Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, freelancer, or pursuing a passion project, learning to effectively manage your time is key to accomplishing your goals. If you’re an aspiring or current entrepreneur who also has a full-time job, having effective time management skills is even more critical. While balancing a side hustle with a full-time job can be challenging, it’s not impossible. With the right strategies in place, you can make the most out of your limited time and achieve success in both areas of your life. In this blog post, we’ll discuss practical time management tips and tricks to help you optimize your schedule, stay focused, and maximize productivity.
Benefits of efficient time management
Effective time management holds immense significance as it empowers you to accomplish tasks successfully. By mastering some of these time management tips, you can consistently show up as your best self in any situation. This can result in increased job responsibilities, enhanced quality time with loved ones, and the invaluable opportunity to nurture your personal well-being.
From a personal standpoint, I see time management as an essential aspect of self-care. Effectively managing your time necessitates regular self-check-ins. These check-ins provide valuable insights into your mental state, current circumstances, and potential areas for adjustment. By developing this self-awareness, you can establish healthier boundaries, think more clearly, and make significant progress toward your goals. It’s easy to become consumed by external factors, forgetting to prioritize our own growth and well-being. However, by cultivating strong time management skills, we can reclaim control over our lives and embark on a journey of self-improvement.
Common time management challenges for side hustlers
The number one question I get asked all the time as someone who balances running a business while also having a full-time job, is “Where do you have the time?” The truth is, everyone has the time, they’re just not effectively using the time to the best of their ability.
A common misconception is that people think that they would have more time if they were to quit their full-time job but nine times out of ten, if you don’t know how to manage the little time you do have, you’re not going to be able to manage your time when you have even more. Here are reasons why I see aspiring hustlers say they don’t have the time:
No solid routines
If you’re constantly in a rush and you haven’t established any systems or routines in place, you aren’t using your time effectively. You’d be surprised how much time you actually have when you have rituals that allow you to have a clear head.
While you might think you’re an excellent multitasker, trying to focus on multiple things when you only have a little time ends up with you not being as efficient with your time. Pick one thing to focus on with the time you have and maximize that time to the best of your ability.
Not making any sacrifices
When you’re trying to get started with running your business, there are sacrifices you’re going to have to make, that could look like staying up late, waking up early, or even cutting back on time spent with friends and family. There are going to be areas when you have to take a step back and you have to be willing to do so.
Lack of patience
Building a business takes time! if you’re constantly rushing to get everything done and you aren’t putting the time in to see the results. Your business is a marathon and not a sprint. Take the time to actually see every step all the way through.
Balancing your side hustle with a full-time job
Running a business and working a full-time job is no small feat. It requires so many different aspects of you and really forces you to get clear on what your goals are and what you’re trying to do. I encourage you to not think about trying to find a balance but as something else, you’re trying to integrate your new venture into what you currently have existing. Instead of striving for an equal balance, we should focus on integrating different aspects of our lives that hold the most significance.
Today, work and life naturally intersect, and new challenges will constantly arise. Personally, I integrate work with travel or allocate time before my 9-5 job for business tasks. While these approaches may not suit everyone, they ensure that no aspect of my life gets neglected. Here are some time management tips that I recommend to help you achieve better balance.
Establishing priorities and setting goals
Achieving balance in life can be difficult, but it is essential to prioritize the things that matter most to you. One way to accomplish this is by following these time management tips for setting goals that align with your values and vision for the future. By clearly defining your priorities, you can stay focused on what truly matters and avoid getting sidetracked by distractions that could prevent you from reaching your full potential.
Additionally, setting measurable goals can help you track your progress and stay motivated along the way. Remember, achieving balance is an ongoing process that requires constant evaluation and adjustment. By regularly assessing your priorities and making conscious decisions that align with your goals, you can create a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
Creating a schedule and sticking to it
Another time management tips is that when it comes to managing your side hustle, it’s important to prioritize it as a legitimate business venture. One of the most effective ways to do this is to block out specific times for it within your schedule. By designating certain days of the week to work on your side hustle, and using time-blocking techniques within your schedule, you can ensure that you are making the necessary time to further grow your business.
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of a 9-5 job, but it’s crucial to make time for your side hustle if you want it to succeed. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so it’s up to us to be intentional with how we use it. By setting aside specific time for your side hustle, you are demonstrating to yourself and others that you are serious about making it work.
