So you have a 9-to-5 job, but what are you doing with the other 16 hours of the day? Are you just counting down time until the next day, or are you taking charge of your free time by engaging in something meaningful and productive?
But it’s easier said than done. Taking care of your family, sleeping, eating, exercising—all of these things chip away at your day, leaving limited time to dedicate to a side hustle. Learning how to manage that limited time is the difference between a futile grind and a fruitful endeavor.
Here are 6 ways to optimize your time so you can keep your side hustle without losing your mind.
1. Get Organized
What takes more time in the long run: spending an hour once a month cleaning your bedroom or spending 15 minutes sifting through your closet each time you need to find something?
Organization is the first step in maximizing your time and increasing productivity. But there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to getting organized. No one way is better than the other. You see it all the time on day jobs—the person on your left likes physical lists and bullet journals, while the person to your right prefers a digital calendar with a web tool for task management.
You may need to try a few different approaches before you find what works for you. Some people find that organizing their home helps them. Just having a dedicated space where you only focus on your side hustle helps you focus better than you would if you sat down at your kitchen table with your junk mail and dirty dishes begging for your attention.
Between all the tasks related to your side hustle, and everything else going on in your life, it may feel like you are being pulled in different directions when you sit down to work. Managing a side hustle is all about prioritizing, figuring out what tasks need immediate attention and what can wait.
Going into your dedicated side hustle time with a plan stops you from staring blankly at the computer wondering where to start, or bouncing back and forth between tasks. Believe it or not, that time adds up quickly.
Don’t forget to prioritize things outside of work. Figure out what work can wait until the next day, so you can be present in other areas of your life or for important family events. Life is about balance, so find a way to balance your side hustle with the other passions in your life.
3. Make a Schedule (and Stick with It!)
Making a schedule is the easy part. Use your priorities to figure out how best to use your time—and plan accordingly.
Sticking to the schedule is not as easy, and is where people often fall short. Some people need to be reminded of their schedule, whether it’s setting push notification reminders or printing physical copies.
It may also be helpful to have a routine where certain days of the week are dedicated to certain tasks. For example, Mondays can be for social media, Tuesdays for drafting emails, Wednesdays for phone calls and Thursdays for follow-ups.
Fridays can be for binge-watching TV or going out for an evening because, although it seems counterintuitive, scheduling downtime is important.
Keeping a schedule gives you one less thing to think about, which means less time spent worrying and more time spent working.
TIP: If you don’t have one, write out a weekly calendar, which can be on a piece of paper, or set up a digital calendar, and mark off your regular work time, family time, personal time, sporting activities, kids activities, etc. and then look at the free time you have available. Finding even 30 minutes here and there and using commuting times for calls can be super productive for building your side hustle!
4. Set Realistic Goals
Although it’s good to set goals that can push you outside of your comfort zone, make sure they aren’t too lofty for you to reach.
Take some time to analyze your work. Talk to other people in similar side hustles. Do some research to understand what can be realistically done based on industry standards, your individual availability, and your personal motivations for taking on a side hustle.
Use that research to set long-term goals, broken down into multiple short-term goals. Write them down, revisit them often, track your progress and crush them. And be sure to break each goal down into bite-size chunks and small daily goals so they never feel overwhelming.
5. Hold Yourself Accountable
It’s a blessing and a curse that many side hustles are solo projects. You have great flexibility to work your own schedule and at your own pace, but it can be difficult to stay on track with nobody pushing you.
Make sure to hold yourself accountable by learning from your mistakes, adjusting schedules/priorities when necessary and making a point to achieve your goals no matter what.
At Viv, you work for yourself, but never by yourself. Our extensive community of Life Consultants are always available to help you manage your time and resources. With support from Viv always readily available, you’ll have the opportunity to be your own boss, but have access to help when you need it.
Remember, accountability isn’t just about learning from your mishaps. Hold yourself equally accountable for your successes. It’s okay to reward yourself for the effort you’ve put into your side hustle. Buy yourself a present, take a couple of days off, whatever you want, but be sure to get back into it by setting another goal that will be even more rewarding.
And knowing you have support all around you, be sure to ask for help when you need it, and find an accountability partner to work with so you can be accountable to each other.
6. Don’t Forget to Live Your Best Life
Sometimes the grind of everyday life takes over and we forget to slow down and make time for the things we truly enjoy. Adding a side hustle into the mix only makes it easier to get caught up.
While the extra cash of a side hustle is appealing and even addicting, you don’t want that to get in the way of living. A good work-life balance leaves plenty of time for friends, family, hobbies and relaxation—that’s what we call living your best life.
Plus, what good is all that extra money if you don’t have a meaningful way to use it?
Working as a Viv Life Consultant provides an exceptional work-life balance, allowing you to work when you want to, while still maintaining your other responsibilities. As a Life Consultant, you’ll sell products and services that better the lives of your friends, family and others around the country, all while living your best life. Read more about the opportunities available to Viv Life Consultants here.
With tools to manage energy usage, simplify and automate bill payments, roadside assistance and technical support services, and so much more, Viv has everything you need to save time and money and live your best life. If you’re interested in setting up your own side hustle as a Life Consultant, contact us today!