I often get asked how I manage my time when I have so much happening in my life? More and more people are taking on a side hustle alongside their full-time job.
What’s a Side Hustle?
A side hustle could be a brand-new business or start-up, a multi-level marketing gig or other online business, or perhaps you’re involved with other things outside of your working life such as; managing and organising your family, sitting on a board or committee, or you’ve got a special project that you’re working on outside of your day job.
We are all juggling many things in our life and if you’re like me, and you like to be busy and active then there’s probably lots on your plate. When you’re spinning plates, the idea is to keep all those plates spinning and, in the air, and not have one fall and collapse. One of those plates is your own health and energy which we often neglect.
So here are some tips and strategies that I’m going to share with you on how to manage a side hustle, along with all of the other aspect of your life.
Think about what points in the day are your high energy and low energy times. For me, I’m an early riser but I find it really difficult to get my brain into gear first thing in the morning. Therefore, the first tasks I can do are menial tasks to help wake up my brain.
The other thing I do in the morning is read, because it helps fire up my brain and get it going. Map out where your energy is during the day, where are your high energy and your low energy periods? For me a high energy time for is at the end of the day, this is when I am really productive.
Now, a lot of people will say to you, do the tasks that are easy in those high energy times because you’ll plough through them quickly. What you need to do is do the difficult tasks in those high energy times. These are the tasks that require your brain power and that’s when you’re going to need that energy and focus the most.
Do the simple tasks when you don’t have the brain power. That just makes sense. Spend a week mapping out where your energy lies throughout the course of the day, so that you can schedule, and time block efficiently.
You are going to have to get good with your use of time if you are juggling a side hustle along with everything else in your life. Time blocking is going to become very important for you. For example, maybe Tuesday afternoon is your accounting day and Monday’s your marketing day. Block out those times in your calendar for specifically these tasks.
Rather than sitting down at your desk and saying to yourself “I’ve got three hours, what am I going to do?”. Block it out into those categories and specific days, and you’ll find that you’ll be able to be more focussed.
One of the gurus of time management, David Allen, wrote a book called Getting Things Done. He simplifies the process of getting organised and prioritising and one of the things he talks about in terms of creating lists is to categorise the task that you’re going to do based on where you’re at, at the time.
For example, if I need to make phone calls, I list all those phone calls and because we no longer have to be tied to our desk with a landline I can make a couple of quick calls in a lunch break or if I arrive at a destination early. Utilising lists and having all your phone calls together in one list is useful, just don’t forget to put the phone number next to the name.
You can also make a list of all the emails you need to respond to or send, then when you’re at your desk, you have those lists there ready to go.
Creating these lists and batching is really useful if you can squeeze in the odd phone call or email in your lunch breaks or when you find yourself arriving early or with a spare few minutes.
Schedule down time
It’s really important that you schedule in down time. Therefore, don’t overuse your lunch break, filling it with work tasks. Commit to doing just 15 minutes, or three phone calls, and don’t exceed that. Make sure that you give your brain some mental rest time. (This is one of the biggest lessons I have learnt. I fill my diary full of activity, but never schedule rest time.)
It’s really important that when you’re blocking out time in your calendar for your business, you include health and wellness and that these times become non-negotiables. This means if your family, or friends, or your colleagues say to you, “Your just at home on a Tuesday afternoon, why don’t you come and watch a movie?”, you need to communicate with everybody that this is your business time, and that you’re actually not available. Don’t compromise on that and don’t compromise on your health and wellness.
I hope you found these tips useful. If you’ve got a side hustle, I’d love to hear from you about what tips work for you.
- Map out your energy levels and use high energy times for difficult tasks
- Time block
- Schedule in down time
- Waste your high energy time on menial tasks
- Compromise on your business time for friends and family
- Neglect your health and wellness