Effective time-blocking techniques
Time-blocking is another critical time management tip I use. It is a great way to make the most of the time you have available for your side hustle. This involves breaking up your day into specific blocks of time dedicated to different tasks. For example, you may designate a two-hour block every Tuesday and Thursday evening to work on your side hustle. During that time, you focus solely on your business and avoid any distractions or interruptions. By using time-blocking, you can ensure that you are using your time efficiently and maximizing your productivity. When you have a limited amount of time to dedicate to your side hustle, it’s important to make every minute count.
Time-blocking allows you to focus on the most important tasks and avoid wasting time on less critical activities. If you can set aside 1-2 hours every day to work on your side hustle, whether it’s for clients or to grow your business, you’ll get a lot more done than if you try to fit it in wherever you can. I personally dedicate an hour in the morning and then a few hours in the evening instead of throughout the work day because it allows me to be hyper-focused and not skip out on any minor details within the business.
Tips for managing a side hustle & maximizing productivity
For the past seven years, I’ve had some sort of side hustle or passion project in addition to working a full-time job. Currently, I run a digital consulting agency, am a content creator, and am also a software engineer. Although I love the opportunity to make extra income while still having full-time work, time management can be challenging. This has led to me sometimes with increased stress, low energy levels, and trouble focusing on both. Here are some of my tips for managing a side hustle that doesn’t leave you overwhelmed.
Make your side hustle different from your 9-5 job
I know it may seem counter-intuitive to not expand on what you’re doing within your traditional 9-5, but trust me when I say it’s a lot easier to build out your side hustle if it’s DIFFERENT than your full-time job. Spending your free time working on things you do during the day can definitely lead to increased burnout. And in time, will make things a lot less enjoyable.
When I first started my business, I thought I wanted to do web development and web design projects, but I quickly realized that was not where I wanted to spend my free energy. Doing something different than your traditional 9-5 allows you to explore your different skill sets. It also allows you to better context switch when you’re ready to dive into your client’s work.
Be picky about your clients
Whether your goal is to be a full-time entrepreneur or not, having a full-time job allows you to build the business that feels the most aligned with you. Because of this, you should be picky when it comes to the clients that you work with. Your goal when building a business is to build a business that is sustainable while also building a business that is scalable.
When you get to a point where you want to start hiring more people to join your team, you want to be clear on what you’re offering and you set the direction for your business so that all of your team members understand what the goal is for your business so that they can better help you grow your business that starts with the people that you serve.
Be okay with slow growth
Because you are running a side business while working full-time, you may not be able to grow your business as quickly as maybe some of your peers are building their businesses that are working on it full-time. Be okay with that. This allows you time to be more intentional about your side business and to focus on building a business that matches your passions or desires and really allows you to have the freedom and flexibility that you desire. There are going to be seasons for everything. Don’t let comparison rob you from enjoying your season.
Your time when working a 9-5 and having a side hustle is very limited. Spend your time and effort developing automated systems that will allow you to quickly onboard clients without taking too much time away from your 9-5. The more automated you can be, the easier it is for you to focus on what needs your attention.
Personally, I’ve used tools like Zapier and Dubsado to automatically allow a client to sign a contract, pay an invoice, and be scheduled for a kickoff call. This means I’m able to review clients during my lunch break, and onboard clients before the end of my day. Allowing your side hustle to be more streamlined will allow you to better manage your time and also reduce stress.
Tools and apps for time management
Managing your time and money as a small business owner can seem like a tedious and time-consuming process in itself. Small businesses frequently feel the need to hire outside experts to help them manage their finances and organize their time, but this needn’t be the case. Taking the time to invest in learning how to use new tools can ultimately save you time and money. Here are some of my favorite business tools:
- Quickbooks: Perfect for handling all of your accounting needs.
- Dubsado: A great client relationship manager to better manage and automate your business process
- Notion: My personal favorite productivity tool you can use it to manage both your business and your personal life.
- Slack: Best for communication with your team.
- Loom: Save time in meetings and use Loom to better explain your processes.
- Airtable: Another amazing tool to manage your business process and better collaborate.
Conclusion and final thoughts
By incorporating these time management tips and hacks as well as different tools into your routine and workflows, you’ll find yourself less overwhelmed and more in control of your hectic schedule. Don’t let the demands of your full-time job hold you back from pursuing your side hustle dreams. It’s time to master the art of balancing the two, and myself and team are here to help you every step of the way. If you would like a personalized guide on how to better manage your time in order to achieve your goals, I encourage you to apply to work with me so we can get started.