How to Manage Your Side Hustle and a Full Time Job (TPL 004)

How to Manage Your Side Hustle and a Full Time Job (TPL 004)

Welcome back to the
productive life podcast. In this episode we’re talking about
how to manage your side hustle and a fulltime job. Welcome to the productive life
podcast hosted by me, Megan Minns. This is the podcast for entrepreneurs
who want to be more productive in their business and their personal life
because as a business owner, your business and personal life are
connected and we can’t talk about one without talking about the other.
Each week you’ll learn about productivity, organization, personal development, self
care, business strategies, and more. And now let’s get started. I’m recording today’s episode from my
home office here in Houston, Texas. I’m drinking a nice glass of red wine
while we chat about side hustling. I have been side hustling on and off since
2012 and I know firsthand how hard it can be to find the time to work on your
side hustle and really how to manage your time overall. You have a full
time job, you’re trying to start, grow and nurture a business on the side.
How do you do it? There are a lot of different
philosophies out there on how to do it. A big trend, the past few years has been all about
hustling and I definitely fell into that. I think when I first started side
hustling– even says it in the name– I felt like that had to be my life.
I had to say no to every social event. I had to stay up late on the
week nights and before work, and to sacrifice sleep.
I couldn’t work out and eat well. I really needed to work all day on the
weekends and if I’m being completely honest,
even though I don’t believe that anymore, it’s really easy to fall back into that. So even the past year or more where
I’d been side hustling more recently, that hasn’t been my
normal like it once was, but it’s really easy to just kind of
default to that state when you’re side hustling for some reason.
I don’t know why, but I feel like I’ve gotten so much better
at how to manage my side hustle with my full time job and in a much healthier, better way then the hustling,
working all the time, sacrificing your health and happiness
route that so many of us have done before and that you might be doing right now. So let’s just dig into this because my
philosophy is that you don’t have to sacrifice your health or happiness to
grow a successful business on the side. And I think that that really starts with
finding the time to work on your side hustle.
So we’re going to start there. We’re going to talk for a little bit
about how to find the time to work on your side hustle while you’re
working a full time job. It’s best to start with some kind of
piece of paper in front of you that have the hours of the day on the left side
of the paper and each day of the week across the top. You can do this, you know, for one day at a time
or one week at a time. Kind of depends on how consistent or
inconsistent your schedule and life are. I do actually have a freebie though that
walks you through how to do this at a full week to create your
ideal week schedule. So if you want to go ahead and just
download that and go through this process with my ideal week schedule,
I think it’s called my ideal week planner. You can get the link to
that below this podcast. So whether using it that free workbook
or if you are using your own sheet of paper that you’ve just kind of mocked
up or maybe even an excel sheet while we’re talking. Um, let’s go ahead and dig
in and follow these steps along with me. Step number one is to assess
what your blocked out times are. So we’re going to actually
start by focusing on when
you can’t work on your side hustle. So go ahead and looking at the
whole week, block out –and literally, again,
we’re looking at an hourly calendar here. So maybe for you it’s 8:00 AM to
5:00 PM you have your fulltime job. Whatever your hours are,
go ahead and map, you know, block those out on your weekly spread. Be sure to go ahead and block out things
besides just your full time job too. So if you have children and you need
to pick them up and drop them off from school or if you volunteer in an
organization and have consistent volunteer hours, whatever your week,
your average week looks like, block out all of the times
where you cannot work. And don’t forget to add
in things like commuting, if you need to drive to your fulltime job,
getting ready, or if you have a fully mapped
out morning and evening routine, which I hope you do if you’ve
listened to our previous episode, which you can grab a link to beneath this. But basically we want to
first mark out everything. You’re not every time you’re not able
to work on your business due to a prior commitment.
Okay, so step two here is to ask yourself if
you can make any adjustments to these blocked out times. Can someone take over
something for you that you were doing? Can you maybe even rotate
responsibilities with someone? So again, going back to children,
maybe you have carpool responsibilities. Can you rotate so that maybe you only
do carpool a couple times a week instead of every day?
Get really creative, but look at your blocked out times
and just ask yourself if there’s any flexibility. Another one is
also working at different hours. So maybe you currently go into the
office at eight and leave at five. What if you went nine to six or earlier,
seven to four. Can you come into work earlier or later
or leave earlier or later if you have a preference,
but like, do you have any flexibility there
that maybe you could work on? Or maybe you can take a full
hour long lunch break right now. Maybe you just work through lunch.
Can you take a real lunch break? So what are your options there with the
time you thought was blocked out and can we tweak it?
If you can make those adjustments, go ahead and reflect that here on your
calendar and unblock and reblock whatever times that you need to. Step three is to add in your
lifestyle and health blocks, so be sure to be blocking out seven,
eight hours of sleep, block out any meal times,
exercise time if you’re exercising, when you need to rest.
