There’s an infamous Internet quote that says that goes a little something like this. Perhaps you’ve seen it on Pinterest or a mug on Etsy…
Newsflash: You don’t. And believing that you do is only setting yourself up for failure.
For starters, I do not have a personal assistant, personal trainer and personal chef among other hired help to get me through the day like Queen Bey. And, if you’re reading this, I assume you don’t either.
So how exactly are us mere Earthlings supposed to find time for our side hustles and passion projects while still showing up from 9 to 5 every day for the job that pays the bills?
It’s a struggle I know all too well. In August 2011, I began side hustling as a freelance writer. Yes, I had a full-time gig at a local interior design and lifestyle magazine, but I wasn’t exactly passionate about Pantone colors and thread counts (now I’m obsessed with HGTV, so go figure). I started freelancing as a way to fill the void and write about topics that interested me. Shortly thereafter, I started blogging to share my random musings.
Today, I have too many side hustles (still freelancing and blogging, while also being a programming fellow for a local nonprofit) and I had the genius idea to start a passion project earlier this year (a writing program/website for young girls of color). In short, it’s exhausting.
People ask me all the time “how do you do it all?” And the truth is, I should probably be doing less. But, alas, the #SideHustle struggle is real. So I’m here to share a few of the tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way:
1) Maximize your mornings. If you’re an early bird like me, then setting your alarm clock 15 to 20 minutes earlier won’t be so dreadful. Putting in work before you hit the office gives you a sense of accomplishment that makes you ready to conquer your day.
2) Have a working lunch. No, not the kind where you sit at your desk and devour a Lean Cuisine in between financial reports. I’m talking about the kind where you take care of YOUR business. I can’t tell you how many interviews and meetings I’ve conducted from my car or a local coffee shop. #TheHustleIsReal
3) Make the most of your commute. If you drive to and from work, then you should skip this step (safety first!). But for the rest of us city dwellers, the time you spend on the bus or train is a prime opportunity to catch up on emails, network, etc. True story: I wrote this post in the Notes app on my phone while riding the bus. If you have a half-hour commute each way, that’s one hour every day you can devote to your passion project. No more excuses.
4) Schedule your social media. No side hustle can survive nowadays without social media, no matter if it’s your Etsy shop or consulting service. And even if your day job is to be on Facebook and Twitter all day, chances are your employer isn’t paying you to build your brand. Plan your social media in advance using sites such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social. Find the one that works best for your needs and budget then set aside a day to determine your social media game plan for the week.
5) Take a break. Yes, I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but you need your rest. You can’t be out here slaying dragons on zero sleep. Refuel your creativity tank by meditating, exercising or something as simple as reading a book. You’ll give your brain a break and come back full of ideas to “run the world” (Beyoncé voice).
How do you balance your full-time job with a side hustle? Share your tips in the comments!