I’ve talked a bit about my career on here before, and I’m always happy to chat about my “job life” outside of my blogging life. If you don’t already know this, I have a full-time job as a User Experience Designer at an agency in Dumbo, where I spend my waking week hours. I also have a bad habit of picking up freelance design projects on top of my full-time job. So, factoring in my professional career and my various side hustles, my schedule is pretty packed.
Because I only broadcast “the highlights” like a good little blogger, you really only see the fun and frivolous part of my life. Not the late nights, early mornings, and un-photogenic-stress-eating moments in between. Anyways, here are my best tips for attempting to do it all and still stay (a little bit) sane.
- Schedule everything. And stick to that schedule. I obsessively schedule everything in my Google calendar. Everything. I use a color coding system for client related tasks, general work things, scheduled blog and Instagram posts, freelance projects, and the few-and-far-between personal/social events. And I don’t just document meetings and events, I also timebox periods of time for specific tasks. If I need to spend 2 hours working on a proposal, I’m put that into my calendar. Once that 2 hours is up, even if I’m not finished, I move on to the next thing and schedule more time for the original task later.
- To Do Lists are your BFF. I use this app called ToDoist which syncs between my Mac and iPhone. I have lists going for every single work and freelance project, as well as lists for blog/video ideas, blog collabs, general blog to-do’s etc. These lists help me keep track of current and future partnerships, brands I want to reach out to, blog posts I have to write and shoot, and of course, my bread and butter: my work responsibilities.
- Don’t multi-task, except when you should. When you have a bajillion things going on, it can be tempting to work on one thing when you’re really supposed to be working on another thing. In other words, don’t work on your side hustle at your main hustle! Be present in the moment and give your work commitments 100% of your brain when you’re on the clock. On the flip side of this, when you’re not at work, multi-task away! I rarely sit down to watch TV without my laptop open: tapping away at a blog post, designing for a freelance project, or responding to emails.
- Set boundaries. The only way to have a successful side hustle is to set boundaries in other areas of your life. If you let work creep into your personal time too often, you’re suddenly always at work, and never able to focus on passion projects. I’m lucky that my full-time job doesn’t require late nights and weekends at the office (very often), so I’m able to work on my side hustles in the evenings and on the weekends.
- Take care of number one. I am admittedly bad at this last point, but I’m always trying to improve. The sooner you can recognize when you’re overstretched, the easier it is to take a step back from over commitments. Learning how to say “no” to the stuff (and people) that don’t make you happy is one of the hardest (but most important) things to learn.
I wouldn’t be being 100% transparent if I didn’t also include the fact that I have a partner who takes care of a lot of things in my life. Thanks to him, I rarely have to worry about a lot of household responsibilities, which frees up a ton of my time. He is awesome and I’m a lucky duck.
How do you manage your side hustle(s) on top of your main hustle? I’d love to hear your tips!
Dress: vintage, similar | Denim: Re/done | Bag: Staud | Shoes: Zara (last season), current season here | Scarf: vintage Carolina Herrara, similar | Glasses: Zenni Optical | Chips ‘n Dip ring: Snash Jewelry