9 Best Tips for Balancing a 9 to 5 Job with a Side Hustle

Balancing a 9 to 5 with a Side Hustle

Balancing a 9 to 5 job with a side hustle can be challenging, but it is possible with the right strategies and mindset. 

As someone who works both as a full-time engineer and blogger, I can confidently say that it is doable.

A side hustle allows you to earn additional income, pursue your passions, and gain new skills, while a 9 to 5 job is a reliable source of income that provides stability and benefits. 

Balancing both can be tough but can lead to a more fulfilling and financially secure life. 

In this post, I’ll share some tips and tricks I use to balance my 9 to 5 job with my side hustle so that if you need help managing both, this can inspire you. 

Benefits of Managing a Full-Time Job and Side Business

There are several benefits to balancing a full-time job with a side hustle, and I recommend doing so if you can. Some of the great benefits of having both include the following: 

  • Additional Income and Benefits: One of the great benefits of having a side hustle is the potential to earn extra income. Whether you’re working on a freelance project, starting a small business, or selling products online, having a side hustle can help you bring additional income to reach your financial goals. In addition, balancing it with a full-time job can give you access to benefits like health insurance and 401k matching, which many employers offer their full-time staff. 
  • Better Career Opportunities: A side hustle can provide career growth and development opportunities. By taking on new challenges and responsibilities, you can gain new skills and experiences that make you a more competitive candidate for future job opportunities. For example, I landed a full-time, high-paying tech job right out of college because of my blog. So you see, side hustles can open many career doors.
  • Job Satisfaction: Having a side hustle can also increase your job satisfaction, allowing you to pursue your passions and interests outside your 9 to 5 job. By doing something you love, you can feel more fulfilled and motivated in your day-to-day work.
  • Improved Work-Life Balance: Balancing a 9 to 5 job with a side hustle can also enhance your work-life balance. By dividing your time between two different activities, you can ensure that you’re not overworking yourself and sacrificing your personal life.
  • Diversification of Income Streams: Having multiple sources of income can also provide financial stability and security, as it reduces your dependence on a single income stream. If one source of income decreases, you can still rely on your other sources to support you.
Balancing a 9 to 5 with a Side Hustle

Tips for Balancing a 9 to 5 Job with a Side Hustle

1. Prioritize Your Time

The first step in balancing a 9 to 5 job with a side hustle is prioritizing your time. Start by creating a schedule for each day of the week, including your 9 to 5 job, side hustle, and personal time. 

Be realistic about how much time you can allocate to your side hustle, and stick to your schedule.

Here are some tips to help you prioritize your time more efficiently:

Use the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is a concept in economics and management that states that 80% of effects result from 20% of the causes. 

Therefore, when prioritizing your time, focus on the 20% of tasks that will give you 80% of the results. These are often the tasks that have the most impact and are the most important.

Block out time

Schedule time blocks for your most important tasks, and avoid scheduling too many tasks back-to-back. 

For example, you might block out the first hour of the day for exercise, followed by a few hours for work, and then some time for personal or family activities. Whatever option you choose, make sure you allow some leeway in case something takes longer than expected.

Avoid distractions

Distractions can be a significant impediment to productivity, but there are several strategies you can use to avoid them. 

For example, you could create a designated workspace, such as a home office or a quiet corner of a library that is free of distractions. 

Also, turn off notifications on your phone, computer, and other devices, or use “Do Not Disturb” mode to minimize interruptions and prevent procrastination. Invest in noise-canceling headphones to block out external distractions if you work in a noisy environment, and set boundaries with family, friends, and coworkers to minimize interruptions. 

Develop a habit of saying “no.”

To ensure that you have enough time for both, you need to learn to say no to other commitments that are not essential. This may mean saying no to social events, unnecessary family gatherings, or volunteer opportunities. By learning to say no, you free up time and mental space for self-care and other important activities.

2. Get Organized

Staying organized is vital when balancing a 9 to 5 job with a side hustle. To accomplish this, list all the tasks needed for each, and prioritize them based on their importance and deadline. 

Use tools like calendars, to-do lists, and management software to keep track of your progress and make sure that you stay on track.

I use Notion to plan my work week and blog content, and I can’t recommend it enough as a great management tool.

