How to Make Time For Your Side Hustle While Working a 9-to-5

4 productivity hacks to up your side hustle game.

How to Make Time For Your Side Hustle While Working a 9-to-5
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

4 productivity hacks to up your side hustle game.

Entrepreneurship is often glamorized as the “rags-to-riches” stories.

This has influenced many people to quit well-paying jobs to pursue financial freedom.

The problem is no one talks about the risks and uncertainties that leaving a steady paycheck brings.

I recommend taking a more calculated approach if you want to make it big despite all the competition and uncertainty.

In a survey of 200 successful business owners, 81% claimed they began as a side hustle while working a 9–5. This tried-and-tested approach helped them scale their business to 6–7 figures and transition to full-time entrepreneurship smoothly.

I followed the more practical route and started writing as a side hustle while doing my 9–5 day job. With my bills covered, I had the mental bandwidth to invest my time in my passion project that led me to my dream life.

Eventually, my hard work paid off.

I started making more money than my day job through writing. Once I did that successfully for 6 months straight, I felt financially secure and then switched to it full-time.

Working on a side hustle after spending 8 hours in a demanding job isn’t easy. Time always remains an issue, but I developed some systems that helped me find balance.

In this article, I’ve shared how I managed to find time for my side hustle while working in a 9–5 setup without exhausting myself.

These strategies will empower you to build your dream business without compromising your financial security, just like I did on my journey to becoming a full-time entrepreneur.

Create a Roadmap To Hustle Like a Pro

Invest time defining your priorities and the goals you want to achieve from your side hustle before taking the first step.

Following a planned approach will help you scale efficiently without exhausting yourself.

When I started working on my YouTube channel as part of my side hustle, I was trying to build a community of writers working on designing the life of their dreams.

To reach that goal, I planned to show up on my channel every week with 2 videos and 4–5 shorts.

I further took my plan ahead by preparing a script and coordinating with my editor to make this schedule possible.

A glimpse at how I plan my YouTube content. The tool used is Notion. (Screenshot by the author).

Here’s how you can plan and work towards your goal:

  • Select a niche you want to explore or are already interested in
  • Choose a platform like Medium, LinkedIn, or YouTube
  • Define your target audience and the call to action you want them to take– Opt for your services, follow you on your social media, or sign up for your newsletter
  • Determine your posting frequency and the hours you want to dedicate every day for your side hustle.

Unlock your 9-to-5 Productivity by Leaving No Room for Distractions

Effective time management is essential when starting a side hustle with a full-time job. It allows you to maintain productivity in your primary role while dedicating sufficient time and effort to your passion project.

Most of the time, we end up doing overtime or taking pending tasks home to meet our work targets. This happens because we’re either multitasking or distracted during actual work hours.

I found the best way out– Time Blocking, in which I used to divide my entire office hours according to the number of tasks in my hand for the day or week.

This technique always allowed me to do focused work without exhausting myself. Once the office hours were over, I had time for my side hustle without any excuse or urgency to meet my day job’s deadline at the last moment.

To maximize your productivity, establish a structured schedule following these steps:

  • Utilize the time management technique that works for you based on your work hours
  • Avoid multitasking and minimize distractions during office hours
  • Dedicate a fixed number of hours for working on your side hustle that you can allocate in a disciplined way without exhausting yourself
  • Set clear boundaries between your day job and side hustle to stay fully focused and productive in each role.

Aim for Realistic Goals to Take off the Creative Pressure

Be practical while setting deadlines for your project work if you want to stick to the plan and achieve your daily target.

It seems easy to assign N number of tasks passionately without being reasonable, especially when you’re getting started.

Such an overwhelming schedule starts working against you.

It took me a long time to understand that passionately setting daily goals isn’t sustainable if I want to be in this for the long term.

Earlier, I used to set a deadline for completing 2 articles a day. On some days, it was possible, but on others, I used to get exhausted and frustrated.

So, I changed my approach to setting better and achievable goals.

I aimed to write every day, even if it’s just 1 line and read 5 articles alongside. This helped me reach my publishing goals without putting too much pressure on my creativity.

The major takeaway — Consider breaking down large tasks into manageable chunks with realistic deadlines to reach your goals successfully.

Don’t Shy Away from Outsourcing to Maintain a Work-life Balance

You don’t want to lose work-life balance by working round the clock; first on your job and then on your business by the time you reach home.

Consider outsourcing tasks that don’t require your direct involvement.

This could include tasks like–

  • managing emails and invoices
  • editing videos or creating thumbnails
  • social media management, or certain aspects of your side hustle.

Delegating tasks helps you save more time and reach your goals faster while empowering and collaborating with freelancers at reasonable terms.

A look at how I track the progress of all delegated work. The tool used is Notion. (Screenshot by the author).

4 Powerful Hacks to Make Time for your Side Hustle Alongside Your 9-to-5: Final Words

You don’t have to leave your stable job to work on your entrepreneurial aspirations. 

You can make time for both while thriving in your work and personal life.

I’ve built a profitable business online while staying in my 9 to 5 with the following strategies. They helped me make time for my side hustle without compromising my full-time role or life, in general:

  1. Define tangible goals, target audience, and platform to showcase your skills to hustle for success
  2. Leverage time management techniques to dedicate sufficient time to your day job, side gig, and personal life
  3. Assign practical deadlines that complement your productivity, not work against it
  4. Delegate tasks that don’t need your expertise or direct involvement.

These steps will help you lay the foundation of your business while taking care of your bills through stable paychecks. Once your business starts scaling, you can switch to full-time entrepreneurship smoothly.

I just launched Freelance Superheroes: A training program for writers who want to earn from writing online without leaving their job, attract gigs outside Upwork/Fiverr, and become irreplaceable. Get it today!

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