I have done about it” manner.
If you’re serious about having an extra source of income that’s viable, you’ll have to surmount the time management hurdle. The good news is that you can. Just follow the tips below.
Focus. Don’t multitask.
Multitasking might seem like a good way to handle the heavy workload, but it isn’t. Evidence suggests that, for most people, multitasking is an inefficient way to work. It causes you to spend longer on everything you’re doing and reduces the quality of the output you produce in the process. These disadvantages arise as a result of the absence of one thing: focus.
It’s better to devote time and effort to complete a single task, before moving over to another one. If you really focus on what you’re doing, you’re likely to spend less time (and produce better quality output) than you would if you multitask.
A good way of keeping yourself focused is by adopting a regular work pattern which involves taking breaks in between defined work periods. For example, you may give all your attention to a task for 25 minutes, take a five-minute break after this, and return for another 25-minute work stint. The idea underpinning this is that intense focus can’t be sustained throughout extended tasks; you’ll need breaks to refresh and motivate yourself.
Cut out distractions when you’re at your side hustle, so you can maximize the time you make for it. Social media, websites with content not related to what you’re working on, or (trivial) phone notifications should be avoided or turned off.
Use time spent commuting to learn about skills relevant to your side hustle
What do you do with the time you spend on the road going to and from work?
You could learn new things about your side business while on the go. Instead of moaning about how terrible the traffic is or scrolling through Facebook posts about gossip, why not read up articles or watch videos about new trends in your chosen personal venture? You’ll be surprised how much you learn as the knowledge you gather builds up over time.
Of course, you’ll have to reorganize your week if you’re going to do extra hustling. If you’ve been cooking every evening after work, you might have to do that on weekends only. Just make the food on Saturday and/or Sunday, and spread out consumption over the following week. This should free up extra time during the working week that you could fit your side project into.
You might also have to wake up earlier than you’re used to, in order to get some work done before heading out for the 9-5 (this depends on what your side hustle involves). In this case, you may take the evenings off if you can’t afford to smuggle in more work after your main job. The advice is usually that you find a work rhythm that suits you and stick to it.
Don’t deprive yourself of sleep, friends or fun
This follows from the previous point. While you might be willing to go hard at your side hustle, you need to preserve your sleep time. Without a good dose of sleep, you’ll get stressed out and less productive. Fun is important too; if you load yourself with work and fail to balance it with laughter and excitement, you might get burned out soon. Burnout will eat up far more time than you’re likely to spend enjoying yourself.
If you’re adopting morning hours and weekends as the time for a side hustle, you could take out the evenings to let your hair down.
Note: Let your family and friends know that you might have to spend less time with them because you’re devoting more time to your personal business. But, don’t shut them out; they’re important to you, and may offer you much needed support.
Pursue your goal in small steps
Having your goal in view will motivate you to continue to run towards it. Think about it constantly, imagine what it would be like, and set up some kind of conspicuous physical reminder (sticky notes, stickers, posters, digital wallpapers, etc). This will keep you fired up and ready to tackle every new task.
You should also remember that oceans are the accumulation of countless drops of water. You might get overwhelmed and discouraged if you set out trying to deal with big projects in single sessions. Break side hustle tasks into small bits, so you’ll be able to handle them. Managing projects in this way will help you keep things organized, and will give you a good chance of completing tasks on time.