We so often don’t schedule in rest, but it’s pretty critical and will
often just take it when we need it. So be sure to take some time here to
incorporate your ideal more lifestyle blocks. Step four is to look at what time is left
and see how many options you have for when you can work.
How much time is left? How many hours does that leave you? Probably you’re going to see
some time in the early morning, some time at lunch and
some time in the evenings. So do a little assessment. Maybe you have a nontraditional
fulltime job hours, so just look at how much time is remaining
and how much that adds up to for the whole week. Step five is to ask
yourself, how do you feel about that? What adjustments do you think
you should make to that? Think about what trade offs you are
willing to make to give you more time for work without 100% sacrificing all of
the other things that matter to you. Again, that’s kind of where
that example of maybe, maybe exercise and working
out is important to you, but maybe instead of going to the gym
or going to a workout class that’s 90 minutes, can you do that a couple times a week
and fill in the other days of the week with a shorter workout? Are there times where maybe when it’s
a really full week you just do a walk instead of a 90 minute workout? Again,
I mean go on and your priorities, not just my examples here, but well you
want to be looking at is the trade offs. I don’t want you to trade off all of
those personal things and health and wellness things for work, but we probably can
make slight adjustments. Or maybe you’re happy with the time you
have left. Maybe that feels really good! Then don’t make any adjustments. So this is just if you’re looking at
that time you have left and you’re not totally satisfied with
what that adds up to. Ask yourself where you
can make some tweaks. Maybe you get seven and a half
hours of sleep instead of eight. Or maybe you just realize that in the
evenings you kind of drag your feet and aren’t very productive anyways, so you’re going to still get eight hours
of sleep or you’re just going to go to bed earlier so you can wake up earlier. Step six is to stick to the schedule you
just made and protect your side hustle time. I like to recommend that
you have a tangible copy of
this schedule that you can actually see with you throughout your
day at your fridge in the morning by your bed and make sure that you can see it
and aren’t forgetting when you want to be spending your time on certain things. I also want you to set alarms and
reminders on your phone to remind you when it’s time to start working on something
and stop working on something, when you need to go take a break. Feel free to leverage technology to help
you stick to the schedule that you just mapped out. You can also tell
family members or friends, especially people who live with you, whether they’re just
roommates or family members. It’s pretty important to tell them
when you’re adjusting your schedule. So if you have decided you’re going to
wake up at 5:00 AM to get in a solid hour of side hustle time
before your fulltime job, that’s going to adjust family members, you want to go ahead and
give them a heads up. It’s also going to increase
accountability as well, so that always benefits everyone. And related to that you can also just
find a dedicated accountability partner if you want. But do whatever it takes
to not only stick to the schedule, but protect it. Make sure you are in do not disturb
mode when you are working on your side hustle. Do not get distracted by the television
or apps or notifications on your phone or messages or social media. You need to really consider this side
hustle time as sacred and absolutely do not let anything infiltrate it or
distract you while you were working on it. So those are the six steps to finding
time to work on your side hustle. I do want to go ahead and let you know
about my friend Natalie Bacon’s course blog with a full time job. She actually has these samples schedules
in this course where the whole course goes into so much detail about the tech
side of setting up a business while working full time. The mindset behind it and tons of tips
and strategies on how to monetize, create content, generate
traffic. It’s truly incredible. So if you are looking to build a business
and build your side hustle or maybe you just see like you don’t really know
what you’re doing with your side hustle, I would highly recommend that you go
check out her course blog with a full time job. She has these incredible
sample schedules, which
is what I was gonna share, where she shows you three different
options for how you could be spending your time to build time for your job, and
it could vary. Her three examples, I think it’s 10 hours a week all
the way up to 40 hours a week. So you can see exactly where you could
start off with creating the schedule. I found them so helpful
and super motivational and
inspiring when I was going through this for myself. So if you’re interested in learning
more about Natalie Bacon’s course, be sure to click the link
beneath this podcast. You can watch our sales page video,
see everything that’s included. Look at every module.
You will be blown away. I am a student in this course and
it really is an incredible. Okay, back to managing your side
hustle with your fulltime job. So now you know when you’re doing it,
but that is only part of it. I have some pro tips to help making
your side hustle work and how to do this while balancing a full time job. Tip Number one is to adjust your
expectations and be patient. You do have a full life,
you have obligations, and that’s okay. The reality is
is that the more time you work, the faster you might progress,
not always, but that is also the path to burnout.
