Multi hyphens, side hustlers, slashies … whatever you call them the number of people balancing more than one job is on the up! There is no better time to follow your passions, start a new business, become a coach or turn your hobby into a side income either.
Back in 2016, I started my side hustle, which began as me dabbling in doing a bit of art as a hobby and has now grown into me leaving my corporate job to run a print and stationery business three years later… There is so much I could share that I have learned along the way, and the biggest thing is managing to do both, so here are my top tips…
1. Look after yourself – this comes ahead of every single productivity hack in the world
You are everything.
You are your greatest resource and should be at the top of your to-do list every single day. If you’re run down (both mentally and physically) no amount of caffeine can fix it. Schedule time away from work, purposefully take time to do nothing, exercise, meditate and eat well.
I definitely learned this the hard way… I have found myself exhausted, close to burnout and definitely made myself Ill over the past few years. We all think we’re immune to this and can keep going endlessly until our body tells us STOP!!! So tune in and take breaks when you need them – having a rest is not giving up.
2. Consider all the time you have during the day
You have more time in your day than you think – so look critically at your current morning routines to see where you can change things up.
Are you wasting time on a morning staring at your wardrobe deciding what to wear? Can you cut down your shower time? This might sound a bit OTT but this time can all add up. What could you do with an extra half an hour on a morning?
Commuting time can be used productively too - I spend my tube journeys posting on social media and listening to self-help books and inspiring podcasts. That’s an hour and a half each day which is otherwise just spent doing nothing.
3. Get to grips with how you like to work
Most of us are conditioned to work 9to5, especially if we are office based – but our body clock doesn’t often work like that. We all have natural peaks and troughs in our energy throughout the day and as women, this is often effected by our cycle too.
Take notice of when you feel most energised and can concentrate. Maybe you’re a morning person, in which case getting up earlier to work rather than working into the evening will be better for you. You may also notice certain weeks in a month where you feel less energised – there is a lot of research on working around our cycles so have a google and think about how this can apply to you.
Understanding your natural clock means you can also take the pressure off. For me, I know my energy is lowest mid-afternoon, so I allow myself some time off during that time or schedule tasks which don’t require much concentration.
We can’t all be at peak performance all the time, so get into your own rhythm.
4. Celebrate your success
Get yourself a journal and make a note of at least one thing you have achieved every single day. We are great at thinking we haven’t done enough or achieved enough, looking at our to do lists and thinking ‘ugh look at all the things I haven’t done’ – so making an effort to remind yourself of your achievements is important.
In those moments where you’re feeling like you’re not where you want to be, referring back to those notes in your journal are the perfect thing to give you a boost.
If you want to find out a bit more about how to celebrate your successes, have a look at this article on journalling to reach your goals.
5. Get a plan together – but don’t be afraid to deviate
I was obsessed with leaving my job by a certain date, but ended up handing my notice in about a year later. This was mostly because I decided to invest in some machinery to add personalisation to my stationery – this was a huge expense and accounted for about half of my ‘leave work fund’.
It’s important to have an ‘out plan’ and know roughly at what point you want to go full time – but be flexible too and if you end up not being ready to leave on the original date you set yourself, don’t stress about it.
Be patient, things will happen at their own pace when you’re ready.
And remember in the meantime to be grateful for your job, it might not be the dream or where you want be – but it’s helping you get there.
And finally, most importantly, have fun!