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Maintain Your Side Hustle
(Yes, Even If You Have A Full-Time Job)
Let’s be honest, everyone is busy. No one has enough hours in the day to do all the things they need to do. I certainly don’t. Especially not when I waste away entire Sundays napping on the couch. It may be because I’m so exhausted by the rest of my week, but still, not productive. I need to be better about maximizing my free time and keeping myself accountable on weekends. That’s always going to be an on-going self-development project. It can be difficult to maintain your side hustle when you have so many other responsibilities, but if it’s important to you, it’s not impossible.
But maybe you have kids and you’re their primary caregiver, or maybe you’re a full-time student with a ridiculous course load, or maybe you have two jobs that account for 90% of your day. Maybe you have all of the above and more. It’s difficult to carve out time for something like a side business, that’s true. But when it’s important to you, you’re going to make time. More than that, you’re going to WANT to make time. That’s why it’s super important to find your niche and make sure that it’s one that you’re passionate about. If you hate the thought of coffee, then why are you going to develop a website for coffee connoisseurs?
Maintain Your Side Hustle Tip 1: Utilize Your At-Work Free-Time
Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? But if you’re like me, you get an hour off for lunch to do…whatever the hell you want* For me, I take as many of those 60 sweet minutes I get to eat, make sure I’ve done my social media posts for TheFakeRedhead.com, and write some of my long-form blog posts for either this website, or for the Writing Tips or What I Read This Month sections on TFR. You have to get creative to maintain your side hustle, and this works for me.
Now, 60 minutes will NEVER feel like enough time. It’s not always fun to feel like I’m working against the clock, or against the many interruptions I face by sitting at my desk. But I’d rather take 60 minutes to get one half or even three quarters of something written, instead of wasting those 60 minutes messing around on Twitter. It stress me out about the state of my life and the things I want to change. There’s no point in that. That anger is not going to benefit me financially. What will benefit me is to finish this post. And then it’s on to the next.
*Including eat. Eating is important. You can’t focus on your work without fuel for your brain.
Maintain Your Side Hustle Tip 2: Voice Notes Are Your Friend
Do you have some sort of daily commute to and from work? I do. It’s one of my favorite times to think about my side hustles (and also plan out the various novels I have cooking around in my head, because remember, my ultimate goal is to leave my 9-5 so I can dedicate time to writing). While I’m sitting in traffic or dodging bad drivers*, I think about what it takes to maintain my side hustle. It could be the blog post I’m writing, what to include in any future freebies or the ebook I’m working on, or the other things I can write about on this website.
If you’re someone who commutes, take that time to your advantage any way you can. If you’re driving, most smartphones have the ability to create voice notes without having to lift a finger. Don’t lift a finger, keep both hands on the wheel at all times. But if you come up with an idea, don’t lose it. Make sure it’s written down somewhere. And if you’re not driving your own car, then keep notes either in a notebook or in an app on your phone. It doesn’t have to be a novel, just a quick thought that’ll jumpstart your mind once you have time to get back to work.
*Have you ever driven in Arizona during Snowbird Season? Watch out!
Maintain Your Side Hustle Tip 3: Get Out Of The House
While I know that I am one hundred percent the last person who wants to leave the house on a day that I don’t have to, I can’t be the only one who is less motivated to actually get down and work, no matter how much I know I need to, if I’m sinking into the cushions of my couch, being pestered by an adorable cat that is very insistent that all times are good times to play fetch. (And don’t ask me about why I don’t use my desk, because that’s Bishop’s other favorite bed).
But I have found that actually getting out does work for me, even if it’s just to someone else’s house.*
Weird right? Still, I know it worked for me. At the beginning of June, I was dog-sitting for some friends of friends, not far from where I live. Not only did I clear an entire major freelance project in the span of about 24 hours (yes I procrastinated a bit, no, I don’t walk to talk about it), but I also transcribed a 45-minute interview between dog-walks. It is possible to do all the things you need to do, even if you don’t feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. There aren’t, but there are tricks you can use to maximize your productivity and maintain your side hustle.
The idea of being at a home, or somewhere that you’re comfortable, even if it’s not your home, is something that can help motivate you. Find what works for you. It could be another quiet space like the library or a somewhat less quiet space like the Starbucks around the corner, or any other place that isn’t your home, but to you, is comfortable. It just needs to not have the distractions that may keep you from getting your work done where you live.
*A house that you’re invited to. Don’t just break in to some random person’s house. You will probably get arrested and then you REALLY won’t get your work done.
Maintain Your Side Hustle Tip 4: Try To Do One Productive Thing Each Day
When you’re finally home after a long day of work, or the hypothetical kids you may or may not have are finally in bed or you’ve finally finished that paper you’ve been putting off for the last three weeks and banged out in one long night (I’ve been there, and the trauma is real, yo), it’s hard to motivate yourself to, you know, get right back to work and maintain your side hustle. Remember though, you’re treating this side hustle like it’s your business (as I mentioned in my post, 8 Keys To A Successful Side Hustle), and businesses take hard work.
I know that I have some long days, and sometimes it’s so, so hard to find that motivation to open up my Scrivener file and go back to finishing that next blog post for this website, or TheFakeRedhead.com. One thing I remind myself is, if I want this venture to be successful, then I must work hard. I can’t spend the night scrolling through Tumblr or Twitter or Instagram. That’s not productive.
So, I try to motivate myself by doing one thing each day that will benefit my side hustle. It doesn’t matter which one, but I have to try to do one good thing. It could be signing up for a new affiliate program, or prepping new Writing Prompts on Canva for TheFakeRedhead.com, or even scheduling new posts for the website or for my social media accounts.
