It is not easy. In fact, it is very difficult.
We all complain about being too busy. In fact, we are. An average full-time job takes 8 hours a day and that does not include your commute. Before the pandemic when working from home was not the norm, many of us had at least a 2-hour commute each day. That’s 10 hours of your day dedicated to only one aspect of your life.
If you sleep for 7 hours (the minimum of what you need for optimal performance, although it may vary), you are only left with 7 hours to do everything else.
Numbers don’t lie hence it is critical for those of us who want to get more done to be mindful of our time. An episode of the latest hit show on Netflix is 45-minute on average (I know from lots of experience) and binging 3 of them will rob you of another 2.25 hours.
Numbers don’t lie hence it is critical for those of us who want to get more done to be mindful of our time.
After work, sleep and Netflix, we are left with less than 5 hours to cook, eat, shower, exercise and also, work on your side hustle.
Who said it was going to be easy? No one ever.
You must be passionate about your side hustle.
Because of the time constraints we all have (not imaginary as I just laid it out in numbers in the previous paragraph), one of the most critical success factors for a side hustle to succeed while working full-time is passion.
Most of us who are balancing our full-time job and side hustle either work on the side hustle before or after work. If you choose the former, you have to commit to waking up earlier than you have to. If you are the latter, you need to somehow find the energy to work on it after a long day at work.
Passion will be your biggest driving force. For me, I wake up 2 hours early to study (for my CPA designation) for an hour before working on my side hustle for about 45 minutes. This is only possible because I am passionate about my side hustle (my 2 blogs).
If you are wondering how you would know if you are passionate about something, being willing to wake up earlier than you have to is a pretty good indicator (alternatively, if you are a night owl, willingness to stay up late).
You should never work on your side hustle during work hours.
This is a rule I set for myself (especially now I am working from home which makes supervision minimal) and I think should be the case for everyone unless you have different circumstances (e.g., flexible work hours, project-based employment etc).
I set this rule not only because that’s the right thing to do as an employee where an employer pays you to work for them. It actually serves as a testament to my dedication to what I commit myself to. I consider myself committed to both my job and my side hustle and neither of them takes precedence over the other.
It actually serves as a testament to my dedication to what I commit myself to.
I understand not all of you will feel the same about your full-time job and that is probably a big reason why you started a side hustle to get out of it one day. My hope is that you will be even more motivated to succeed in your side hustle as soon as possible by working as hard as possible so you can turn that side hustle you are passionate about into something bigger.
You must take a break from both your full-time job and side hustle.
If you have been balancing your full-time job and your side hustle for a while, you will know you have the tendency to dedicate every second you got to either of them. I deliberately include life in my post title because you should actually be balancing all 3 of them (okay, we officially need more than 24 hours a day).
However, if Bill Gates manages to take breaks, we can too. If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I am obsessed with the Monday Hour One technique. It is a time-management tool to help you plan your week ahead by scheduling blocks of time mindfully. One category of time block I schedule is called free time.
enjoying life is as important as your career growth and side hustle
It is up to you what you want to do with your free time but ultimately, enjoying life is as important as your career growth and side hustle.
The tools that will help you balance full-time job, side hustle and more.
A time-management technique like the Monday Hour One technique I mentioned is paramount to your success. Because time is a limited resource (believe it or not, money is not limited theoretically), you need to be mindful of where your time goes.
If you have no idea where to start, start with a time diary. It will show you how you currently use your time and where the opportunity lies for working on your side hustle. The result might surprise you and gives you an insight into why some people (like Bill Gates) are tremendously successful and productive even though they have the same 24 hours a day.
The infamous “all work and no progress” stage
Looping back to my very first point – balancing a full-time job and a side hustle is very difficult.
At the beginning of your journey (and maybe pduring), you will inevitably encounter the “all work and no progress” stage. For example, my blog barely had any organic visitors (e.g., from Google search) for the first year or so and I was publishing maybe once or twice a month. It made sense as I was devoting relatively little time to it during that time but even if I did, it would have still taken a while before it started ranking on Google which was a requirement for people to find my site organically.
When you build something from scratch, the initial 10% will take a lot longer than the next 10% because you are new to it and learning as you go. However, that first 10% is important because it sets the foundation for success for everything you build on top of it after.
A side hustle should be something you are passionate about because that will be the reason why you wake up early in the morning or stay up late at night. Many of us who have a side hustle work full-time either because the side hustle does not bring in enough income for you (yet) or you happen to also love your full-time job as I do. Regardless of the reason, we will most likely have to work on our side hustle before and after work.
Due to time constraints, we need to be strategic if we want to successfully balance all. Scheduling free time for breaks and being mindful of where most time goes are ingredients for success. A strategy is the only way you can manage a full-time job, a side hustle and life.