The traditional nine-to-five full-time job is becoming more and more rare for many people. In 2018, Bankrate conducted a survey in which it found that almost 40 percent of Americans have a side job. The average extra monthly income for side hustlers is somewhere between $686 and $836 a month. And while many of those folks consider those earnings to be “extra” on top of their regular income, at least 38 percent need it to cover their actual living expenses.
Burning the candle at both ends to keep up can lead to mental exhaustion and burnout. With so many demands on your time, is it possible to balance your full-time job with your side job?
Time and energy are the most important factors in pulling off a side gig, and in this article, we will share some tips to make the most of both.
Why Take a Side Job?
A legit side gig is an excellent way to shore up your current income, whether you need to pay down debt or save for a major expense. Plus, many people don’t make enough at their regular jobs to meet their monthly financial obligations. For these folks, a side hustle is imperative to get ahead. Consider making money from taking online surveys, this is a perfect option for anyone as it doesn’t require any skills or experience.
Another reason to take on a second job is to help you with any entrepreneurial aspirations you might have. If you eventually want to break out of the nine to five rut and start your own business, getting in the habit of working at any side gig is a discipline that will help you down the road.
Pick Something You Feel Good About
This tip is particularly true if your regular job is not something you are especially passionate about. Adding a side gig that you hate onto an already unfulfilling full-time position is a sure recipe for burnout. Not to mention, it sucks all the pleasure out of life.
When you select a gig you are passionate about, or one that makes you feel happy, you sort of kill two birds with one stone. Not only are you making some extra cash, but you are filling a need for something pleasurable in your life. If you choose something that reflects your interests, doing it for the long term will be much easier and will make it feel less like you are working all the time.
Hone Your Time Management Skills
Setting up a well-thought-out schedule is one of the key considerations in balancing your full and part-time jobs. A routine is critical, especially when you need to be productive at both of your gigs.
Sit down and actually block out each hour of the day to determine what is reasonable for you. Everyone has the same 24 hours to work with, but how you use them will look vastly different than other people. You may have young children to care for, older kids you need to homeschool, or group meetings you are committed to. Be sure to schedule in all of the tasks you need to complete every day, so you don’t leave out anything important.
Once you’ve compiled a schedule for yourself, look at it carefully to ensure you are being realistic. If you are working outside of the home, have you accounted for the time it takes to commute from one job to another? Have you left time to take care of your other responsibilities and commitments?
Set Some Boundaries Around Your New Schedule
Whether you are just starting a second job or you have been at it a while, you need to set some clear boundaries about your schedule. If the people around you don’t understand your goals and objectives, they may wonder why you are working so much, which can lead to hurt feelings and guilt.
The best thing to do is sit down and honestly share your thoughts and feelings with your friends and family, so they have a better understanding of what is happening. This is especially true for your spouse and kids, who may feel neglected when you are unavailable. Be sure that your schedule includes time for them, and even have them help you build the schedule. Above all, be sure to stick with it and take that time just as seriously as you would for work-related tasks. After all, the extra money and work won’t mean much if you can’t nurture your closest relationships.
Don’t Overlook Small Blocks of Time
If you find it hard to balance the responsibilities of a full-time job and your side gig, don’t overlook small snippets of time you could be using to do something productive. Instead of hopping on social media during your train commute, for example, you could squeeze in some work on your online side hustle. Rather than listen to the radio on your way to work, consider a motivating podcast related to your specialty, or use that time to practice for an upcoming presentation.
Prioritize Your Health
If you are trying to balance your life between two jobs, one of the first things to go out the window is self-care. However, neglecting your health and wellness is guaranteed to result in disaster. Prioritizing your health absolutely must be at the top of your priorities list, or you eventually hit a brick wall that will be hard to come back from.
What does self-care mean in this instance? We probably don’t have to tell you. If you are already putting in lots of hours, your body will speak up. But in case you need a refresher, here are some thoughts:
Stay hydrated. It’s easy to forget about drinking water when you are on the go, but make sure you have a sports bottle of some hydrating beverage with you at all times. Hydration boosts energy, which will help keep you clear-headed and more productive. Dehydration has many uncomfortable side effects, including brain fog, anxiety, aches and pains, and even more serious concerns.
Get Enough Sleep
It’s tempting to forego sleep when there is so much to do. Some type A personalities find it excruciating to settle down and “waste” hours of productive time sleeping. But sleep, you must. You’re not a superhero, and lack of sleep can be debilitating in the long run, causing a mental and physical crash that will set you back in all your efforts. Just do what your mother always told you and get a solid eight hours of sleep.
Healthy eating also seems to go out the window when trying to balance a full-time job and a side job. Again, bad eating habits are another thing that will only be detrimental in the long run. Good food does not have to take hours to prepare. A banana is the simplest and one of the most nutritious fast-foods on the planet, and it’s super cheap as well. Keep nuts, granola bards, and raw veggies on hand to help give you balanced energy that will keep you going even if you have to skip meals.
This tip is vital for those whose full and part-time gigs have them sitting at a desk. If you can’t schedule some time at the gym, at least get up every hour or two and take a walk around the block or the building. Look for workday yoga and stretching videos that you can do right at your desk. Your body will thank you.
Whether you are spending an extra few hours a week on your side or you are plugging away at it every day, these tips can help you find a reasonable balance within your life. While there is no magical formula for balancing a full-time job with a side gig, you can make it work for you with some patience and planning.