Its no secret that many of us on the road to financial security maintain a side hustle of some form. They’re not just fun; but can also significantly increase your income. At least a few bloggers I know have ended up growing their little side hustle into a full time business.
However, speaking to a number of people recently I’ve found that one of the biggest hurdles when starting a side hustle is actually finding the time. After all, many of us are busier than ever before.
So how do you carve out time each week to supplement your income with a side hustle?
Set Your Priorities
Whether you’ve consciously thought about it or not, we all prioritise the areas of our lives. Getting to work on time and doing a good job, for example, is a major priority for most of us. So is paying our bills on time, or trying to get enough sleep each night.
But we also prioritise our free time. We desperately make sure that we’re home in time for our favorite TV show, or that football game, or whatever.
If your life is already pretty packed out then you need to consider what you’re willing to compromise on in order to grow your side hustle. For many of us its giving up an hour or two of mind-numbing TV each evening.
For others (like me) it involves getting up earlier than we’d like to, in order to grab an hour or two each morning before work.
So consider how you’re spending your time. Make some tough decisions about what you’re willing to give up to grow your business and then make your side hustle a priority. The more important it is to you – the more fire there is in your belly – then the easier you’ll find it to carve out the necessary time.
Become More Efficient
A great way to find the time to grow your side hustle is to consider how you can be more efficient in your everyday life; particularly with regards to chores outside of work. After all, the quicker you can complete these, the more time you’ll have left over for business activities.
One of my major goals last year was to get organised, and to minimise the less important stuff so I can focus on what really matters. I’ve set up a calendar with alerts so I know well in advance when birthdays and other special occasions are coming up.
I’ve gone through my emails daily in order to remove myself from mailing lists that just clog up my inbox. I’ve linked everything to my smart phone so I can quickly send an email, pay a bill or order a book in a couple of moments, rather than having to specially log into my laptop at home.
So the second step is to consider your efficiency. How can you make your life more organised and regimented, so that time-intensive tasks don’t take you anywhere near as long as before?
Commit to a Schedule
Whether its hitting the gym or building a small business, one of the most common excuses for not proceeding is “tomorrow”. I was busy. I didn’t have time. I felt unwell. I’ll do it tomorrow.
Sadly, as you may have found, “tomorrow” often never arrives.
My suggestion, therefore, is to decide on a schedule of exactly when you’ll work on your side hustle. For me that’s 7am-8.30am every workday. I do some on the weekends too, but my morning sessions are set in stone. The alarm goes off automatically at 6am every day and before long I’m working on my business.
So consider your own personal schedule, plus whether you’re a morning or an evening person, and try to make a commitment about exactly what your business-building schedule is going to look like. Treat this time as non-negotiable in order to get into a positive ritual.
Make Use of Your Smart Phone
Phones can do more now than ever before. Lots of what we do when building a side hustle involves tiny jobs, such as replying to emails, checking statistics, or sharing on social media. Fortunately all of this can be done from your smart phone, whenever you have a few minutes.
Every day I manage to get through most of my “admin” tasks on my phone, making the most of my lunchbreak at work, the minutes I spend waiting to pick my girlfriend up, the period where I’m waiting for dinner to cook and so on.
So consider installing the right suite of apps on your phone so that you can deal with all the little tasks during your “down time”. In this way, when you finally get to your scheduled time you’ll be free of all the smaller tasks and you can focus on the really big things.
Outsource Where Necessary
While I wouldn’t suggest outsourcing everything in your business, it can sometimes make sense to get help. To give you an example, one of my websites generates around $1,000 a month now. Not a huge amount, but that all adds up over the year.
As a result of this income I’m perfectly happy to pay a few hundred dollars each month for people to write me content or manage my social media channels. It allows me to achieve more in the same amount of time – and that means faster business growth.
Once your side hustle is earning, therefore, consider what you might be able to outsource to others. I know a number of website owners who barely lift a finger any more; they have writers, editors and VAs doing the bulk of the work; in just a few hours each week they’re able to run large and profitable sites – all thanks to the power of outsourcing work to others.
Use Your Vacation Time
This might not be a popular option, but I’ve found there is a significant difference between launching a side hustle and consistently growing it over time.
To give you an example, it’s a lot easier to pump out a new post for an established blog than it is to start a new one from scratch.
Sometimes its this initial “launch phase” that creates the most problems, so why not consider making use of your vacation time (or weekends) to this heavy lifting out of the way? Once you’ve bought your domain name, installed WordPress, chosen your theme and so on then things get so much easier. As the saying goes “do something that your future self will thank you for”.
Make a List
The final tip I can give you for finding the time to grow your side hustle is to make a “to do” list. It sounds such a simple idea but can make a massive difference to your results.
Quite simply because as I sit down at my computer at 7am every morning I know exactly what I’m going to be working on. There’s no messing about, no checking stats or wondering what I’ll do today. Instead I pull up my list and get started within moments.
This lets me achieve far more in the allotted time. Then, my final task each day is to make another list for the following day. Even better, I keep this list on my phone, so that I can update it or add to it as things occur to me during the day.
So those are my tips for finding the time to grow your side hustle, but what has worked for you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below…