How to manage your side hustle

There's no doubt that a side hustle is a great way to bring in extra income. Read this ultimate guide to learn how to effectively manage your side hustle!
How to manage your side hustle

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There are several opportunities today to take your income to new levels. The best part is that you can start a side gig before turning it into a more thriving enterprise.

Working your second job as a labor of love gives you the time to build it on your terms and can grow your streams of income. So, what should you know about starting a quality side gig and keeping it up?

Keep reading to learn all about how you can thrive with your side hustle. 

1. Map out a schedule that works best for you and stick to it

Creating a working routine in your life is helpful since there's so much unpredictability in entrepreneurship. 

Getting organized should always be your first order of business. You have the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else, so learning how to squeeze the most productivity from it will help you balance your full-time job and side job.

This is both a matter of scheduling and managing your energy. When you're a professional, the key is to set a schedule you can stick to no matter what. This means that you show up that day and feeling that time blocked whether you feel like it or not.

You'll need to determine what workflow makes you the most productive.

For most people, this either means getting up a bit earlier to work on your side gig prior to your full-time job. Other people may schedule some time after work. You might also prefer to save your side hustle for the weekend.

The key is to figure out what works personally for you as supposed to trying to replicate what is working for someone else. 

2. Keep tabs on your different streams of income

When you start building your income streams, you'll be better able to grow your financial freedom and independence. Stay mindful of each income stream and watch every penny that goes in and comes out. 

The cleanest way to make this happen is by setting up business checking accounts for any of your side gigs. When each income stream has its own bank account, you won't muddle it with your personal finance. 

3. Try out the Pomodoro technique

Burning yourself out is the easiest way to fail when you're trying to get a side hustle off the ground. Rather than trying to conjure willpower and push through difficulties, you should strive to work effectively to manage your energy and focus. 

Several people have used the Pomodoro method to beat procrastination and become productive again. 

With the Pomodoro method, you set a timer for work periods and rest periods. Building in time to turn your focus on and off prevents you from burning yourself out and becoming unproductive. For most people, this method works by setting a timer for 25 minutes of work, followed by 5 minutes of rest. 

After working through a handle of rounds of work and rest, you can then take a longer break, between 15 and 30 minutes.

This method essentially trains your brain to focus on tasks without distracting yourself. Since you're committing to blocks of time, you can shut out social media, e-mail, and other distractions until the timer is up. Building in rest breaks will also give you a much-needed recharge. 

When you work using this technique, you can work longer without fatigue. 

4. Upgrade your skills little by little

If you're trying to get a side gig off the ground, you have to become an avid learner. Rather than trying to bite off more than you can chew, consistently expose yourself to new information that'll help you out. 

For instance, rather than meeting up with friends to gossip during lunch, run through a couple of modules that will help you add some new skills to your repertoire. Listen to some audiobooks, take courses, and embrace microlearning so that you can improve yourself as a professional. 

5. Set goals and track them

Even though it's a side hustle, you should still treat it as what it is -- a small business. As such, you should always be setting new and different goals that will push you. 

Perhaps you want to pull in a certain number of freelance jobs or grow your profit margins. Maybe you have some search engine optimization (SEO) or other goals that will get your brand out there. 

Figure out where you want to be in a set period of time, and consider what you have to do to get there. From there, you can break it down into small chunks and tackle it one project at a time. 

Rather than marching forward blindly, track your goals to know that you're making progress with them. Check in with them regularly so that you can change course whenever you need to. 

6. Write in a journal regularly

With a full-time job, a side-gig, and a personal life, you need to learn how to strike a balance. If you write in a journal on a regular basis you will help yourself strike this balance more than you know. 

Writing in a personal journal regularly can help you get your thoughts out and organize your life. Many people say that writing in a journal is the first thing that they do when they wake up in the morning. 

Doing this when you get up allows you to de-clutter your mind and shift your focus for the day. Penning some journal entries can help you make your thoughts clear so that it helps you in your decision-making and focus.

7. Keep your mind focused and at ease

Whenever you're trying to balance your full-time gig and side-gig, you will quickly learn the value of mental bandwidth. 

If your mind gets fatigued during the day it'll be difficult for you to work long stretches of time seeing these projects to completion. As a result, you should find some techniques that will help you keep your mind focused and at ease. 

