Get All Access for $5/mo

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.

By Nina Zipkin

Westend61 | Getty Images

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, 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.

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick


How to Close the Trust Gap Between You and Your Team — 5 Strategies for Leaders

Trust is tanking in your workplace. Here's how to fix it and become the boss your team needs to succeed.

Health & Wellness

Get a Year of Unlimited Yoga Class Downloads for Only $23 Through June 17

Regular exercise has been proven to increase energy and focus, both of which are valuable to entrepreneurs and well-known benefits of yoga.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Business News

'Passing By Wide Margins': Elon Musk Celebrates His 'Guaranteed Win' of the Highest Pay Package in U.S. Corporate History

Musk's Tesla pay package is almost 140 times higher than the annual pay of other high-performing CEOs.

Starting a Business

I Left the Corporate World to Start a Chicken Coop Business — Here Are 3 Valuable Lessons I Learned Along the Way

Board meetings were traded for barnyards as a thriving new venture hatched.

Business Culture

Why Remote Work Policies Are Good For the Environment

Remote work policies are crucial for ESG guidelines. Embracing remote work can positively impact your business and employees.