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Ask Entrepreneur

Feeling Stretched Thin With Your Side Hustle? Here Are 5 Ways to Make Your Time Work for You

Maintain your passion and get mastery over your schedule.
Feeling Stretched Thin With Your Side Hustle? Here Are 5 Ways to Make Your Time Work for You
Image credit: Westend61 | Getty Images
Entrepreneur Staff
Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.
3 min read

If you're working on a side hustle but not ready to make it your full-time job, join the club. According to a 2017 study from financial services platform Bankrate, 44 million people in the United States have developed an entrepreneurial second or even third revenue stream. But there only so many hours in the day to put in your best at your day job and then make the most out of your passion projects. So what can you do to make sure that you’re maximizing your time without spreading yourself too thin?

Utilize tools that do the leg work for you.

Focus on the aspects of the business that you love and try not to let logistics, especially if you’re a one-person operation, be a drain on your energy. Use Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your social media in advance, Wix.com or Squarespace to set up your website with help from the templates they have available, turn to apps like Wave or Shoeboxed to scan and keep track of your receipts. There are tools out there; don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself.  

Do things in batches.

Are you one of those people who are constantly having to run out to the store to grab that thing they forgot? It can take up to 25 minutes to get back on track after an interruption to your work flow, and the time you’re spending going around the corner for toilet paper or orange juice, you could be focusing on the task at hand. Pick a day for grocery shopping and stick to it, and then follow suit with prepping meals for the week. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but if you block those chunks out in your calendar, you can make time for doing things related to your business, like networking.

Related: 50 Ideas for a Lucrative Side Hustle

Have an accountability buddy.

If you find yourself wishing that you spent more time on your side hustle instead of collapsing at home after a long day at the office, find a community, or even just one other like-minded person, maybe someone else who is in the same boat, and make an accountability system. Set aside an hour a week or every two weeks and bring a progress report with you. Having that meeting on the books can give you deadline pressure to accomplish what you have on your to-do list.

Be an early bird or a night owl.

One way to make sure that you are making the most of your time without distractions is to be awake when the action is at a low. Figure out when you are the most productive and eager to work and then give yourself an extra hour in the morning or an extra hour at night to really devote to your side hustle. Even if you only get that one hour in a given day, it will get you one step closer to your goal.

Find those pockets of free time.

If you’re feeling squeezed, think about the times when you find yourself a captive audience, and channel that into work time. Waiting in line, waiting for the coffee machine to brew your third cup, especially your commute -- it’s all time you can use to think about new solutions and catch up on things like email. And while you’re utilizing these moments of free time that come your way, remember to make your work hours as consistent as possible.

Unless You Can Handle These 4 Basics You Aren't Ready for a Side Hustle