I have definitely been there, trust me.
Juggling a day job and a side hustle can be stressful but, managing it all can be done.
What's my story?
I graduated college and ended up taking a job in the same field I was working in while working toward my undergraduate degree. I moved to a bigger company in that industry and it felt like a real grown up job, and it was.
While the company was great, I really saw no future at that company or in that industry and I started hating my job.
A few years before I called it quits, I decided to start a side hustle. The whole purpose of starting that job was to create an additional income stream for myself and start a hobby project that I enjoyed and looked forward to.
But, managing my job and that side gig felt like a real juggling act.
I struggled with it all:
- Time management
- Work/life balance
- Burn out
- And, more!
But, I figured it out.
And, if you’re in this position too, this article will help you learn how to deal with a day job and a side hustle.
How to Deal with a Day Job and a Side Hustle
A day job and a side hustle. Who would pick this combo willingly?
Well, having a side hustle or side business comes with many perks:
- More income
- A side project that pays
- The opportunity to pursue your dream
- The chance for your side business to become your full-time gig
- And, more!
For me, I had always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur.
I didn't know what kind of entrepreneur or what kind of business I'd be running but I knew I loved the idea that I could be the boss, create my dream schedule, unlimited income, and more.
I worked in my industry for five years.
During that time, as I mentioned above, I started hating what I did for a living. It's a horrible feeling to wake up in the morning, trying to prepare yourself for your dreadful day. And, have to put on a smile for eight to 12 hours (or longer), hating what you do. It was awful.
And, it was getting super boring.
I wasn't being challenged and I couldn't manage to land a new job in the company during the total seven years I was there.
I wasn't alone either but, I'll save that rant for another article.
I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur.
So, I set out and did it!
Finding Balance With Your Job and a Side Business
I worked 9 to 5, more or less. I worked on my side hustle (the business) during breaks at work and after work, as well as on weekends.
And then, I was a new mom. My baby was under a year old so it was important to spend lots of time with him and be present so I can see all his milestones.
My day started at 5 AM when I would nurse my baby.
Then, I would take a shower and get ready for work. My commute was an hour and I got to work where I'd be for the next nine to 11 hours.
After work, I'd drive another hour home and then cook dinner, do household chores, spend time with the family, until 9 PM.
From 9 PM until 1 AM (sometimes 2 AM) I would work on the business.
Then, it would repeat the next day and that was my schedule.
It sounds crazy looking back at it but I was a vibrant twenty-something then with tons of energy. I was tired but I trucked through it, and it definitely paid off.
A year into it, my business income outpaced my day job salary so I quit!
Here are some takeaways I learned from trying to balance a job and a side business..
1. Create a routine
I shared my routine above. Though it wasn't perfect and I was tired, it helped me stay sane. I was able to get in all the important stuff in my day and I made it work.
Make a daily routine and practice it everyday.
Soon it will become ritual and it gets easier everyday, believe me. Create a separate weekend routine too and stick with it.
These changes can help you stay organized and ensure you include all the important stuff in your schedule so you don't forget anything.
2. Slow Down
This isn't a race. Take your time and understand that it will take time to create your dream schedule where you won't feel like pulling your hair out.
Remember that your personal time is important and make time for yourself.
3. Create a Plan
If you have a business or you are thinking of starting one, you have got to put together a business plan.
This helps you put your thoughts on paper, craft a real strategy for your enterprise and execute it.
This process does not need to be formal, either. Just start writing your plans, goals, objectives and desires down.
Attach each objective to a timeline and check in with your plan periodically to make sure you're staying on track.
4. Take Time Off
It's okay to take a break.
Embrace taking time off. Checking out of it all for a while can be very healing and therapeutic. It's a must-do in your life, however hard it might be to actually do it.
You will need it and it will be helpful to recharge and re-energize yourself.
5. Get a Team
Don't try to do it alone. Teams help. Outsource work, bring on staff, center yourself and get your life back.
When I started outsourcing some work to others, it was lifechanging.
Ask family to help.
Getting a team is related to your home life and personal life. Get help at home. Parents need breaks, even if you're a pet parent.
Get a babysitter while you're at home so you can have some quiet time to nap or work on your business. Take your pet to a pet lodging facility so you can have a few days off.
These are some small changes that can make a big impact.
It’s all about outsourcing in your life.
6. Sleep and Eat
It's sad that this is even on the list.
When we get busy, we forget these two important things. Take time. Rest and eat.
7. Monitor Your Progress
Track your results. It’s a great motivator and it holds you accountable. Plus it can be fun to check in on your results and see how far you've come.
It reminds you of what you’re working toward.
These are my seven tips to help you manage work life and a side hustle.
You can totally do it.
Take it one day at a time and try practicing one or more of these ideas in your life.