Side hustles are a great way to make some extra money each month, and they can also be good fun. However, one of the challenges is finding enough time to dedicate to your side hustle each week – especially when you have a hectic schedule.
After a long day at work the thought of having to do additional tasks at home can be crippling. Especially if you have social and family commitments to deal with too.
This is something I really struggled with when starting out. However, over the years I have got better at utilising my time and maximising my efficiency during the week. In this post, I’ll be sharing my approach and the techniques I use.
Plan your goals for the week
Before you can start to plan your time, you need to know what you want to achieve. I always make a list at the start of the month highlighting the tasks I want to complete over the next four weeks.
To use this blog as an example, I plan the number of articles I want to publish for the month and what topics I want to cover. I’ll also plan the admin tasks I want to complete, for example marketing the site, updating the homepage design, sending out a subscriber email.
For each item on my list I plan how long I think it will take me and the priority.
There are many tools available to help you do this. I personally plan on Evernote as it’s free and easy to use.
Work out what time of day you are most effective
It is important to work out what time of the day you are most effective. When I first started out I forced myself to work in the evenings. On many occasions I worked late into the night desperately trying to get an article finished.
I found that I was wasting a lot of time, and was struggling to focus having already done a full day at work. As a result, I changed my approach and instead started waking up early to work on my website.
It was painful at first (as I love my sleep!), but I found that it got easier once I got into the habit. The quality of the work I was doing also got a lot better as I was fresher in the morning. My efficiency also greatly improved, and tasks which took me 3 hours in the evening would only take me an hour in the morning.
Mornings are also better as it means you don’t have to sacrifice evening social plans to work on your blog.
However, it is not the same for everyone and some people are useless in the mornings. So it’s important to find out what works best for you. Maybe try working in the morning for a couple of weeks and see how you get on. Like I said, it’s hard at first but gets easier the longer you do it.
Protect side hustle time in your diary
Once you know what time of day works best for you, allocate the tasks you want to achieve this week and block it out in your diary. You need to protect this time the same way you would for a meeting at work. Try not to let anything else move into this slot, and if something urgent comes up make sure you re-schedule your side hustle time. Don’t just remove it. This is important, because there are going to be times when your self-discipline dwindles (especially when you’re tired) and you can’t be bothered. But don’t give in to those urges, stick to your schedule and you’ll thank yourself in the long-run.
Utilise down-time at your full-time job
During the average week, I’ll have a few hours of downtime where I don’t have anything urgent to do. Instead of wasting time procrastinating I instead fill this time doing tasks for my side hustles. Whether it’s writing articles for my blog (like I’m doing right now!), or replying to comments on Twitter.
This is a great way to get tasks completed, plus it frees up more of my time outside of work.
If you are worried about your boss catching you doing non-work related tasks there are ways you can conceal this. For example, I write articles in a draft email so that to anyone walking past it looks like I’m working. I can also do a lot from my mobile such as replying to comments on Twitter and Pintrest.
Don’t forget to relax
It’s important to make sure you have time in your week to just relax. If you are working non-stop you will end up getting run down and your work will suffer (and your happiness). That’s why I keep several hours free a week to do the things that help me recharge. Whether that’s having dinner with friends, watching a series on Netflix, or going to the gym.
Saturdays are also very important to me. I’ll happily do extra work on a Sunday. However, I always keep Saturday free to reset and do the things that make me happy.
Need some inspiration to help you find your perfect side hustle? Check out our article Side Hustle Ideas You Can Start Today