Notion App
Notion App
my notion schedule
Notion dashboard

3. Set Achievable Goals

Setting realistic goals is another critical step in balancing a 9 to 5 job with a side hustle. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). 

Make sure that your goals are achievable and that they align with your overall life and career goals. Doing so will help you stay focused and motivated and ensure that you are making progress in both your 9 to 5 job and side hustle.

4. Make Time for Self-Care

Working a 9 to 5 job with a side hustle can be stressful, and it is essential to make time for self-care. Taking care of your physical and mental health by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising will give you the energy to remain focused on your goals

To create more time for self-care, avoid working overtime, unless necessary, as this can lead to burnout, decreased productivity, and reduced enjoyment of your 9 to 5 job. Instead, take regular breaks throughout the day and give yourself time off when needed. 

5. Use Technology To Your Advantage

Many tools and apps can help you manage your time, stay organized, and communicate effectively with others.

For example, if you are a content creator, leveraging tools like Later or Tailwind can help you automate your social media posts for your side hustle, freeing up more time for other necessary tasks.

Later App dashboard for scheduling
Later dashboard

6. Delegate Tasks

Delegating tasks can free up time for things you enjoy and reduce your workload and stress levels. But you will need a good assistant to take on your work.

Sites like Fiverr and Upwork enable you to hire freelancers. However, if you are uncomfortable working with strangers, consider delegating tasks to family members or friends. 

Hire freelancers with Fiverr

7. Set Limits

Setting boundaries is also essential for balancing a 9 to 5 job with a side hustle. This means setting limits on the amount of time and energy you spend on each and not allowing one to take over the other. For example, you may decide to only work on your side hustle during your free time outside of work hours or to limit the number of hours you spend on it each week. 

By setting boundaries, you can ensure that your 9 to 5 job and side hustle get the attention they deserve.

Set Limits Balancing a 9 to 5 with a Side Hustle

8. Communicate with your employer

Balancing a day job with a side hustle can be challenging, but effective communication with your employer can make a big difference. Be upfront and honest about your intentions and approach the conversation professionally. 

Explain why the side hustle is important to you and how it will not interfere with your work at the day job. If necessary, outline a plan for managing your time and workload between the two. 

Being open and transparent with your employer can build trust and establish a strong working relationship that benefits everyone involved.

9. Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Finally, make sure to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. Doing this will help you stay motivated and remind you of the progress you have made balancing both. 

Frequently asked questions about working a side business with a full-time job

Is it legal to work a side hustle with a full-time job?

Yes, you can work a side hustle while holding a full-time job. However, the legality of a side hustle can depend on various factors, such as the type of work you are doing, the company you work for, and the laws and regulations in your country or state.

For example, some companies have policies restricting employees from engaging in outside work that may compete with the company’s business or create a conflict of interest.

You should check with your employer before starting a side hustle to ensure you are not violating agreements or breaking laws.

Should I prioritize my side hustle over my full-time job?

It depends on your circumstances and goals. For example, suppose you are working a side hustle to supplement your income, and it does not require a significant time commitment. In that case, it may be possible to prioritize your full-time job and still maintain your side hustle.

However, if your side hustle has the potential to grow into a full-time business or is a crucial source of income, you may need to prioritize it and adjust your full-time job or other responsibilities.

Regardless of the situation, it’s essential to strike a balance between your full-time job and side hustle and to make sure that your commitments to both do not negatively impact your health, personal relationships, or overall well-being.

Do you earn more with a side hustle versus a full-time job?

The potential to earn more is one of the benefits of having a side hustle, but it is not guaranteed.

The amount of money you can earn from a side hustle will depend on several factors, including the type of work you are doing, your skills, and the economy.

In some cases, a side hustle can pay more than a full-time job, especially if you have a skill or knowledge that is in high demand. On the other hand, if your side hustle is starting or has little market demand, you may earn less from it initially.

Ultimately, it’s essential to consider your motivations for starting a side. While a side hustle can increase your earnings, it’s crucial to approach it with realistic expectations and find a balance that works for you.

Wrapping Up Combining a 9 to 5 Career with a Side Venture

In conclusion, balancing a 9 to 5 job with a side hustle can be challenging, but it is possible with the right strategies and mindset. By following these tips, you will be better prepared to handle both jobs without feeling burnt out.

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