Strategies I Implemented in my 9-to-5 to Make Time For My Side Hustle

How I empowered myself to quit a stable job and chase my true passion.

Strategies I Implemented in my 9-to-5 to Make Time For My Side Hustle
Image from the author’s Instagram.

How I empowered myself to quit a stable job and chase my true passion.

I quit my full-time government job in 2021.

I’ve told this story multiple times, but I never talk about my life with a 9–5 routine.

Here’s how an average day looked like in my pre-resignation times:

  • Wake up at 7:30, make, and have breakfast
  • Rush to work, take a break for lunch, and then resume work
  • Get back home around 6 PM
  • Go for a run from 6:30–7:30
  • From 7:30–9:30, take a shower, have dinner and relax
  • At 10, sit down to write for 2 hours

Every day, I diligently worked from 10 PM to 12 AM on my side hustle. In those 2 hours, I explored my passion for writing. Because of the hustle in those days, today, I’m living my dream life. 

If I can do this, you can too. All you need is an actionable plan.

Here’s a breakdown of my strategies to make time for a side hustle with a 9–5 schedule.

Being purposefully asocial

We have 24 hours to get things done before the clock resets. When I started dedicating time to my side hustle alongside a 9–5 schedule, 24 hours seemed too little.

How was I supposed to work, write, generate sustainable income from a side hustle, and spend time with friends and family?

I wasn’t. I couldn’t. It seemed almost impossible to do it all. I had to prioritize.

I made a list of all the activities I engaged in throughout the week. Keeping the essentials like sleeping, working, and writing aside, I spent the most time going out and meeting my friends.

It wasn’t just the hours spent together but also the commute. Some plans overran and disrupted my dedicated night-time writing schedule.

With this in mind, I decided to be deliberately asocial to prioritize my side hustle.

Every week, I allotted two 2-hour slots for gatherings with friends. Not even a minute more.

Translation: there were plenty of canceled plans.

This ruffled a few feathers in my inner circle, but I patiently explained my reasons to them.

I doubt if my friends fully understood the magnitude of my dreams of becoming a writer. They did support me though.

When I finally resigned, all of them commended my determination to write.

Takeaway for side hustlers

If you want time for your side hustle, make your priority list immediately.

Strike out everything you can do later. Focus on the essentials and reduce the frequency of other engagements.

Once you purposefully become asocial, you can reclaim some precious hours to spend on building the life of your dreams.

Be prepared to be hit by solid pangs of FOMO. Your friends will continue to meet and share updates on social media. Don’t let that shake your determination, and utilize your time productively.

Letting myself be bored

No one can deny the information overload we face in today’s times. There’s continuous brain stimulation with new content popping up every second.

We no longer have time to be bored.

If we have 10 seconds to spare, we’ll watch a short reel. In short, boredom = endlessly scrolling on the phone.

I had to break this pattern to make time for my side hustle, but how? I got an idea when I read this quote on Instagram (ironically):

“If you want to know where your heart is, see where your mind goes when it wanders.”

I had to let my mind wander.

I let myself be bored. That’s when I found all my best ideas.

I was concerned about being a full-time writer, so my brain started strategizing whenever it got time.

I created extensive plans to cement my existing income sources and create new ones.

Whenever I let myself be bored, I was subconsciously building my dream business. After my work hours, I dedicated all my time to working on those plans and actualizing them.

Hours and hours of boredom later, here I am.

Takeaway for side hustlers

Break from the habit of useless social media scrolling, and let yourself be bored.

Think of what you want from your side hustle. How much time can you dedicate to it daily? What resources do you need to generate income from your side hustle?

These are just a few prompts. Spare 10 minutes daily to do nothing, sit, and strategize. Get bored to get your idea machine up and running.

Eating up enough ideas

We are what we eat.

This is not limited to our dietary consumption but to all our choices. Your net worth is defined by the company you keep. Every person, book, or information you surround yourself with, shapes you.

But if no one in your close circle is hustling to build multiple income streams, how do you stay motivated?

Start by feeding success stories to your brain, such that it believes you can make it too. Create an idea diet that’s rich in information about your side hustle and aspirations.

Takeaway for side hustlers

Revealing my tried-and-tested idea diet to my readers:

  • Read 4–5 books a month
  • Ardently follow the life principles of people you aspire to be like, and listen to their audiobooks and podcasts
  • Participate in online discussions which the high-value people frequent
  • Create an ultimate vision board and imprint it in your subconscious as a guiding light

Feel free to compile the resources that work for you and design your own idea diet.

Note down all the ideas you get while consuming the information. Later, sort the ideas that take you a step closer to your dreams.

You don’t have to dedicate a specific time to plan for your side hustle outside the 9–5 routine.

Utilize your commute time, lunch hours, and breaks to take in the idea diet. This process helps make the most out of the limited free time you get after a 9–5 job.

To sum up

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry writes in The Little Prince, 

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

Once you start investing a part of your day in your side hustle, the results will show.

Follow these strategies to make time for a side gig with a full-time job:

  1. Be purposefully asocial to make more time.
  2. Allow yourself to be bored and come up with creative ideas to monetize your side hustle.
  3. Consume diverse content in your free time to keep the idea machine rolling.

These strategies will help you squeeze out the most from every hour. All the tiny time investments will one day add up to realize your dream life.

Don’t quit your job because you feel your side hustle is your “true calling.” Quit it when you’ve invested enough hours in it to be considered an expert in the field. Start making enough money to pay the bills for at least another year. Only then it’s time to quit.

Till then, keep implementing these strategies and focus on making the maximum time out for your side hustle. The hours will pay for themselves and more.

Love writing but don’t know where to start? Join my FREE 5-day course. It’ll teach you the successful writer’s framework that took me 5 years to master.

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