So be the turtle. Don’t be the hair. We all remember that,
right? It’s all about slow, steady, intentional progress,
not sprinting. Cause if you sprint like you really
will get tired. I have burned out. I had done that. You will
see immediate results. Well,
I mean, it’s not guaranteed. You’ll see some results, but they’re
not going to be long lasting results. So just know that as a side hustler,
the reality is you do have limited time. You just can’t do everything
that you want to. That’s okay. That’s a truth that often can
feel disappointing or frustrating, but I want you instead to really process
it and accept it and use that truth to be so smart with how
you do spend your time, which we’ll talk about
more in just a second. Part of adjusting your expectations isn’t
just the speed in which you will move on things, but it’s also just how
much you can do at any given time. I have learned and what I have been doing
that’s been really helpful for me is that I can really only be focused on
one singular goal or project at a time. Right now as I record this and my singular
focus is getting this podcast going. It’s recording episodes,
it’s creating blog posts. It’s trying to get ahead of schedule.
That’s my singular focus. I have other tasks, sure, that
I’m working on when I can, but the key there is that it’s when I can. It is not something I really schedule
an expectation for for myself, so I am completely focused on getting
this podcast up and running and once this is in a really good workflow where either
I’m ahead of schedule or it doesn’t take me the whole week to
produce one podcast episode, then I’ll be able to add in more things. But for now this has to be my singular
focus because I only have so much time in the day. What makes it really fun though is that
I already know what my next priorities are. I have them lined up,
I’m still thinking about them. I’m still writing down ideas. I’m still getting inspired and taking
little tiny baby steps behind the scenes on them, but I’m just so excited to get
to work on them once that this, once this current project has a rhythm
in place and is either completed or at a place where it’s really
more process based. So it actually makes me twice as excited. I’m more excited to be
working on the podcast, which is a project that I’m loving, but I’m also excited that when I
complete this batch of recordings, I get to focus on the next thing.
It’s like a double reward. Like I’m excited to do what I’m doing now, but then I’m even more excited because
when this project is done I get to do something else that I love and I’m really
excited about. So it was pretty great. So when you adjust your expectations
to accept that you will be slower to be patient, to work on one thing at a time until
it’s either really easy or you’ve batched it in your schedule the head,
you just have to adjust your expectations. And when you do, again, as speaking
as someone who’s done this, this never was my perspective before.
I always felt so behind, so frustrated. I felt like I
didn’t have enough time in the day, but as soon as I shifted my gears to this, just acceptance and instead of feeling
frustrated and constrained by it, allowing it to empower me to make
really substantial progress in a shorter amount of time.
But because I’m only focused on one thing, it’s been amazing and I’ve
been so happy working this way. So adjust your expectations.
Be patient focused on one thing at a time. These are all very related, but there are key to managing your
side hustle and a fulltime job without sacrificing your health, in
particular, and your happiness. Tip number two is to use your time wisely. Make sure that you are making meaningful
progress on your big goal or priority or projects every single day.
You have limited time, so don’t let yourself use it in
a way that doesn’t make sense. Have a plan. Make sure what you’re
working on is high return on investment. Make sure it’s revenue generating and
don’t just sit down and wonder what to do next. If I sit down at 6:00 AM in the
morning to “work on my side hustle”, but I have no idea what I’m
about to sit down and do, I’m totally screwed and that means that
I have to make sure the night before that I’ve already decided what I’m going
to do between 6 and 8:00 AM for my side hustle. I know that those two hours are the only
guaranteed time I have to work on my side hustle and that’s if I wake up on
time, which is if I go to bed on time. It’s a whole ripple effect
here in our lives, you see. But I know that if I’m going to use those
two hours to the best of my ability, I need to know exactly what I’m doing
and I need to have everything prepped. So part of my evening routine is preparing
for the night, preparing for the day, the night before. Which I actually have a YouTube video
on as well that I will be sure to link beneath this podcast if you want to
know exactly how I plan my day the night before. But in short,
within the scope of this, I make sure that I have
all Google docs created, topics decided, links
open in my browser, etc. I have an actual list of what tasks
come in and do during those two hours, but not only that,
I have my computer like ready to go. Like I literally close my computer
the night before with chrome, with all the tabs open that I need and
only the tabs that I need or whatever other apps you might need open. I’ve even known when I’m editing a podcast
and then waking up the next morning to edit it. I will have screenflow open with the
file imported and all the other files I need like right there so I’m ready to go. So that way it can come down and sit down,
knock it right out. That has been a game changer, so make
sure you’re using your time wisely, but part of that is knowing exactly what
you need to be doing when you sit down to do it. Part of that is also staying
focused during that time. Please, please, please be in do not disturb mode. Do not allow any notifications to come
through and distract you and disturb you. No distracting apps allowed,
no Netflix on, no nothing that’s going to
really divert your attention. And no fulltime job apps open when you
are not working on your full time job. At least in the morning or whenever
