Working a full-time job while running a side-hustle is a heck of a lot of work! I don’t have as much time as I would like to devote to my business, which means using the time that is available as productively as possible. Luckily I’ve found some productivity hacks that have made running my side hustle so much easier – and I’m sharing them all in this post, so you can use them too!
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In my full-time job, I always like to have my to-do list written ahead of time so when I sit down at my desk in the morning, I can dive right into work. This is even more important in my side hustle! I only have a limited about of time to devote to my business, so I want to be able to use that time as productively as possible.
Sure, I’m adding another task to my workload by planning out my to-do list ahead of time, but it’s well worth it in the time that I save. Each time I sit down at my computer to get some blogging in, I know exactly when I should be working on first. This has made it super easy to prioritize and to make the most of each free minute.
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Have a Designated Workspace
Obviously, the size of your home is going to determine how much of a designated workspace you can have. Having a designated workspace at home might not mean an entire office, but ideally, it should be a space off the couch and away from the TV where you can really focus on your work.
I live in a studio apartment, so I understand that spaces often have to be multi-functional. My “workspace” at home is my dining table. However since I rarely actually eat at the table, my business is almost the sole function of the space.
Regardless of whether you have a space that you can solely devote to your business, at least have a space that can be solely about your business while you’re working on your business. Turn off Netflix. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by household chores. Being able to narrow your focus will go a long way in working more productively!
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Know How to Work in Small Blocks of Time
When I sit down at my desk at my full-time job every day, I have at least 8-9 hours to get in everything I need to for the day. Sure, my day may be broken up by meetings here and there, but I know I have a solid stretch of time to get work done.
When you’re running a side hustle, it’s probably more like an hour here and an hour there. And on some days you’re lucky if it’s even an hour. Running a side hustle is all about learning to be super efficient with those very small blocks of time. Tip #1 I shared about planning ahead is really going to come in handy here because when you sit down to take advantage of your 20 minutes of free time, you can jump right into work instead of figuring out what needs to get done.
Figure out how long it takes you to finish certain tasks so you know what you can get done with that spare time. I know it takes me less than 10 minutes to make graphics for one blog post, so that’s a super easy one to whip out when I’ve got a spare few minutes!Productivity is about doing what you can with the time you have. You’ve got this, side-hustlers! Click To Tweet
My blog and business to-do list is usually pretty ambitious. I have a lot of free time in my evenings and weekends, but sometimes I just can’t get to everything. When that happens, it’s important to know what the absolute priorities are.
When busy weeks pop up and I don’t have much time for blogging, I stick to the absolute baseline tasks. For me that is my two weekly blog posts, sharing those blog posts on social media, and sending my weekly Saturday email. For me, the most important thing is that my readers have new content to read when they check in, so that comes before other projects.
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Know When You’re Most Productive
I can’t even tell you how many side-hustle articles and blog posts I’ve read that say if you really want to be more productive in your side hustle, you need to start getting up earlier to get a couple hours of work in before you start your day. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re a morning person and prefer to work in the mornings, then more power to you. Take advantage of that. But the idea that it has to be the morning is just silly.
I know myself well enough to know that I will not be productive at 6 am. Most days I won’t end up waking up early at all. However, I have no problem at all sitting down in the evenings and getting in a few hours of work. Since that’s when I work best on my blog, that’s when I do most of my tasks.
There is no specific time of day that we should all be working during to be more productive. Figure out when you are most productive, and work on your side hustle then.
Use Tools That Make Sense
We can’t be working on everything all the time. Luckily there are plenty of tools out there that can help you work more productively and can help you to automate some processes of your business. Here are a few of my favorite tools to use:
- Asana: This is the tool I use to organize just about my entire business. It’s where I keep my editorial calendar, my daily to-do list, my long-term to-do’s and goals, and just about everything else! I used to be strictly a paper planner kind of girl, but Asana has definitely converted me!
- Tailwind: This is hands-down my favorite social media scheduler! Most of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest, so having a great Pinterest tool is super important to me. Tailwind helps me to schedule pins both from my own blog and others. It takes me just a short block of time to fill my Pinterest calendar for the week, and then it’s totally hands-off! There is a bit of an investment, but there is a free Tailwind trial to help you decide if it’s right for you.
- Planoly: If you’re someone who likes to plan out your Instagram feed ahead of time, then Planoly is definitely the tool for you. Instagram can be a huge time investment. And yes, with Instagram schedulers you still have to go in and manually post the image. But this allows you to pre-plan your feed, pre-write your captions, and get a notification when it’s time to post. There is a paid version, but the free version covers up to 30 posts per month.
- HootSuite/Buffer: In addition to social media schedulers dedicated to Pinterest and Instagram, you’ll also probably benefit from scheduling your Facebook and Twitter posts ahead of time. HootSuite and Buffer are both great for this and both offer free plans.
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Set Boundaries With Your Time
If you want your side hustle to be a real business, then you need to treat it like a business. And while this doesn’t necessarily have to mean setting specific business hours (though you could do that), it will mean making sure friends and family know that certain time outside your full-time job is set aside for your side hustle.
There’s a lot less accountability in a side hustle than there is in a day job. For the most part, this is a great thing, but it also means that if you repeatedly skip work to get drinks with friends, there’s no one there to stop you.
Running a successful side hustle is going to mean being super diligent to set boundaries for your business and make sure you have the appropriate amount of time to devote to it.If you want your side hustle to be a real business, then you need to treat it like a business. Click To Tweet
What productivity hacks do you use in your side hustle? Leave a comment and share your hacks with us!
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