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How to Balance a Full-Time Job and Your New Side Hustle

Jennifer Birtles 5th Sep 2020 One Comment

Reading Time: 5 minutes

In the past few years we’ve seen a massive rise in the popularity of the side hustle. More and more people are ditching the traditional 9-5 and taking on portfolio careers. Although the side hustle originally started as a way to earn a little extra money on the side, it’s now turned into a whole way of life.

An estimated 16 million Brits have a side hustle, and the numbers continue to increase every year. Particularly now, as the economy and businesses are slowly beginning to recover from the pandemic. The job market has slowed down drastically, leaving people to look for multiple sources of income themselves. And for many, working a side gig on top of their regular job is a necessity to cope with ever-rising living costs.

Should I Start a Side Hustle?

Should you get a side hustle going?

If you have creative hobbies, a particular skill, or a business idea – then a side hustle could be for you.

The financial bonus of a side hustle is that having multiple sources of income is always much safer. If one area slows down then you have other revenue streams you can fall back on. Plus, any extra money you earn can be used to pay off existing debt without having to cut back on your current lifestyle, or it can be used to contribute to savings, investments, or a pension fund.

Alongside the financial benefits, starting a new side hustle also gives you the opportunity to learn new skills and challenge yourself in a different area of work. Whether you’re looking to build a career out of it, or just keep it as a viable side hustle, there’s an opportunity to learn valuable skills and gain new experience.

Manage Your Time Carefully

Starting a new side business on top of your normal 9-5 can feel overwhelming. How do you know even know where to start, or how to divide your time? If you have compulsory working hours then any free time left you can dedicate to your side hustle. But how does this work for freelancers? Or for people who work multiple jobs? It takes serious planning and scheduling, and organisation is key. Keep track of all of your projects and deadlines so that you can plan your days and work out how to split your time appropriately.

Make use of all the spare downtime you have. Upskill on your lunch break, or catch up with relevant industry news on your commute. Utilise every part of your day to make it useful. Remember that things like reading blogs about freelancing, or watching tutorials on software all counts towards your business time. So even if you’re too exhausted to do more intense work, doing research and relevant reading still counts.

Most importantly, if you expect your side business to grow, you need to dedicate time to it regularly. Commit to a minimum set amount of time that you’ll spend on your side hustle every week, whether that’s 5 hours or 20. Finding the extra time initially can be tricky, but the more you train yourself to find spare pockets of time in your day, the easier it’ll become.

Make a Schedule That Works For You

Everyone has different ways of working and obviously the same routine or schedule isn’t universally suitable. Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, use it to your advantage. Plan ahead and schedule your time well to be successful.

If you’re a morning person, get up a hour or two earlier and spend that extra time on your new side hustle. Or vice versa, if you work best in the evenings. If you’re still working remotely then make use of the time you would have spent commuting and dedicate that to building your side hustle instead.

Perhaps even speak to your boss and see if you can negotiate flexible working hours. If you work best in the mornings, could you ask to start work a few hours later and make the most of your mornings at home. Or perhaps see whether you can work 4 days a week instead, leaving you a whole day off to devote to your new side hustle.

What Can You Cut Out?

The biggest excuse amongst working generations is not having enough time. Obviously everyone has their own independent commitments, but you can almost always free up some time if you really want to.

According to statistics from Finder, on average we watch over 22 hours of TV every week, which doesn’t even include what we watch on streaming services. With over 14 million households subscribing to at least one of those platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Now TV. That’s a shocking amount of hours we’re wiling away, not even thinking about how much more time we spend on social media as well. Cutting back on the amount of TV and time you spend on social media will drastically impact your productivity and spare time.

Side Hustling with Children

Side hustling with children is a challenge but possible

Childcare is an all-consuming job and it may feel like you don’t have any time to spare. But with schools going back, this is the perfect time to utilise the extra free time. Chat to other parents too, and share out childcare between you.

Taking it all in turns will free up time for all of you and allow you to focus on individual projects. Also reach out to any friends and family that may be able to help looking after your little ones. Even if it’s just for an hour or two after school – the free, undisturbed time can help you focus on your side hustle again.

Plan for the Long Term

There will be times when it’ll feel like you’ve taken on too much and you want to quit. When this undoubtedly happens, it helps to know exactly what you want to achieve and what your long-term goals are. Although things might be hard right now, the time you invest in a side hustle will pay you back in the long run.


Recognise that success isn’t born instantly – despite the number of stories from people who claim they had overnight success. People rarely advertise the number of hours, months, and even years, that went in to building their brand and success. It always takes time and continuous effort.

More Useful Reading

For more tips and advice on setting up a side hustle or freelance business, check out some of these articles next.

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2 years ago

Very helpful information especially for those who are about to start their side hustle.

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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