How To Launch A Side Hustle Alongside a Full Time Job
by Laura Dempster, founder of Thrifty Londoner
Whether you want to fast-track your way to a financial goal, or have a little more disposable income, a side hustle can be a great way to add an additional income stream into your bank account and learn some new skills along the way.
In a time of financial uncertainty, there’s never been a better chance to brainstorm some brilliant ideas, get them down on paper, and start up your passion project. Who knows- maybe your side hustle could end up changing your life?
How To Decide On A Side Hustle Idea
It can be pretty tough to decide exactly what you should do as your side hustle, especially if your head is buzzing with ideas. But having a ton of ideas is a good thing- allow that creative energy to flow and write down everything that comes to mind at this first stage.
It doesn’t matter if you’re concerned that someone else is already doing something similar, if you’re worried about judgement from family and friends, or if you’re worried you don’t feel like an expert. Just get all your thoughts written down.
You might be surprised at just how much comes spilling out onto the page- but try not to feel overwhelmed by this- think of it as a bit of a ‘brain dump.’
The next thing you do with your list, is to narrow down your ideas based on your passions, skills, experience and knowledge. This part is key, because you want to make sure that your side hustle is something that comes easily to you, something that you love doing, and something that you are going to be happy doing once you come home from your full time job!
Choosing The Right Side Hustle For You
Lots of people get it wrong when they start a side hustle because they have not considered two of the most important things when starting a side hustle alongside a full time job- money and time.
Your side hustle must be a good fit for you in terms of the time that you have available to dedicate to it. If you know that you often work late into the evenings with your full time job, you already know that you’re probably only going to be available to work on your side hustle at the weekends.
Make sure that your side hustle is achievable and realistic so that you avoid disappointment and burn out (more on that later!).
Time and money also go hand-in-hand when it comes to planning out the right side hustle for you. You MUST make sure that you are happy with the money that you are getting for your time. I’ve made this mistake before, and more often than not, you just end up resenting your side hustle as it becomes a time sucking monster that isn’t earning you the money you want and deserve.
Do a few different calculations based on start-up costs, time, and expected income, and see what checks out. It’s vital to do this before getting started so that you know exactly how to tweak things before you put yourself out there.
Ever looked at a woman who is juggling a full time job, small business and two kids and wondered how the HECK is she doing it?! Probably with some top class productivity hacks.
Productivity hacks are little gems of wisdom that mean that you can show up at your day job, nurture your side hustle, and still have time for fun! These are my top productivity hacks to keep myself and my side hustles on track:
- Batch similar tasks together- it sounds simple, but how often do we flit between answering emails, spending time on Instagram and editing our work? A LOT. Instead, break things down into batches. For example, spend Monday on creating Instagram content, Tuesday on Pinterest graphics, Wednesday on writing… and so on. This makes our brains focus without getting distracted every time we switch to a different task.
- Make ‘to-do’ lists- I like to have several to-do lists, one for my 9-5, another for my side hustles, and another for life admin. This helps me feel less overwhelmed, and more organised. Once you have separate to-do lists, you can then pick items out and use them to write out a list for that specific day.
- Write down your 3 most important tasks each day- by doing this, you highlight your priorities for the day above everything else. You can add other items to the list, but bring those important, non-negotiable items to the top of the list to make sure that they are the first things that get done that day.
Time Management Tips
A key part of running a successful side hustle alongside a full time job? Time management. You want to make sure that you are doing your best work at your full time job whilst being able to deliver on your side hustle in your spare time. Staying organised and using time management strategies is how you avoid procrastination and get things done.
- The pomodro method- this is a time management trick loved by many- set a timer for 25 minutes to break down work into intervals. The idea is that you are focused on a task for 25 minutes without disruption, and then have a short break. This can really help you to stop procrastinating and focus on the task at hand.
- Plan ahead- by organising your schedule and planning ahead, you can manage your side hustle well around your full time job. If you know that you’ll be travelling with work a few months ahead of time? Plan well to make sure you have both bases covered.
- Time blocking- not for everyone, but occasionally time blocking can work really well to help you get lots done in a day. Time blocking is where you assign tasks to half hour or hour blocks throughout the day- it can give you focus, clarity, and structure on those days when you need it most.
How To Avoid Burnout
Burnout is the enemy of those with a full time job and a busy side hustle, and it can be crippling. If you are experiencing burnout, it could be a sign that you need to either give up your day job or your side hustle to give yourself some down time. That said, there are ways to work around this so that you are able to avoid burnout altogether.
Once your side hustle starts earning some money, you can reinvest some of that income back into your hustle. Outsourcing and delegating work to a designer, writer or virtual assistant will give you more time to focus on other parts of your business, and allows you to work less hours.
It’s easy for your side hustle to start consuming all of your free time- especially if it’s something you are super passionate about. Make time for things you love to do, especially socialising with friends, spending time with loved ones and enjoying hobbies to ensure that you are not spending every hour of the day working.
When you are so busy that it feels like you never stop moving, caring for ourselves is often the first thing that can go out of the window. Make sure that you get enough sleep, nutrition and exercise to give yourself the energy to continue without burning out.
But the most important thing you need to do to avoid burn out? Take time off. When you go on holiday, make sure that you’re not just away from the day job, but you’re taking some time off from your side hustle too. Although you might still want to be active on social media, everything else can wait- put that out of office on and spend some time away so that you come back to work refreshed and full of exciting new ideas.
And finally, if you’re about to launch a side hustle alongside your full time job- go for it! No one ever regrets taking a chance on something they are passionate about, and if you’re doing it on the side of your full time job, what have you got to lose?
Fear the fear and hustle anyway!