Are you struggling to tackle the extra work that comes with your side hustle? Figure out what’s tripping you up on your way to success and learn how to use your time wisely
Each and every day we have 24 hours. Twenty four hours to spend doing what we need to do and what we want to do. Let’s do some maths: Your job takes up eight hours a day. If you commute to work, let’s err on the side of caution and say you spend two hours a day travelling. Put in eight hours a night for sleep, an hour to get ready for work and another hour for downtime before bed and you’re left with four hours. You have around four hours a day to commit to your side hustle. That’s not even counting weekends! So, why is it that your side hustle is not progressing?
YOU’RE NOT BEING INTENTIONAL WITH YOUR CALENDAR
If you’re just waiting for the muse to grace you with their presence, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Waiting around to be inspired and for free time to magically appear is not how you go about creating a successful side hustle – you’ve got to make an effort to create those blocks of time yourself. Actually do the maths and plan out your days. Make use of apps like Google Calendar and colour code each sectionof your day. Block out your 9-to-5 with a certain colour, your commute, dinnertime, etc., and then block out specific times in your week when you’re going to sit down and work on your side hustle. Now you’ve found the time to dedicate to your business. But, that’s not all you’ve got to do…
YOU’RE NOT CLEAR ON YOUR TASKS
‘You know you want to move your side hustle forward, but do you know what you’ve got to do to make that happen? It might be creating a website, getting your social media profiles up and running, creating packages and settling on your prices. Once you’ve got this checklist, you can slot tasks into your calendar so that when you sit down to work on your side hustle, you know exactly what you need to do. To keep your motivation high, incentivise yourself. ‘Incorporate small rewards, like buying yourself a new book, watching a movie or grabbing tickets to a sports match, into your weekly routine for when you hit your activity goals. Set bigger rewards for monthly and quarterly goals to encourage yourself to keep pushing forward,’ according to Forbes.
YOU’RE EASILY DISTRACTED
Often, progressing with your side hustle isn’t about how much time you have, but how you use that time. Social media and Netflix are addictive – how many times have you said this to yourself, ‘Just five more minutes of Instagram,’ or ‘Just one more episode and then I’ll start doing my work.’ Beat these distractions by making sure that the time you’ve carved out for your side hustle is a time of social media and series silence. Don’t worry, there are apps to help you with this so that you don’t just have to rely on your self-control. One example is Cold Turkey; it blocks websites, games, and applications so that you can focus on the stuff that actually matter. Also, avoid distractions when you’re working by scheduling breaks and certain times where you can be distracted. Work for 50 minutes, then take a break for 10. Breaks are essential for productivity as it refreshes the brain.
YOU CAN’T SAY ‘NO’
Here’s the thing: You’ve got to make your side hustle a priority to make it work. That means that other things are going to have to fall by the wayside. eMerchantBroker.com co-founder, Blair Thomas, explained to Success, ‘When you are trying to balance a full-time job and a side project, you need to say no to those things that will not help you reach your goals… Focus on the most important thing when you are trying to do it all.’It might be difficult to say no to drinks with friends and weekends away, but when you’re working a 9-to-5 and trying to get a side hustle off the ground, you’ve got to make the decisions that are aligned with the future you want. You do have time to work on your side hustle. It starts with seeing where exactly you’re spending your time, and then prioritising your new business over other things. Missing out on events, waking up early, and spending your breaks working on your side hustle may seem difficult in the moment. But, think about your future. These actions will compound and lead your venture to success.
Words by Paula Rabeling