Managing Your Side Hustle with a Day Job
Ok. I was clearly feeling the cat gifs yesterday. But who can resist? Congratulations on making it to Wednesday, we're halfway there! It's been a hot minute since I shared a personal musing or advice post, so here we are! When ever I find the time to do Q&As over on Insta, the top question I get is aways about my full-time job. When I work with clients or chat about this space, people are surprised to hear that I technically have two full-time jobs. When I read my girl Dana's post about how she's also in the same boat and with your questions at hand, I'm inspired to share more with you!
If you haven't made your way over to my about page then you may not know that I actually have a regular day job as a consultant in DC! I work a minimum of 40 hours a week and then come home to do this. My passion, and hopefully, a future full-time job. I'm not afraid to say that my day job is not what I'm passionate about. In fact, it's not even something I want to do longterm as a career. This blog has turned into so much more than I ever imagined it would, and I hope one day I can turn my side hustle into a full-time career - as a designer and creative director of this (now) small business. But to do that takes a whole lot of f*cking work. With that goal in mind, I've developed certain tactics and habits for getting shit done. So how do I manage my side hustle on top of a regular 40 hour work week?
managing your time.
If it can't be your 9 to 5, make it your 5 to 9. There's no reason our day jobs should take time away from our passions. Of course there are times when we simply can't get to our side hustle, but dedicating hours through out the week to get things done is so important. I make sure to set aside at least three evenings through out the work week to my blog and design tasks. Sometimes it makes more sense to give up a social event because I simply need to work. On weekends, I always stick to any plans I already made, but if it's a quiet Sunday, I try not to get too lazy. I get up and knock out blog posts for the week and finish up any work I have looming over me. Bottom line, if you're dedicated to making your side hustle a full-time job, you need to put in the work and realize that might mean coming home from work at 5pm and then continuing to work on your laptop until 12am.
to-do lists and organization.
Praise be. I cannot live with out my to-do lists. I will actually go insane and get super stressed and anxiety will slowly creep in and eat at my soul if I am not organized. Too dramatic? I think not. Organization is key to managing two jobs at once. Start your weeks with writing out a plan of attack for each day. Jot down all you have to do, deadlines, and social plans and build your schedule and to-do lists around them. My planner is my bible and I can't get by without my Wunderlist app. Get organized and MAKE YOUR LISTS.
Scheduling social media.
I'm admittedly not the best at this, but it's something I'm trying to be better at for sure. Using social media is obviously a major necessity when you're trying to build a business or even just as a blogger. But when you're working in an office on a govt. laptop that blocks most platforms (I'm talking about me).... it's pretty hard to keep up through out the week. Tools like Planoly or Tweetdeck, Tailwind, or even the built in scheduling tools on Facebook are great for scheduling out posts for the week. I spend some time on Sundays or Monday mornings to schedule out tweets, photos, and posts. Knowing that your social media will be "active" when you simply have no time in the day to even open your apps will have you feeling at ease.
write down all your ideas and goals.
When I say write down everything. I mean write down everything. I'm constantly typing up notes in my phone's notes app or in my planner. Anytime I'm inspired by something, I save it. If I think about a blog post idea, I write it down. This is mostly helpful when I sit down to knock out four to five blog posts and I know I can reach into my list of ideas, rather than scratch my head over what I'm going to blog about. When it comes to goals... think about what you want to do, where you want to take your side hustle, who you want to collaborate with, which like-minded people you want to connect with. Plan out daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly goals. Having short term goals written down will only help your side hustle evolve and grow, and will bring you one step closer to achieving your overall mission. Once you have ideas or goals in mind, do everything you can to meet them.
continue to kick ass in your workplace
Side hustles are often our true passions, but we have day jobs for a reason. Whether it be to save money, to grow your network, to gain experience and learn, to figure out what you want to do with your life, or maybe you simply enjoy your job.... you're there for now because you want to be or you need to be. When I go days or weeks without posting, it's because I always put my job first, and I simply haven't had time to spend here. Don't let your side hustle take away from your day job or affect your ability to get your work done. There is no excuse for slacking off. Your team and people at the office will take note. Continue to dedicate yourself to your day job during your committed hours, do your best work, and continue to kick ass.
Are you balancing a full-time job and a side hustle? What are your tips for making it work??