10 Effective Ways to Balance Your Day Job and Side Hustle

So how do you balance your day job and side hustle?

Imagine this scenario…

You’ve just had a hectic day in the classroom.

Mentoring that newbie is taking hours away from time you don’t have. And your lesson planning has fallen so far behind where it should be, it’s almost fallen out of sight.

But the day’s not over yet. Oh no.

You arrive home, scrape together something that resembles a meal, and get intimate with your laptop – again. You two have been getting pretty close these days.

It’s time for the side hustle.

Now the question is, at this very moment, are you feeling excited, energized, motivated? Or are you feeling like you’ve just run a marathon, only to find that the elevator in your apartment block is broken, and so the stairs are your only way up to the thirteenth floor. Your floor.

I am willing to bet (as an experienced side hustler myself) that most will choose the second option.

A beautiful young blonde woman sits fast asleep with her head resting on her hands across her laptop keyboard

Maybe you’re looking for some extra cash, maybe you’re self-promoting, or maybe you’re even building a dream. But whatever your reasons, side hustling is no walk in the park.

In fact, many have tried and failed because they’ve either burnt out, given up, or worst of all, lost their passion.

Well then, what separates the great from the good, you ask? How do I sustain the life of a hustler?

One word. Balance.

So if you’d care to take a few minutes out of your ridiculously busy, full-timer, side hustler day, invest them wisely into these 10 tips towards an effective balance.

1. Define Your Purpose

This tip is placed first for a reason – it’s important!

Before you even begin a side hustle, talk to yourself about the purpose behind it.

Ask yourself why you are pursuing a side hustle. What will this give you that your day job doesn’t?

Is it about the income? Does it offer a creative challenge that you’re not getting from 9 to 5? Or is it simply something that’s of great interest to you?

Without clarity of purpose and a solid objective, all the rest is just jam.

It’s also important to be following your passion. Teacherpreneur Ben Landers shared his insights about this in a previous podcast episode. Check it out here.

2. Set Milestones (and be realistic)

Now, keeping that purpose in mind, set smaller, achievable milestones.

This could be as simple as establishing two new clients within the next four weeks, or getting your kick-ass website setup by year end.

But whatever those milestones, be sure to keep them time-bound and realistic.

Every time you fail to achieve a goal, you chip away just a little bit more at your passion and drive.

The worst thing that you could do for your own motivation is to set yourself up to fail.

3. Work, or Work?

Try not to think of your day job and side hustle as independent events. You ain’t no Jekyll and Hyde.

Instead, talk to your company about your side hustle. Establish clear expectations, and highlight the ways in which the one will enrich the other.

Enrich? Yes, enrich.

There will always be lessons and skills from your day job that assist you in your side hustle, and visa versa.

You just need to be open to them.

4. Plan Your Time

Those who side hustle don’t have the tantalising luxury of that thing they call “spare time”.

No, you need to squeeze your days for maximum productivity. This means scheduling your day job time, and your side hustle time.

When you’re teaching, teach. When you’re planning lessons, then you plan those lessons like a boss.

But, when you’re hustling… well, then that should be all you’re doing. Cut out the noise, the distractions, the wandering thoughts of all those things you ‘should have already done today’.

Focus on your side hustle purpose, your most imminent milestones, and get that **** done.

And best not to leave these dedicated times to late nights and weekends.

Try to schedule at least 10% of your most productive hours (whatever those are for you) to your side hustle.

5. Loosen Up a Little

Sure, planning is important. But on this journey of duality you also need to learn of art of flexibility.

Hustling is a lifestyle, not an event.

This means that you make every moment count. Live with intention.

Whether it be waiting for the kids to change for soccer practice, or that annoying 20 minutes that you usually spend lying in bed watching your clock tick closer to 6am.

Grab it, own it, and get one step closer to that next milestone. One email, one mind map at a time.

6. Find Your Constructive Environment

The local library, your home office, that vibey coffee shop, creative co-working space or outside in the garden.

Wherever it is, make sure that on that given day, in that given mood, you find the environment that’s going to make you most productive.

A constructive environment enables you to think, to focus, to create.

Some people enjoy a bit of noise (weirdos… just kidding!), many others like peace and quiet. You do you.

7. Make Time For Those You Care About

“I have a girlfriend/boyfriend!?”

Well, hopefully it won’t come to that. But the life of a side hustler does mean that time for family and friends tends to dwindle, fast.

So be sure to dedicate time for drinks with friends, boring dinners at Aunt Heather’s, and that phone call you just know your mom is waiting on.

A strong support system goes a long way, but relationships in any form require give and take.

8.Don’t Be a Martyr

Sure, you’re a hard worker. You do more than most. You live on caffeine and energy bars. So what?

Exhausting yourself to the point of burnout will make you unhappy, unhealthy, and have a negative impact on the quality of your work.

So take time out to read a novel, listen to your favourite music, or watch that movie you’ve been dying to see.

You’ll take a fresh perspective back to both your day job and your side hustle.

9. Keep Healthy

The tendency to sleep when tired is instinctual.

But I challenge to you fight that urge, and choose instead to go for a run (alright, a fast walk then).

Get some fresh air, get the blood flowing. And you can rest assured you’ll have more energy in the morning! Works like a charm.

Don’t neglect your diet either. Getting sick is one of the biggest obstacles to productivity.

So keep those vitamins coming.

10. Re-evaluate the Purpose

Yes, this tip is placed last for a reason – It’s important!

Dejavu? No.

You may have defined your purpose all the way back in tip number 1, but believe it or not, it’s easy to forget.

The more you get swept up in the side hustle lifestyle, the more important it becomes to remind yourself why you started all this in the first place. To reevaluate, to reflect, and adapt where necessary.

If your purpose is lost, or no longer relevant, then you are directing energy toward a futile cause.

So, remember that you aren’t defined by your day job. Find your passion, your purpose, and pursue it with a careful balance.

The only constraint on your success is yourself.

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