Because I also know if I do that one good thing, two things will happen. One, there’s a high chance that it motivates me to do more good things. And once I get into the swing of working, I will be inspired to do more and more. And two, those little things add up, which is the point of generating passive income, right? You get a little money here, a little money there, and there, and there. That eventually adds up to whatever your goal is.
And don’t forget, reading new resources is productive too. Recently, I got a copy of Dan Lok’s F.U. Money (as of post-time, available on Amazon Prime) and devoured it in a couple days. From page one, everything about Lok’s mindset just really connected with me. And once I finished, I went back to the beginning and am reading it all over again. If you’re serious about leaving your 9-5 behind and gaining the financial freedom to live on your terms, I highly recommend picking up a copy.
Did you buy a new book recently on how to get more subscribers to your email list? Reading it and taking notes is TOTALLY a productive option. Now, you shouldn’t surf through article after article until you’re so overwhelmed that you shut down. Try reading one thing, taking notes and strategies from it, and implementing those strategies. If it doesn’t work, try something else.
Maintain Your Side Hustle Tip 5: Don’t Wait
The timing is never going to be perfect. If you want to implement a new series or redesign of your homepage, then just do it. The reason I talk so much about not waiting for the perfect moment is because there is no such thing. #HardTruth. More on that in 8 Keys To A Successful Side Hustle.
There is no perfect moment. Nine times out of 10, the only way a person is going to get from beginning to end on a project is by just starting the project. It doesn’t matter if all you have is steps A, B, and C. If you still need to finish steps D, E, and F, then the best motivation is to start. That’s how you know you’re not going to leave an unfinished project on the table and maintain your side hustle with consistent content.
And there’s nothing that says you can’t go back and tweak steps A, B, and C once they’re up and out to the world. No one is going to shame you for making a change or a correction or maybe even go as wild as to flip flop parts B and C. At worst, you’re going to get a bunch of questions asking something along the lines of, “When are you posting the next part of this series?”
So start posting. Another awesome part of posting, even if the overall project is incomplete, is you get feedback. That feedback can inform the latter parts of your project. Feedback is awesome, and extremely important to success. Consider what your readers are saying and the questions that they have. This will help inform your content for future posts, and keeps that well of future potential blog posts full.
What are the things YOU do to maximize what limited time you have to dedicate to your side hustle? Comment below!
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I find that just getting out once a day is good for my brain. I also look at my day at the end of the day helps me to see that I was productive.
Getting out and away from the computer is SO important. I do some of my best thinking on my commutes to and from work. Prioritizing is important too, once you’re trying to get back to it. Doing 5 different things at once won’t lead to any projects actually being finished.
At work, free-time is the only way I can keep my side job going! My biggest issue is waiting when I need to get stuff done. These are all talking to me!
Yay! You can’t wait, because the moment will never be perfect! Take all the time you can scrape together. Remember: it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be finished!
This is very good advice having a side hustle and preserving it allows us to accomplish our dreams. I try to organize my time best I can.
Organization is key! It’s something I work on all the time.
I love the suggestion of getting one productive thing done everyday. When you have a full plate already and you are taking on a side hustle, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and then get stuck. If you focus on one income generating activity per day, you’ll be moving toward success in no time!
Exactly! It’s little moments of progress that are critical to success.
This is some great advice. I totally agree with getting out of the house. Sometimes it really does help to head to someone else’s or a cafe or whatever to help build that motivation again.
It really does! I’m SO much more productive when I’m out, because I KNOW I need to maximize my time, wherever I am.
I am trying to be productive every day and yes, organization is key to getting things done in a timely manner.
Exactly. I’m trying to get better at both making lists and getting myself into a routine where I focus on one part of the project every day of the week, instead of just trying to hack randomly at the mountain of stuff I know I need to do.
All of your tips are awesome. I agree sometimes we look at it as a ton of time needed, instead of breaking it down. I will be referencing your post and I have Dan Lok’s book so now I need to read it as it has been sitting on my computer.
Glad I can be of some help, and thanks for sharing my post. Definitely read the book, I’m a HUGE fan!
These are all such great tips! Sometimes it’s hard to find balance. Having a plan helps.
Exactly! Balance is difficult, but it’s definitely not impossible!
Lol! I love tip number three -something that I hadn’t thought about before but is very true! I feel the same way on Sundays but rest (or just pacing yourself) is just as important when hustling!
Oh for sure! If you don’t rest and recharge, you’re going to run out of motivation quick!
Lol! I love tip number three and something that I hadn’t thought about before but is very true!
This is really helpful. All of your tips are really great. This list is a must-try by lots of adults. This is such a nice and very informative read.
I believe getting out and away from the computer is SO important. I love taking walks with my hubby, doggie, or girls.
Those are great options! Breaks are SO important!
I totally agree everything you have said. I also work full time and traveling is the only time I can relax. That is why I make sure when I am off I go outside and enjoy the day with beautiful surrounding to recharge for the weekdays.
Exactly! It’s so important to take breaks and get away. Recharging is the only way to keep moving forward.
I used to do voice notes, but found myself never going back to them. I just write everything down now.
That’s definitely a good point. I’m glad you found something that works for you!
Thank you for sharing these tips, I found them very useful. I already do some such as point 1 and 2. I definitely try to make a use of my free time, I will implement the point on doing one productive thing at a time. Your hard truth on there being no such thing as a perfect time, I also agree with. Great post!
Yes! Doing just ONE productive thing at a time will be a HUGE overall benefit. Think about it: if you did one productive thing every day for 365 days, how much further will your side hustle be next year? Keep at it! You’ve got this!