The Balancing Act: Tips for Managing a Full-Time Job and a Side Hustle

Female Entrepreneur

In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the number of individuals taking on side hustles in addition to their full-time jobs. This trend is primarily driven by the increasing cost of living, the desire for additional income, and the flexibility and independence that side hustles can offer.

However, balancing a full-time job with a side hustle can be challenging. In fact, one of the biggest challenges of balancing a full-time job and a side hustle is the time commitment involved. Both endeavors require a significant investment of time and energy, and it can be difficult to find a way to fit everything in without sacrificing one or the other.

Additionally, there is a high potential for burnout, as working long hours and juggling multiple responsibilities can take a toll on both physical and mental health.

The Importance of Prioritization

To successfully manage a full-time job and a side hustle, it is essential to prioritize tasks and activities. This means being able to identify which tasks are most important and then allocating time and resources accordingly.

It is also important to be realistic about what can be accomplished in a given amount of time, and to avoid overcommitting. Let’s dive into some actionable strategies for this.

Time Management Strategies

Effective time management is crucial. This means creating a detailed schedule and sticking to it as much as possible. It is also essential to set boundaries and avoid taking on too much work. Additionally, it can be helpful to use tools and apps to help with time management and organization.

Here are some specific time management tips:

  • Create a daily to-do list and prioritize your tasks.
  • Set aside specific times each day to work on your side hustle.
    (For me, I dedicate an hour every morning and then 3 to 4 hours every weekend to my side projects)
  • Use a timer to stay focused on each task.
    (Have you explored timeboxing? It’s a great way to stay organized and get more done)
  • Take breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout.
    (If you wear an Apple Watch – you likely get a buzz reminding you it’s time to stand every hour – this is a great way to remind yourself to take breaks – go grab a cup of tea or coffee, go for a short walk, or just give yourself a mental break for a few minutes)
  • Delegate tasks whenever possible.
    (As difficult as this can be (because no one will do your work better than you), it’s important to create processes that will allow others to be able to do the work that needs to be done as well. Otherwise, your growth will be limited and you’ll put more stress on yourself than you should.)

Financial Management

Another important aspect of managing a full-time job and a side hustle is financial management. This means keeping meticulous records of income and expenses and ensuring that personal and business finances are kept separate. It is also essential to set aside money for taxes and other expenses, and to avoid overspending.

Here are some actionable tips for keeping yourself financially organized:

  • Create a budget and track your spending.
    (Some wonderful apps to consider include: Mint, You Need a Budget (YNAB), Pocketguard, and Freshbooks)
  • Set aside a portion of your income for savings and taxes.
    (As an entrepreneur, a good rule of thumb is to set aside 30% of your revenue. If you do, you’ll have the funds needed come tax time – otherwise, you’ll likely be creating unnecessary financial stress for yourself)
  • Use separate bank accounts for your personal and business finances.
    (This will make your expenses and income so much easier to track. Plus, business accounts likely come with different features that will help you with your organization and bookkeeping)
  • Keep detailed records of your income and expenses.

Avoiding Burnout

Burnout is a real risk for anyone trying to balance a full-time job and a side hustle. In order to avoid burnout, it is important to prioritize rest and self-care. This means taking breaks, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy foods. It is also important to find ways to relax and de-stress, such as spending time with family and friends, or pursuing hobbies and interests.

Avoiding burnout is easier to talk about than to actually do. But, here are a few tips to help:

  • Get enough sleep.
    (Strive for 8 hours a night)
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Exercise regularly.
    (I personally get up early to get my workout out of the way every workday before I dive into work.)
  • Take breaks throughout the day.
  • Spend time with family and friends.
  • Pursue hobbies and interests.
  • Learn to say no.

Organizational Strategies

Organizational strategies are essential for anyone trying to balance a full-time job and a side hustle. This means creating systems and processes to help you stay organized and on top of tasks. It can be helpful to use tools and apps to help with organization, such as calendars, to-do lists, and project management tools.

Here are some specific organizational tips:

  • Create a system for organizing your files, documents, email, and social media.
    (Some that I use include Shift and Sprout)
  • Use a calendar to track your appointments and deadlines.
  • Use a project management tool to track your projects and tasks.
    (Some project management apps worth checking out include Notion, Monday, and Trello)

It’s Not Easy. But It’s Worth It.

Balancing a full-time job and a side hustle can be challenging, but it is possible to do it successfully with careful planning and management. By prioritizing tasks, managing time effectively, and avoiding burnout, you can effectively create multiple sources of income and enjoy the flexibility and independence that side hustles can offer. Set yourself up with the right tools and be sure to allow yourself grace. No one is perfect, and that’s okay. You may not finish everything on your to-do list every day, but at least you’ll know you gave it the best effort you could – and there’s always tomorrow.

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Emily Sprinkle, also known as Emma Loggins, is a designer, marketer, blogger, and speaker. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Women's Business Daily where she pulls from her experience as the CEO and Director of Strategy for Excite Creative Studios, where she specializes in web development, UI/UX design, social media marketing, and overall strategy for her clients.

Emily has also written for CNN, Autotrader, The Guardian, and is also the Editor-In-Chief for the geek lifestyle site


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