The side hustle – a perfect way to bring meaning to an otherwise mundane existence. But how do you find the time to indulge a side hustle, considering that you are already boxed in on all sides with your regular job, family, and social commitments? Simple – any pursuit that is driven by passion will make time for itself, with a little help from our time management hacks. Read on for 9 ways to find time for your side hustle.
1. Quit your car for long journeys
Stop driving yourself to anywhere that takes more than 30 minutes. Hop onto a cab, a bus, or the MRT to ferry yourself to your destination and use the time you just created to go online and stay on top of your emails, invoicing, or other small jobs.
Luckily, Singapore is blessed with a highly efficient public transport. While travelling by air, carry your laptop and figure out what all you can do offline during the journey.
What you can do during your transit time:
- Read up on latest trends and opportunities in your sector. Bookmark or mail them for later, more extensive reading and referencing.
- Watch videos or listen in to podcasts that may help your work. Staying motivated and learning from the best is essential to continue a side job.
- Complete personal calls to free up time later in the evening for some serious work.
- Plan for the next day on your ‘day’ job. Clear out emails, make a to-do list, so that when you go in to work, you can be more productive.
2. Get help for your daily chores
Be it cooking, cleaning or maintaining the home, it is best if you don’t try doing it all yourself.
Cooking at home may be a good idea, but it is also as time-consuming as it is healthy. And when you are being pulled in all directions and have a side hustle on your plate, consider giving up the occasional home-cooked meal. You will be surprised at the chunks that will open up on your timetable.
As for cleaning up your home, get help from part-time cleaners.
When can you make time during the day to work on your side hustle:
- Early mornings: You can beat peak time traffic (and travel at half the cost!) and get a coffee next to your office and work on your ‘other’ job until it is time to be at your desk.
- Lunch hours: Optimise your lunch break at work. Reduce the time you take off and channel it towards the requirements of your side hustle.
- Evenings: Organise and be efficient at home to carve out an extra hour before you hit the bed.
3. Activate your weekends
Traditionally, weekdays are for work and weekends are meant for relaxing and rejuvenating. But traditionalists don’t side hustle. Having said that, let’s deal with how to make the most of the two days that can make or break your side hustle schedule.
Considering that everyone has 24 hours in a day, how you spend your time changes everything. Give up on TV and Netflix, cut down on frivolous social media interaction, and stop lazing around – you will have created time that you never knew existed!
Here are some ways to avoid a burn-out:
- Take some part of your weekend to rejuvenate, sleep really late one night or wake up really early one morning to put in the required hours. This will give you exclusive time to work on the hustle as the rest of the world naps.
- Keep one weekend in the month, work-free. Connect with family, hang out with friends, discover new brunch places, laze around with a cup of coffee, do what your heart desires.
- Ensure you take a holiday once every 3-4 months, to keep the passion alive.
- Remember to write out your motivation to do this in the first place. Read it again, when days or weeks are tough.
- Don’t beat yourself up, when some days are tough at your day job and you can make no time to spend on your side hustle.
4. Focus on what you need to accomplish
Focus is the key to most successful projects and people. And when you are looking at making a success of something on the side, it becomes all the more important. Set targets for the side hustle, know what you need to accomplish before you get started on it. This will help you make the most of the little time you get.
When you know what needs to be done, you will get to it the instant your free time starts; but when you are not focused, you might spend half that time pottering around trying to figure out what to do and where to start. Be consistent, avoid distractions, and keep in mind that the side hustle is your dream and your way to your goal – that should help you focus.
5. Articulate the end use of the side hustle income
To remain excited, keep energy levels up and stay in the side hustle game, a good idea is to articulate the end use of the money earned through the side hustle. If your side hustle is a result of passion and not the need for an additional income, you could earmark the money for the purchase of something else you are passionate about.
It could be a cool gadget, a holiday, or even your house fund – just the setting of this goal will make you more true to the hustle.
5. Learn to delegate work
Making time for the side hustle in no way means that you cheat on your regular job; you just work around it and everyone is happy. One great way to do that is to learn to delegate work. Delegating work empties the mind space as well as makes time on your busy calendar.
Another way is to set and follow your schedule for optimum efficiency. Employees with side hustles actually become more productive at work too – the very fact that they are able to do something they are passionate about makes them happy, and the output of a happy employee is usually very high.
7. Online marketplaces are the way to go
If your side hustle is aimed at commercial gain, it should logically end up on an online marketplace like Etsy, Lazada, or Redmart. Joining and starting a shop on these marketplaces are often free, and the transaction fees are usually reasonably priced too.
With only basic selling fees like listing fee, transaction fee, and payment processing fee to deal with, hooking up your business to an online marketplace is a great way to start.
The alternative to that is building your own online shop using Shopify or WooCommerce, both of which will require you to have some knowledge about digital marketing and web development in order to successfully launch your online shop.
8. Hire a co-working space
Let’s say your side hustle is photography, but until you have enough business to justify all the equipment expenses, how do you get your hands on a studio and equipment for your jobs? Simple, hire a co-working space which provides a studio set-up and deals with the infrastructure you need.
Hook up with the likes of MVR Studio for a specialised set-up that you can hire during your own time. They provide shutterbugs with everything from equipment on rent and work desks by the hour, to the help of a junior photo assistant. Side hustling just got easier!
9. Prioritise. Learn to say no
Figure out what matters more and stop being apologetic or compensating for dropping out of unnecessary social activities. Remember, every time you choose to say ‘yes’, you’re saying ‘no’ to sometime else.
If you do not want to be part of something that does not interest you, say so and excuse yourself. Keep that time exclusively for the hustle and see how productive you get.