If you’re like me you love a good side hustle.
In fact, a June 2018 Bankrate survey found that 37 percent of Americans have a side job, meaning nearly 4 in 10 Americans are side hustlers.
So while many of us still feel content with our main jobs, we just can't help but freelance or create or build or code or what-have-you.
There’s a beauty in this, but there’s also a beast.
And that beast, of course, is trying to make time to fit everything in.
Take it from this full-time working mama of soon-to-be-three, it can feel downright impossible to cultivate those outside interests when there’s so much else that (rightly) requires your time and attention.
Fortunately, there are some simple tricks that I’ve learned that can help ease the frustration of trying to juggle it all.
1. Prioritize Your Time
It sounds so easy and basic, but this really is the best step for making a side-hustle work. Every Sunday you should take a look at your calendar for the upcoming week to see what’s on tap. Then, schedule pockets of time for your side hustle from there.
We all feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day, but here’s the super secret: There are. You just have to choose to make your side-hustle a priority.
Where do you have extra time? Where could you find some extra time? Is it getting up an hour earlier in the morning? Turning off the television after the kids go to bed one night?
Also, when taking a look at your days and what you have to accomplish within them, try to keep an open and creative mind. You could denote side-hustle time at different times each day or choose to hustle on just one or two days.
Maybe some weeks are jam-packed and there’s no feasible way you could stay sane while shoe-horning your side hustle in. That’s fine too. The point is sitting down and prioritizing what you need to get done in order to open up time for your extra stuff.
2. Make a For-Real Game Plan
Remember the old adage, “A dream without a plan is just a wish.”? Yep, that’s what I’m talking about here with a for-real game plan.
It means writing down the goals you want to accomplish and actionable steps on how to get there.
Let’s say you want to write a book. That’s awesome! How long is it going to be? When’s the first draft going to get done?
You have to start with a plan.
I’m not saying you need to slog out a 20-page business plan, but that’s completely cool if you decide to go that route. I’m talking SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound.
Write these down and round it out with support statements and you’ll have a concrete document you’ll be able to refer to and guide you in the process.
3. Display Your Inspiration
Why are you doing what you’re doing? You need to have a reminder that you can see every day that will keep you going even through the tough times.
Are you trying to pay down debt? Create a chart and cross off bills as you pay them.
Are you trying to motivate others? Print out some quotes that keep you motivated.
Are you aiming to make your family proud of you? Put a picture of them up where you work.
It can be anything, as long as it’s something that helps fan those flames of action within you.
4. Go Easy on Yourself
No one is perfect and life happens.
If you fall away from your side hustle for a few days or even weeks that’s okay.
You are working on your own timeline and you have to remember to take care of yourself. That means going easy on yourself even if you don’t get certain things accomplished by the time you aimed for.
The most successful people and entrepreneurs have failed over and over, but the one thing that sets them apart from someone else is the fact that they kept going.
You got this!
5. Take a Break
This is related to number four.
If you are finding your side hustle too difficult to juggle with other responsibilities, events, and activities, take a break!
Just because something is not happening rightthisverysecondimmediatelynow for you doesn’t mean it never will. It could just mean that the timing isn’t right.
Take a step back, breathe, and then come back to it when you feel ready.
When you pick things up again you’ll have more clarity and motivation than ever before. And that’s when the real magic will happen.
I hope these few simple tips and tricks will help you carry on and kick even more butt.
Leslie Youngblood is the Creative Director for Excelerate America, the fun, smart service for small businesses. She's also been side hustling most of her professional life. Et tu? Share your experience with her now by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.