How to run a side hustle alongside a full-time job

Most people I know have a side hustle, side project or passion alongside their full-time job. In fact it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t dabble in something different in their free time.

Whether it’s campaigning for charities, undertaking a sport on a professional level or running a small business, writing, painting, designing, we’re all looking for something to give some more purpose, enjoyment and fulfilment in our lives. I mean work sure isn’t giving it to us, is it? 

What started out as a childhood hobby has probably evolved into a side hustle or passion in your adult life. It can also remain as a good old fashioned Wednesday night activity, where you rock up, enjoy yourself and forget about it until the following week. Not everything in life needs to bring you money. 

Yet everyone wants to hustle. People want to work minimal hours, quit their job and watch the money magically appear in their bank balance preferably from a beach somewhere warm on a paid yogi retreat. If that’s what you’re hoping for, then I’m about to disappoint you. 

A side hustle is a humongous commitment, with a dash of fun, sprinkle of opportunity and a huge dollop of hard work involved. I’ve outlined a few tips for how to successfully run a side hustle here but a question I get asked a lot is how I do my side hustles alongside a full-time job. So here you go… 

How to run a side hustle alongside a full-time job 

Bookend your day with your side hustle

I start working on my side hustles in the morning before work. I’m a morning person, always have been, always will be, so I try to make the most of my get-up-and-go as I’m so much more productive in the morning.

Typically I work from 7/7.30-8.45am on one task for the day/week. That could be writing a blog post, editing a podcast episode, pitching to brands, pitching to magazines or writing for other publications. 

Then I work my 9-5 and pick up my side hustles again from 5-6.30/7, depending on how much there is to do. I find this approach works really well for me.

Back in the days when I had a small account and blogged as and when I felt like it, I’d write on my lunch break. But nowadays I just want to eat and have 45 mins of a Netflix Christmas film tbh. It also isn’t really long enough to sink your teeth into a task and finish it in my experience, so may as well enjoy some down time. 

Create realistic deadlines 

One of the easiest ways to fall off track is not having an end date to a project. Set yourself realisitic deadlines so you don’t add pressure to the side hustle, but you do actually get the work done. Otherwise it’s really hard to actually start a project, and it’ll always be one of those things you put off. 

Commit to it 

I know it sounds obvious, but you have to commit to it. No one else can do the work for you.

Once you’ve set your deadlines, it’s time to commit to your new routine. The more you work on your side hustle, hit those blog or podcast deadlines, the more natural it will start to feel and you’ll adapt to your new routine and workload. 

Have a plan in place

Whether you’re starting a side hustle from scratch or getting back into the groove with an old one, get a plan in place for bringing this into reality. If it’s writing a blog it’ll be quite straightforward if you already have a website. But if you want to start a podcast then it’ll be a slightly longer process from researching your idea, to creating artwork, recording, editing, to the first episode going live. 

So, factor the time in and come up with a plan. I also find this really motivating and exciting for projects as you know that perhaps in six weeks’ time, you’ll have the first episode of your podcast. I do a similar thing when I’m launching something new, I pick a realistic date it will come out and then work back from that deadline breaking down the project into small tasks. As then without fail, I make sure it launches on that date. Otherwise, I’d probably not get anything done! 

Don’t work all weekend 

Again, how much work and time you want to put into your side hustle will depend on how frequently you want to release something new. For my side hustles, I have to work some of weekend to fit it all in.

Currently, every week I’m releasing around three blogs, my newsletter, a podcast episode, and then create content for IG (and Pinterest when I have the time). And for full transparency, I’ve probably worked at least one day of the weekend since around April/May time. 

It’s 100% been worth it, but I’ve learnt that I don’t want to (nor do I need to) work all weekend – though it can easily happen, especially when I get super into what I’m creating. 

Create boundaries

Whilst there are time frames that I usually do work in, I make sure there is also time allocated to doing nothing. You have to be firm on when you’re working and when you’re not, otherwise your side hustle can bleed into every aspect of your life and then it won’t feel that enjoyable. Yes it might be incredibly exciting but it can probably wait till tomorrow.  

What are some of your best practices for having a side hustle with a full-time job?

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  • Hannah says:

    I am honestly in awe of how you juggle as many things as you currently do – you have some many side projects I can barely keep up! I definitely am someone who once I am inspired, I can easily set aside the time to work on my side projects but if I am not inspired, I find it hard to motivate myself. I definitely agree that one should break the big task down into smaller tasks because then it seems more manageable and less daunting – definitely something that I should start doing as well! xx

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