The ominous question of how to balance work and a side hustle
I want to clarify side hustle really quickly. I mean of course a side hustle could be starting your small biz (especially if you want to escape the 9 to 5 life), but it can also be any other project you have outside of your regular 9-5. So, how to balance work and a side hustle?
We all want it, but can’t seem to actually get our hands on it.
You know that you want to have a healthier lifestyle, but can’t seem to shift what you already do to actually feel more relaxed, and rested.
You don’t want to always be checking your emails or messages, whilst you’re at your nieces birthday party, or discussing meetings whilst out for dinner.
You get to balance your work, business/side hustle, and still have a life. In fact it is super important for your health and well being.
I’m going to share with you how to get to a place where you are able to balance it all, and have it all and still make yoga class on a thursday.
Firstly, understand your boundaries
This is the biggest and toughest for everyone when it comes to balancing work and a side hustle, but in reality it’s the most crucial one.
You are in control of your actions. You set the rules, and you know what you are capable of.
Ok , so here’s what’s not working.
It’s not enough to want to be the person that does it all and has it all, you actually have to step up to the plate, and this means not letting other things that you don’t really need in your life distract you.
So understanding all of this, you know when you need time off, space, or to go full force ahead with whatever project you choose.
Boundaries are required with all of your friends and family, but also with yourself.
So create boundaries with your time.
I choose to use my mornings and evenings for myself. So my morning is all about meditation and journaling.
But my evenings are either for dms, emails, or meeting up with friends.
The thing I want you to understand is you need to decide what is important to you, what needs to get done.
Are you looking for a house? Then morning enquiries are probably best so you can receive the emails during the day.
If you are looking for a job, evenings are best to work on your CV.
When balancing work, a side hustle, and a healthy lifestyle, you have to be clear about the amount of time you give yourself to do your side hustle.
The best thing I did for myself was to have theme days.
So Mondays I write content, post a blog post, Tuesdays I have most of my coaching calls, Wednesday I create content and do 6 min coaching, Thursdays are tech days and Fridays are half days where I clean up anything left over days, Saturdays are my days off, and Sundays self care and planning.
I call them the non-negotiables.
The more you do them the more you know what time to allocate to these things.
Then you can balance other people’s needs, fun things, chores and everything else in your life that needs taking care of.
Hopefully this is where you will learn more about how long it actually takes you to write a CV or make a phone call, instead of giving yourself two hours to make a salad.
You become realistic with what you can get done.
But also, when your non-negotiables come into play, you realise that others may not like it but it needs to get done and you will soon find that they begin to understand a little more.
However these boundaries will soon become a part of your pattern and allow you to feel in balance and flow with your work, life and side hustle. Which is what we are aiming for.
Self care needs to be in your everyday life.
So every day I take a moment to walk, stretch my body, read to nourish my mind, and meditate for my soul.
But this is me. Self care isn’t just about your skin and hair, even those things are important, so are these.
Also, if you don’t look after yourself and make time for you as a priority, nobody else will.
Looking after yourself makes you feel more balanced, special, and better about being you.
This is another way to grow your confidence but also bring a little more love into your life.
There are so many things out there that you can do, and what you focus on is your choice, but make it a habit, and not a one time thing.
So buy those really nice creams for your body, dress up for yourself every day. Walk to that coffee shop you love, do something that makes you feel happy.
Take breaks / holidays / do something big that excites you
Holidays are important as they take you outside of your current world. Space away from your regular habits, and encourage your mind to be creative and learn about where you are to develop those skills you need to turn fear of something different into curiosity about something new that you could even explore as a side hustle
When you are outside of your comfort zone, your mind does two things: you can either be excited or fearful. These say a lot about your current mindset, so be aware of what happens when you leave the comfort of your regular life.
Taking a break also allows you to breathe. We tend to be constantly busy, once we finish one thing, we instantly move onto the next. Which does not allow space for rest.
Have you ever come back home from work still thinking about the meetings you have the next day, prepped for that presentation, or busied yourself to make the next day better?
This is not restful, relaxing, or helps you to live a balanced life.
Your body needs to unclench, and if that means you need to go to a Caribbean beach asap then go. lol
This will also create more space for you to feel into what working constantly is doing to your body. I know for me I have really tight shoulders, and as a result have such bad posture, but relaxing and unwinding lessen all of that.
Planning is key
Now that you have given yourself theme days and know when you are taking time off, you need to find what you are actually working towards. So I assess every quarter, six months and yearly.