Many people find it helpful to go for long walks to start their day. Science has shown that going for long walks can help reduce inflammation and get rid of brain fog. It's like shaking the rust off during times that you would otherwise get stuck in thought loops. 

Other people find meditation helpful in keeping them focused and clear-headed throughout the day. Meditation is helpful because it requires you to breathe deeply down your front side to soften your bodily tension. Focusing on inhaling and exhaling clears your mind and activates your parasympathetic nervous system. 

As a result, you will be less stressed and better able to make it through your days. 

8. Find time to exercise often

Exercise is the best medicine for a person that is working both a full-time gig and a side-gig. As a result, you should find time to work out with intensity at least 5 times per week. 

Choose an exercise program that allows you to build some muscle through resistance. Whether you have a gym membership or not, you can add resistance training to your life in the form of pushups, body squats, burpees, and resistance bands. 

You might also find it helpful to install a pull-up bar, grab some kettlebells or rack up some good old-fashioned weights. 

Practicing yoga is also one of the best things for your body since it promotes blood circulation, bodily relaxation, and strength. Yoga is great for your immune system and brain, and will also help you find peace and stress-relief. 

The bottom line is that exercise should never be optional for your life. Rather than treating it as something you squeeze in that gets in your way, you need to make regular exercise a deal-breaker in your life. 

You will show up both to your full-time job and your side gig with attentiveness and energy when you're regularly pumping your blood with a great workout. 

9. Take your time and don't rush your side hustle

The temptation is to rush building your side gig so that you can quit your day job ASAP. Rather than doing this, you should always look at your full-time job as the blessing that it is and hold onto it as long as you have to. 

Set benchmarks for your side gig to grow, but don't put too much pressure on it at first. Revel in the fact that it's only a side gig now because any income that it brings in is a bonus. Having patience will let you grow your side hustle correctly so that you can hit the ground running with it once you're ready to make it your main source of income. 

10. Cut out unproductive areas of time waste

When you can get a handle on your time management, you'll always have a better shot at success. Since we all have the same 24 hours each day, you should get surgical and strategic about cutting out any part of your life that wastes time. 

The key is to get honest with yourself and ruthlessly remove anything that doesn't push you toward your goals. For instance, that time you spend on social media might not seem like that much, but it definitely adds up. 

Put a timer on your phone that tracks your usage, and consider putting limits on how long you can spend surfing or browsing social media. Eliminate too much TV time and any other areas of your life that allow you to procrastinate. 

When you eliminate these time-wasting areas in your life, you will see your productivity reach new heights. 

11. Eat healthy to manage your energy

You also have to give yourself a shot to succeed by fueling your body with foods that will keep you energized and healthy. When you eat unhealthy foods that take from you and wear you down, it'll be virtually impossible to focus and get any work done. 

Eating lots of nutrient-dense meals will allow you to start your day with energy that you will sustain hour by hour. Something as simple as making a smoothie every morning will give you a kick of energy that really sets the tone for the rest of the day. 

You should also avoid taking in too much sugar, fat, and sodium. Cut out processed food when at all possible, and consistently find ways to fortify your body with the healthiest foods that you can find. 

12. Make sure to get enough sleep

Since you're consistently juggling a lot of tasks and wearing a lot of hats, you need to keep sleep high on your priority list. You'll always have a chance to regroup and show up alert when you get your required 8 hours of sleep each night. 

Set up an environment that lets you sleep soundly and comfortably, and create a wind-down routine that lets you drift off peacefully. 

13. Keep learning to market yourself

Always learn how to market yourself so that you can take on brand new clients. When you manage and grow your side gig, you'll want to embrace social media, blogging, and other marketing tools. 

The more that you learn about selling yourself as a business person, the easier it'll be to maintain and grow it. 

Grow your side hustle from the ground up

When you can build a solid side hustle it's easier for you to transition into entrepreneurship. Several people earning six figures and more today started these empires as a simple side gig. 

With some patience and prudence, you can make this a reality in your life as well. 

We're happy to set you up with the tools you need to support your projects. Reach out to us for pricing information on our freelance management dashboard and other tools. 

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Scott Fultz
Scott Fultz
In addition to being a polyglot software and database engineer, Scott is a singer-songwriter multi-instrumentalist and yoga teacher. Creating cool stuff to help people prosper and feel happy, whether it’s a yoga flow, a song, or thoughtful and inventive software, has always been his mission. Scott is a husband and father of three humans, which is the most incredible job of all.
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