From diversified income to a chance to pursue your passions — having a side hustle can bring you numerous benefits. In this guest post, Patrick Watt shares actionable tips on balancing a full-time job and a successful business on the side.
Working a side hustle is a great way to earn extra money, gain experience, and explore your interests. But as with any entrepreneurial venture, there’s always the risk that you’ll get too busy with your full-time job or other obligations to keep up with your side hustle. That’s why it’s important to keep tabs on how much time you’re investing in your side project and make sure it doesn’t interfere with your regular job. Here are some tips for managing a side hustle while working full-time.
Create a Schedule and Stick to It
It’s important to set boundaries, even if you have a flexible schedule. You need to know when it’s time to work on your side hustle and when it’s time for your full-time job. This can be difficult because you may work during the same hours as your full-time job or use similar equipment or resources.
You also need to make sure that other people (your boss or coworkers) are aware of this schedule so they don’t take advantage of your availability by asking for additional help around the office. This is particularly important if any of those people are also working side hustles themselves. It will be easier if everyone has agreed on what their workloads look like and how much time they’re willing to donate outside of regular working hours in order to help each other out when needed. However, it may not always be the case that everyone understands how much time they’ll have at their disposal during different times throughout the week, month, or year.
To avoid falling behind with any projects at work due to having too many things going on simultaneously, try creating an Excel sheet where all tasks related specifically to one type of activity (full-time job vs side hustle) are written down vertically along both columns. Then split horizontally into days from Monday through Friday. This will give users an easier way than looking over multiple screens where all kinds of information could overlap, making things harder.
Know When (and How) to Turn Your Side Hustle Off
As a side hustler, it’s important to know when and how to turn your side hustle off. The last thing you want is to burn out on one job while working another. Here are some tips for keeping your side hustle from interfering with your day job:
Give Yourself Time to Relax
There are things that you have complete control over, and there are things that you don’t. Give yourself permission to be human. Your mind will need time off from work even if you don’t think it does.
Switch Off for an Hour Every Day Before Bedtime
Switch off for an hour every day before bedtime or at least once per week during lunch hour. It might sound counterintuitive, but taking regular breaks from the constant flow of information can actually help keep your focus sharp. Consequently, it improves productivity in other areas of life.
Don’t worry about putting in extra hours. They’ll come naturally when needed without having any negative impact on quality. They’re just part of doing business as usual rather than being forced upon us due solely because someone else thinks you need more work done than what’s really necessary.
Choose Your Side Hustle Carefully
The first step is to choose your side hustle carefully. Choose something you are passionate about, can do from home and in your spare time, will earn you money, and help you learn new skills.
While working full time, the last thing on your mind should be how much money you make compared to others. If it means sacrificing everything else in life so that you can work more hours at another job, then maybe it’s not worth it.
The ideal situation is where your day job pays enough for basic needs and bills but not much more than that. This will allow for a little extra cash flow. Otherwise, you throw all of your energy into making as much money as possible from an old job only to have nothing left over once everything is paid off each month.
Don’t Leave Your Full-Time Job Too Early
Don’t quit your job immediately. Not only does it bring in money for the bills, but it also provides valuable health insurance coverage and retirement benefits. Those would be hard or impossible to replace otherwise (especially if you end up living longer than you think). It’s also one of the best ways out there right now for finding steady work and building up skills.
Find a Side Hustle That You’re Passionate About
If you’re looking for a side hustle that will pay your bills, it’s important to find something that aligns with your passions. For instance, if you love fitness and have been thinking about starting a fitness blog, maybe now is the time to make it happen. If you’re passionate about cooking, perhaps opening up a cupcake shop would be more exciting than selling clothes on eBay or cleaning houses.
It’s also important that whatever side hustle you choose can be done when and where suits your schedule. As long as it works for both parties involved, it doesn’t matter whether this means working from home in the evenings after work or during the day (i.e., client needs cleaning done when they need it done).
Additionally, any potential side hustle should provide enough income to pay bills while still allowing some room left over. In this case, other expenses can be paid based on earnings from this new endeavour. For instance, if someone is able to make $50 per hour doing something fun like researching family history online instead of working at another job, then not only will this person enjoy their work, but they’d also have extra money coming in each month.
Take Advantage of Working from Home (or Anywhere)
Working from home can be a great way to save time and money, but it also poses its own unique challenges. You’ll need to make sure you don’t get distracted or lose motivation. Here’s how.
Set Up an Office Space
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy — just a clear desk or table will do. Put on some music if you like, and make sure there are no distractions. If possible, try working at a different place each day of the week so that your mind is constantly being challenged with new surroundings.
Stay focused when working at home by creating set times for work sessions only. For example, “I’m going to work now,” instead of “I’m going to check my emails now.” Try setting aside specific hours during the day where you’ll focus solely on side hustle tasks like writing blog posts or editing photos for social media accounts. Then take breaks between those hours so that when it’s time again, you can focus on one thing rather than trying to multitask, which isn’t always easy nor productive.
Save Your Tax Deductions for the End of the Year
Save Your Receipts
Keeping track of all your expenses is one of the most important parts of managing a side hustle while working full time. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can try using a personal finance tracking app which will automatically categorize and organize your spending.
Don’t Forget About Mileage
You’ll need to report how much personal driving you did for both work and pleasure during the year. Make sure you keep track of it so you can deduct those expenses from your taxes.
File at Tax Time
Since self-employed people don’t have W-2s from their employers (like regular employees), they have to file their own taxes every year instead. That means sending in those receipts with the rest of their paperwork. So don’t throw them away just yet — you’ll need them when April rolls around again. But hang on tight until then because there’s one more thing this article hasn’t talked about yet which is:
Make Sure Your Side Hustle Doesn’t Interfere With Your Regular Job
You need to make sure your side hustle doesn’t interfere with your regular job. It’s essential to make sure that when you’re at work, you’re focused on the tasks at hand — not on what could be happening in another room entirely.
It’s also important to think twice about crossing boundaries by working for any competitors with your side hustle. Many companies have non-compete agreements, but even if they don’t, consider the ethics involved in working for two businesses who are direct competitors.
In the end, managing your side hustle is going to take some time and effort. You can’t just throw up a website and expect it to make money right away. But with a bit of planning, research and dedication, you can find success as a part-time entrepreneur.
Patrick Watt is a content writer, writing in several areas, primarily in career growth, value creation, M&A, and finance. He writes for Hobo with a Laptop, an online resource for anyone who wants to start working remotely. Say hi to Patrick on Twitter @patrickwattpat.
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