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Finding time to work on your side hustle is a common challenge for a lot of us. Whether you are just starting your side hustle or already running one, you will totally feel like there is never enough time in the day to get everything done.
The key is making the time. And it doesn't have to be 4 hours a day. It's not so much about those big pockets of time. It’s the 20-30 minutes every day or the 1 hour every other day on a consistent basis that makes all the difference.
Starting a side hustle while managing other commitments is not an easy thing to do. Just make sure that you are being honest with yourself and realistic about the amount of time you can spend on this. Take a look at your calendar and start blocking off your existing commitments: sleep time, work time, dinner time, exercise time.
Then see what pockets of time are left over and determine how much time you can spend on this business right now. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day. Or two hours every weekend. 30 minutes every evening. You want to commit to something that feels manageable.
Here are some other ways to make time for your side hustle.
Wake up earlier.
Or go to bed later. I know, I know. Sleep is precious. I need at least 7 hours every night to function with any degree of normalcy. But if you are able to wake up 30 minutes earlier every day or go to bed just 30 minutes later, this translates to about 3 extra hours you can spend on your side hustle every week.
Find your most productive time and protect it.
Get comfortable with your energy levels so that you know when you can focus the best. Most people are either early birds or night owls. Me? I’m definitely a morning person and I know that I can get my best work done in the morning before noon. Not that I can’t get any work done after that time, but I know it'll be much harder to focus. So as much as I can, I schedule meetings and phone calls in the afternoon so I can use my morning time to get stuff done. Figure out your best energy times and see if you can carve out some of that time to work on your side hustle.
Use your lunch break.
You can pack your lunch and bring it from home. Or eat lunch while you’re working and then use your lunch hour to work on your side hustle. Most people get 30 to 60 minutes for lunch so you can use that time to draft your next blog post, return a client call, or schedule some social media posts into your Buffer queue.
Extend your workday.
Most of us get home from the office and find ourselves swept up into other things (like cooking, cleaning, or taking care of kids). Or we feel completely brain-dead when we walk through the door (#truestory) and just want to veg out in front of the tv. Because home = non-work activities. To combat this, you can try extending your workday – stay an extra hour later at your office or head to a coffee shop right after work and work on your business. This way, once you get home, your “work day” is done.
This also works in reverse especially if you’re an early bird like me. If you start work at 9 am, head to the office or a nearby workspace around 8 am and use that hour to focus on your business.
Plan for bonus time.
Bonus time, you say? Yes! Bonus time is commute time or wait time. Those sometimes expected and unexpected minutes you find in your day. You most likely have some version of commute time in your Monday through Friday life – whether you’re driving or riding the bus or train. And think of those doctor appointments that never start on time. Like ever. This is bonus time that you can use to do things. It’s great to have a list of things you can knock off when you are presented with an extra 5-10 minutes of free time. You can listen to a podcast, read some blog posts. Jot down some blog ideas in your Evernote. Or return phone calls.
Take a day off.
From your day job that is. I sometimes use my vacation days in order to work on my side hustle. I take a day off every other month or so and use at least half of the day to write blog posts, work on new courses, or plan for the quarter. And if you have paid vacation days, you’re essentially getting paid to work on your side hustle. Win-win.