This is also when I have my goals of things i want to have done and things i want to achieve.
If you look back at your patterns, what works best for you?
So now that you know what your goals are in whatever time frame you use, you can start to make an action plan. Now for me I know what I want to accomplish, so I make the world’s biggest to-do list of every single action item down, and where possible I give myself a time frame.
This isn’t as something will take more than a day, but I do for the things I know about.
Next is to assign order to this huge list.
Then add that list to my calendar. One thing per day.
We are not superstars at the beginning so one thing a day is a simple place to start.
It’s also something I do to this day. I know what is on my list, but I also know that I like to rest, read, jurnal eat, speak to other humans, and so much more with my day.
So I focus on working on one thing a day, and if that thing gets done and I have space in my day I’ll move on to the next.
But keep it simple, also this allows for the least amount of procrastination, as you know you need to get something done, so you can move on to the next, which adds that little bit of pressure.
One thing that often happened especially at the beginning of my side hustle solopreneur business was that I would procrastinate for weeks. Which is why I wrote my procrastination cure guide because I have been through all the stages of procrastination. Loool
But the best thing I ever did for myself, was to find an accountability buddy.
Every week I have a meeting with another boss babe and we go over what we accomplished and what we did not accomplish. Why and how we can do better next week, but also what are plans for the following week.
This has helped me show up so much harder, and get super clear on what I need to do, and what my patterns are.
But I also actually showed up in my side hustle when I really did not feel like it because I knew I always have someone checking in on me, so I knew in the back of my mind I knew someone was going to ask why!
Not just an accountability buddy, but what you actually need.
My first hire was a tech person. She helped set up my website, create automations, create ads, support my email list, all sorts. It was such a huge relief to my mind, as tech is something i defo struggle with.
What do you need?
Sometimes it’s not for your side hustle but to get back some time and balance in another area of your work or life. So for example one of old clients hired a cleaner for the first time, as this allowed her to get back her Sundays and work on her social media.
Another one of my clients hired a VA to organise her life, and upload content, so she didn’t need to deal with social media on a daily basis.
With this I want you to look at where you actually need support, what you have been procrastinating on, and what you cringe at doing, but know it needs to be done, so you can find a balance between your work and a side hustle, and ultimately move away from your 9-5.
This will also shift your mindset towards becoming a leader in your life too. When you have someone who needs training, and you are spending your hard earned money on support you want it to be right, so you step up, and show them what you need like a boss.
I find when people want to go in a new direction, they are scared of really saying they are the expert, or the boss, when really you’re the expert on how you do things.
And only you know what you need.
Also one of the best hires I made was to hire a coach who had done what I was trying to do, and supported my mindset and my business.
It’s so important that you’re able to share what you are going through but to also get advice that is meant for you to succeed not through other people’s opinions and fears, which is what often happens when people consult their family members and friends.
So find yourself someone who sees the real potential in an unbiased way.
Your job is your investor – I was told this by two of my business coach friends. Which made me laugh as my friend was trying to find investors for her business. But really they do pay for your time, but you wouldnt have that kind of funding without a steady job.
Your friends are your friend not your business advisor. Like I said they are not impartial and will only want the best for you. However their best is through the eyes of their life, not yours.
Your side hustle is just as important as the work you do from 9-5.
I know because your job pays you, it means more, your boss watches you walk in so you have to show up and dressed.
But your side hustle is for you. It’s your thing, and it is just as important. Giving it the attention it deserves will not only make you step up but also give you the energy you didn’t have when you used to come home and crash on the couch.
Now you have more purpose, and something to share, so it requires you to work, and not chill.
Nobody understands what you go through.
But there are so many people out there who do, so go out and find through people.
It’s lonely doing it all on your own, having your biz buddies helps you know that there are others going through the same thing.
You need to know that this is a journey and not a one stop show of fun and dreams.
There are days where I am at my laptop from 8 in the morning till 8 in the evening.
It’s not cool, but it needs to happen, and on days like that i remind myself this is part of the journey and i love it.
As it means i am working on my dream.
I am working for me and my higher self. And my dream house. Lol
Starting a side hustle sometimes feels like an intrusion on your life, so find that balance through planning down time to be on your own, and recuperate.
You are not always going to want to do it, so do one thing at a time.
I hope these tips have shed some light on how to balance work and side hustle. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below or get in touch.
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