One of the biggest challenges I face when it comes to my side hustle is time. If you didn’t already know, I freelance copy write alongside a full-time job in communications which means it’s not something I have a lot of. I have no plans to give one of them up either. Unlike the majority of side hustlers, I’m not looking to take my freelance work full-time because I actually really enjoy having both.
Balancing the two is something I’ve had to work on since I first started freelancing though and, while I don’t always get it right, I have far less ‘not-enough-hours-in-the-day freak outs’ than I used to which is progress.
If you’re thinking of starting your own freelance side hustle and working 9-5 at the same time, or if you already are doing and are finding it a struggle, I hope my advice will come in handy.
A flexible 9-5 is everything
I know this isn’t something everyone has the luxury of but I really wouldn’t be able to manage my freelance side-hustle without a flexible 9-5. Starting and finishing a couple of hours earlier makes all the difference when it comes to getting a few extra hours in. If that’s not an option for you, you could always think about using your lunch break more productively. Even if you can roughly draft a blog post or schedule your social media in that time, every little helps. The same goes for before work. If you don’t start until 9 am and you’re a morning person, make the most of those productive couple of hours before you head to the office.
Plan, plan, plan
It’ll come as no surprise that planning plays a big part in managing two jobs. Either on a Sunday evening or Monday morning I tend to plan out my to-dos for that week, taking into account any extra hours I know I’ll need to do at my 9-5, any social commitments/ appointments I’ve made etc. to make sure I have time to work on both. This is something that really helps when it comes to taking on projects too. You’ll soon be able to see where you can and can’t afford to take on any more freelance work. Just remember not to fill every single hour of your day. You’ll be no use at either job if you don’t factor in some time for yourself.
Then prioritise, prioritise, prioritise
A completed to-do list is one of the things that brings me the most joy in life. So sad, but so true. When it comes to managing freelance work and your 9-5 though, accepting that isn’t always an option is a necessity. Instead, it’s important to prioritise. What absolutely HAS to be done this week and what can wait a couple more in reality? I have a ‘right now’ and ‘at some point’ list that I use to prioritise tasks and help give me a healthy work-life balance. Give it a try if you’re struggling with an endless list you never seem to get to the bottom of.
How do you manage your side hustle alongside your full-time job?