How to Balance a 9-5 Job with a Side Hustle

While it can seem glamorous and exciting to be a side hustler with a full-time job, the biggest challenge is wondering how to balance a 9-5 job and a side hustle. If you are doing this yourself, or hope to in the future, know that it won’t always be as exciting as it seems, but it’s definitely possible.

Here are a few tips for how to balance a 9-5 job with a side hustle.

Remind yourself that it’s not forever

You might be thinking, I don’t want to work a 9-5 anymore, I just want to make my side hustle my main hustle. But, for many of us, doing both, at least for a few months or maybe years, is just reality. Remind yourself that we all have seasons of life that are especially stressful where we’re balancing more than we’d like. Instead of feeling discouraged, give yourself deadlines or goals for when you’d like to eventually quit your 9-5 and give yourself something to work towards. You can also get advice from mentors and read books on how to turn your side hustle into a full-time business.

Create a weekly plan with routines and systems

With so much on your plate, planning should be your best friend! With the flourish weekly dashboard, you can plan out your day and identify your top priorities and to-dos. Plus, you’ll even have space to set a daily intention and plan your workout and self-care. This way you never have to worry about things like exercise or baths falling through the cracks. When I say things like, “I should go to the gym 3 times this week” I rarely follow through unless I put it in my planner and actually plan ahead for when and at what time I’ll make it happen. 

Use time blocking to plan out your day and week

I know that you’re probably exhausted from hearing about every blogger gush about time blocking, but just hear me out. It might seem tedious or restrictive at first, but if I’m totally honest, the days when I use time blocking are usually my most productive and effective ones. Also, don’t feel like you need to do this every single day. I find that using time blocking on Monday is great because I can knock out so much. Then, I also use time blocking on Friday’s to set myself up for a great weekend. Maybe you have specific days where you work on your side hustle. If so, try setting aside specific days or times for your side hustle, and include what you plan to work on during that time. Will this work perfectly 100% of the time? Of course not, just give it a try and do your best.

Get clear on what you’ll say no to

One of the hardest things about managing a full-time job and a side hustle is feeling like there’s never enough time to do everything you want to do. To make this easier, ask yourself what you’re willing to give up to make time for your side hustle. This could look like cutting your Netflix time down to 30 minutes or less a day or even just watching a show on your lunch break so that you have your evening hours to work on your side hustle. Or, maybe you decide to start running or doing workouts at home so that you won’t waste so much time commuting to the gym. There’s no right or wrong way how to have a full-time job and a side hustle, just know yourself and find what works for you. 

Deliberately make time for rest and self-care

You might want to know how to work on your side hustle, but it’s equally important to be intentional about making time for sleep and self-care. If you don’t, it’s very likely that you will get burnt out quickly. This doesn’t mean you need to take a leisurely bath 7 nights a week or do a 15 step skincare routine (unless you really want to). Instead, just plan one activity a day that you can look forward to like a bath on Mondays, reading for 30 minutes on Tuesdays, a long walk on Wednesdays, etc. I also suggest writing this down in your digital planner so that you’ll have something to look forward to all day.

Keep your expectations realistic and reasonable 

When I started my first side hustle, I made the mistake of being overly ambitious with my expectations for myself. And unfortunately, doing this often led to feeling disappointed and discouraged. Now I know better. If you’re working a busy 8 hour day at your 9-5, don’t give yourself a list of 10+ items to knock off your to-do list. Instead, start with 1-2 and if you finish those and still have the energy, add something else as a bonus! But, don’t force yourself to keep going when you’re exhausted and you know your quality of work won’t be good.

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