Let’s face it—your full-time job won’t always be your ultimate passion. It’s common to feel restless or unfulfilled at your nine-to-five, which is why it’s so key to keep up your creative pursuits outside of working hours.
Maybe you love writing stories, crocheting, or coaching a kids’ basketball team — or maybe you’re just looking to make a little extra money at a part-time job. Whatever the case, carving out extra time for your passions, hobbies and pursuits isn’t always easy, so follow these tips to make your schedule run a little bit smoother.
1. Schedule a time during the day to work on your side hustle and stick to it
If you’re working a part-time job, you likely won’t have to do this, as your boss is already holding you accountable. However, if you’re flying solo, you may want to schedule a daily hour, say, six o’clock, to put towards your passion and make it part of your daily routine.
2. Find like-minded friends to keep you accountable
Balancing a full-time job with your side hustle can feel pretty lonely, especially if your pursuit is a solitary one. Connect with like-minded people online or at a weekly seminar to build a network of other entrepreneurs, crafters or athletes to keep you accountable and motivated when things get tough.
3. Keep your pursuits separate
When you’re balancing a full-time gig with a side hustle, it can be tempting to let the two pursuits bleed through to one another. Try to save your side hustle for after work hours only so you can really focus on each separately and avoid becoming totally distracted or muddled.
4. Consider your side hustle just as important as your full-time job
When you’re exhausted after a long shift at your day job, it can be tempting to switch on the TV and forget about your side hustle completely, eventually letting your true passions slide. Try to think of your side hustle as a mandatory requirement and stay true to your commitments.
5. Find a mentor
Whether you’re a chef, makeup artist or travel blogger on the side of your full-time job, there’s always someone out there who’s been through the transition period of balancing a day job with a similar pursuit. Find someone who can show you the ropes and provide valuable tips for success.
6. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself burn out
If you balance a full-time job with a side hustle, there’s a good chance you’re somewhat of a workaholic. While it’s awesome to be passionate about your pursuits, it’s crucial to avoid working too hard and burning yourself out—always be sure to get enough sleep, exercise and eat healthy.
7. Keep one day a week totally off-limits
Although it can be tempting to use your free weekends for your passion project, try to keep one day a week, say, Sundays, totally open and free of commitments. This is another crucial component of tip number six, and it will help keep you sane when things get super busy.
8. Ask your boss for more flexible, or even part-time, hours
If your schedule is really starting to overwhelm you, it could be helpful to ask your boss for new hours. In this day and age, managers are much more flexible with their employees, so it could be worth a shot—especially if it means more time for your side hustle!
9. Work on your mindfulness
Although meditation may seem totally unrelated to the work you do, the practice has been known to significantly increase concentration abilities and therefore, productivity levels. Try incorporating a 10-minute meditation into your routine so you can focus on the task at hand without getting stressed about that endless to-do list.
10. Make use of helpful iPhone apps
Chances are, you’re already using apps like iCal and Reminders to help keep you on track with your to-dos. But have you tried apps like Evernote, 1-3-5 List, or 30/30? These genius programs could ultimately end up saving you hours, which means more time to devote to your side hustle.
11. Tell your co-workers about your side hustle
If you tend to keep your side hustle as your dirty little secret, you may begin to feel like it doesn’t have as much validity as your full-time job. Let your friends and co-workers in on your passion projects to keep yourself accountable and lend some credibility to your pursuits.
12. Find joy in everything you do
The more you work on your side hustle, the more you may feel disconnected or uninspired at your full-time job. If you aren’t making enough money from your side hustle to live on (yet), you’ll want to try to find the joy at your current job to avoid feeling depleted.
13. Don’t be too hard on yourself
If you miss a day of working on your side hustle, don’t beat yourself up about it. The last thing you want to do is give up completely, so be kind to yourself—sometimes you just won’t be able to fit it all into one day, and that’s totally okay!
14. Make use of early mornings, lunch breaks and late nights
While quality sleep is absolutely essential, it also can’t hurt to wake up thirty minutes earlier or stay up thirty minutes past your bedtime to work on your side hustle. If you’re writing a novel, for example, even just fifteen minutes of writing a day can add up pretty quickly.
15. Use good old fashioned notebooks
Along with devices like your iPad, iPhone and laptop, make use of some good old-fashioned paper journals to jot down creative ideas, to-do lists and notes. Keep two separate notebooks—one for your day job and one for your side hustle—to make sure you don’t get your wires crossed.