Tips On Balancing Full-Time Work and Side Hustles
I’d like to think I was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. Both my mother and father are independent workers and businesses owners, respectively. They balanced these obligations while raising my siblings and me. I’ve always been someone who balances a main task and an extracurricular task my entire life. In grade school, it was education and sports. In college it was education and organizations. In the stage of life I’m in now, it has become challenging to balance full-time work and my passion projects (which I’d refer to as my side hustles).
You may ask, why is it so difficult? Some reasons may be obvious, some not so much. The first reason balancing the two is difficult has been due to lack of time. I work in the tech space and the hours are often very dynamic. Some days are 6 hours and some are 14 hours-days. Based on this volatility, it's very tough to gauge how much time I’ll have left in my day for passion projects.
The second reason it is difficult to balance these obligations is, oddly, the success I am having as a young professional, and a full-time employee in the tech space. I'll be transparent and admit that occasional thoughts creep in my head that maybe I should climb the corporate ranks instead of pursuing my own business ventures. I know deep down that’s insecurity talking and my fear of failure creeping up.
Finally, it’s difficult to balance these obligations due to the fatigue it impresses upon you. The more work you give to your side ventures while concurrently working a full-time job, the more it takes a toll on you mentally and physically. Oftentimes, hour breaks can turn into days, then days to weeks on a side project, and you might lose the motivation after realizing you’re so far behind on a goal you set out to finish some time ago.
Tips on Finding the Balance
While I haven’t fully grasped the perfect balance between full-time work and side business ventures, here are a few things I have successfully implemented that are helping me find the balance:
1) Plan out days and weeks
Having a set plan and schedule for the day is a major key to achieving balance. If you have a routine for a day and week that you stay consistent with this, that will help you achieve balance and relieve the overwhelming feeling that can come from side hustling.
2) Set short-term and long-term goals
Setting your goals for short and long-term achievements is the fuel that keeps you motivated and on top of this it serves as the marker for where you should be at certain points, if you are at the marker celebrate and keep going to the next one. If not, stop and reevaluate and redirect your effort into a modified plan to achieve the upcoming goal.
3) Be intentional about taking breaks
Taking breaks, side business or not, is always necessary. In conjunction with a full-time job, it's paramount to take breaks so you remain fueled to take that side business to the next level. If you’re constantly working, the quality of work decreases which ultimately means you’re doing yourself and your hustle a disservice.
4) Asking for help
Many side businesses frankly aren’t earth-shattering and likely there are lessons/knowledge you can leverage from your network. Asking for help can drastically reduce your workload and also be a learning moment for the future.
There will be times in your side business where there is something you don’t know or something that is taking too much time and effort that you may not have time to dedicate at the moment. This is where you must evaluate whether it's more effective to outsource and pay for the work, especially if it's a one-off situation that isn’t critical for someone in your position to do.
6) Set boundaries
Now that your time in general is limited, due to running a side business you’ll have to set boundaries. This doesn’t mean you’ll lose your entire life outside of work and side business, but it does mean you’ll have to sacrifice things. What you sacrifice is up to you. Choose wisely.
7) Look for crossover opportunities
Work smarter, not harder. Kill two birds with one stone. If there is an occasion where full- time work creates an opportunity for something that is relevant and meaningful to your side business, use your discretion and try to leverage that to increase efficiency. Emphasis on USE YOUR DISCRETION.
I hope these tips help you all in your journey to a successful side hustle. Who knows, maybe these tips will be the turning point for you making your side business a full- time endeavor. Good luck.
About the author