If you’ve ever tried working a full-time job and a side hustle, you’ll know that finding time and energy to work on your side hustle after a full day’s work is a mission. Perhaps you haven’t started your side hustle yet, and you’re trying to figure out how you’d do it. Either way, this article is for you.
I’d like to give you some actionable tips that you can apply to your life today to create more time for your side hustle. Before I spill the beans, let’s take a look at where these tips are coming from.
These are things that I figured out while working on my side hustle in 2016. I was working as an intern and studying. Being over and above my day job, I wanted to earn extra money, so I started a business building websites for small businesses. I quickly realized that I’d need to figure out a more effective way of managing my time and energy to get things done after work.
How to Make Time for Your Side Hustle
The process that we’re going to take has a few stages:
- Make the time
- Plan the time
- Optimize the time
1. Make the Time
Before you conjure images of weird rituals, let me stop you in your tracks and clarify: There will be things you enjoy doing, and you’re going to have to stop doing these things. I know this sucks, but it’s a necessary evil. Instead of watching Netflix or playing video games, you’re going to have to use this time to work on your side hustle.
You don’t need to give these pleasures up for good, but there will be a transition period where you’re going to be working incredibly hard off to get your side hustle on its way and still keep your main job (or not fail your studies).
Once you accept that having a side hustle is hard, you’ll be able to bite the bullet, embrace the work and just get on with it.
Wake Up Earlier
The second way you can create more time is by waking up earlier. If you’re anything like me, you probably think that there is no way in hell that you’ll wake up earlier. You can find out more about how to wake up earlier in this post.
Early mornings can suck. In 2016 when I was starting my side hustle, the only time I could find to work was in the morning. Because my job required me to work some evenings and during the day, waking up at 5:00 am was my only option. This does have some advantages:
- Your brain is fresher in the morning. You haven’t tired your brain out with context switching, attention residue, and other mental taxes.
- There are fewer people around and fewer distractions.
Ask Your Boss For Time to Work on Your Side Hustle
Now I know you probably think that there is no way in hell that you could do this. I am only suggesting it because it worked for me. I went to my boss and asked if I could have more time to work on my side hustle.
Instead of giving me more time, he gave me a raise. If you have a good relationship with your boss, this may be a good option for you. If you know that your boss won’t like this idea, you probably don’t want to bring it up.
2. Plan the time
Now that you’ve made some time for your side hustle by sacrificing your pastimes, waking up earlier, or working fewer yours on your main job – we’re ready to start planning this time for our actual side hustle. Here is what you can do:
My favorite method of planning my time is called time blocking. Time Blocking is essentially a method of allocating space on your calendar for specific tasks. Here is a basic rundown on how to time block:
- Write a list of tasks down that you need to get done.
- Allocate them a block of time on your calendar.
- Execute the tasks and adjust as you go.
You should consider that specific tasks require different amounts of mental energy—for example, making a phone call probably doesn’t require as much energy as writing a blog post. What does this mean for us and our side hustle?
When planning your time, try to schedule mentally taxing tasks when you’ll feel the most mentally fresh. If you work a full-time job, this time could be before work in the early hours of the morning. If you’re a night owl, this could be in the evening. The point is, you need to find the times that work for you. Don’t do meaningless tasks when your brain is fresh.
3. Optimize the Time
So you’ve found some extra time, you’re on your way to planning your time, but how do we optimize our time? When we optimize our time, we’re looking for potential ‘time sinks.’ These are things that could potentially be wasting large amounts of our time without us even realizing it.
My favorite tool for analyzing my time is RescueTime. RescueTime is an app that you can install on your phone or your computer. It tracks how much time you spend on different apps and websites. It then categorizes your time so you can see if you’ve spent most of your time on productive or unproductive tasks.
When you ask most people these days, “How are you?” the standard reply is usually “Busy.” I hope that next time someone asks you how you are, you’ll be able to reply, “Busy, but with the right things”.
Article Written by Ross Griffin