your biggest focus time is, don’t check your email! Don’t open Slack or whatever project
management or communication tool your team is using. Do your best to not
open it during this focus time. Because we all feel like we want to
be around all the time and that can be really hard and there might be
some guilt associated with that. But we’re about to talk a little
bit more about boundaries, and this will come full circle for you. But make sure that when you are having
this dedicated focus for your side hustle that is outside of your fulltime job time, that during this very sacred time, you do not have any full time job
apps or tabs or anything open. Protect the time you have set aside for
your side hustle with everything you’ve got it sacred. And when you
do this, when you have a plan, when you’re using your time wisely, you will see results even if things
are moving a little bit slower. So even if you feel like
you’re making slow progress, you will know without a doubt that the
progress you’re making is having an impact. It is meaningful,
it is intentional, and it will get you to where
you’re trying to go. Whoo. Okay, so last pro tip here, you need to have a clear boundaries
between your fulltime job and your side hustle. I believe that it is important to still
feel good about the work you’re doing in your full time job while
you’re side hustling. I have done this before in the opposite. So back when I was working full
time and HR at a corporate job, I was side hustling and I got in such
a bad mindset about my fulltime job. I just felt like I was kind of slacking
and I didn’t feel like I was doing a quality job at work. I kind of got
really resentful that I was there, totally got sucked into
this really negative, not only mindset but just a negative
terrible way to spend your time. And if you’re a side hustler,
you’ve probably felt that before. I’m not saying you’ll never feel that way, but I think it’s important to still feel
good about the work you’re doing and the time you’re dedicating to your full
time job because when you do it feels really good. And all of that guilt that can pop up
sometimes when you’re working on your own stuff on this side, goes away when you know
that you’re doing good work. That you know that your full time job
is paying you to do really high quality work, getting your full attention when
it needs to be getting your attention, and it just feels better. Like
you will feel better., trust me. So if you’ve ever dealt with that, please
try to shift gears, shift your mindset, whatever you need to do to make sure
that you’re still feeling good about the work you’re doing,
the bulk of your day. So while you’re working at your full
time job, during your work hours, do good work,
be responsible, be reliable and while you’re there
it’s okay if ideas pop up for your side hustle, make note of them in some
place you can reference later, but go back to your fulltime job.
I again, I mean a lot of people would probably
give you the opposite advice to like use every nook and cranny of time
you have. But I, I again, I’ve done it and it didn’t feel good.
It started to feel really toxic. I started to feel really guilty
and it just made me really unhappy. And now that I do it the opposite,
it feels incredible. I know that I’m doing such a good job and
I feel so confident and proud of that, super engaged. But I know that my side hustle is also
happening and it’s just happening on the side, and they’re not overlapping
and it just feels really good. So trust me on this,
that’s the right way to do it. Because when you know you’re doing good
quality work when you’re at your full time job, you get to shift gears to work on your
side hustle in the appropriate times, and not feel an ounce of guilt. You can just be happy and excited and
enjoy it and feel all the good feelings and none of the bad ones. So that is how to manage your
side hustle with a full time job. I hope you found that helpful. If you want to know more about how to
start your own business and blog while working a full time job,
you want to go deeper into that. I highly recommend that you join me in
Natalie Bacon’s course Blog with a Full Time Job. I did enroll in this course earlier in
2019 and it just totally blew me away. Natalie goes into all the different
phases it takes to starting a blog and a business from scratch. She talks
about the preparation and planning, which includes time management,
those sample schedules, and then she digs into how to start and
launch it and she goes really deep into some great tech tutorials,
writing blog posts, a GDPR, things that don’t matter but think you do,
that was my favorite. Then she goes into growth: things
like traffic, email marketing, how to network and build relationships
with other bloggers and people in your audience. Then we talk about
monetization, like display advertising, affiliate marketing, digital products,
ebooks, other strategies and so much more. And then she’s even got these incredible
advanced strategies like marketing, email funnels, monetization, blog
posts ideas, email templates, the blog post template and some incredible
bonus trainings by other experts in the online business space.
So if you want to learn more, be sure to click the link beneath
this podcast or head over to And I can’t wait to see you in the
Facebook group because this program has really blown my mind. I hope you
found this episode really helpful. Whether you are a existing side hustler
or maybe looking to start a side hustle. I’d love to hear from you on social media. Maybe tag me in your Instagram
stories if you enjoyed this episode. My Instagram handle is @megan_minns and
I will see you guys in the next episode. Thank you for listening to
The Productive Life podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode,
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I’ll see you in the next episode.

Comments (3)

  1. Thank you for this episode, Megan! I’m currently building my virtual assistant side hustle while working a full time job. I’m going to put these tips into practice.

  2. This was SUCH a helpful episode! I downloaded the Ideal Week Planner and it is SUCH a helpful tool! Thank you!

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