Tips to Balance a Full Time Job and Side Hustle
January 16, 2019
Hi babes! So today I’m sharing some insight on how I balance working full time and blogging/content creating. So for those of you that don’t know, I am a marketing coordinator and publicist from 8-5, on weekdays and a content creator “influencer” at pretty much all other hours of the day. So how do I balance it all out? This has been a frequently asked question and honestly it’s no secret. I struggle, a lot. But with practice, I’ve learned some of the best habits and tools for me. The most important thing is to find what works for you and stick to that. Not everything that worked for someone will work for you, but the least you can do is try.
So I’ve kind of just laid out a few tips/tricks that help me out. A lot of it is common sense but honestly the hardest part is adopting these practices. Figure out your personality to figure out how you work best. Maybe you’re a procrastinator or a perfectionist. Either way, work on yourself the way that best works for you and the rest will follow.
- Use your weekends and mornings wisely
- Treasure your weekends and take advantage, they are so essential to getting stuff done. So my weekends are the days when I get A L O T done. I plan and shoot about 5-8 outfits the night before and create content for the next 2 weeks. I try to wake up early and
- Wake up early! Give yourself time to reset and refocus. I am not a morning person and I just started incorporating this so it’s still new to me. I started waking up half an hour earlier, then an hour and now to an hour and a half earlier. To each their own though. Even 15 minutes makes a difference. Baby steps and you’ll slowly start to see a difference. So basically I have to be at work at 8 AM and I was waking up around 7:30 and rushing out of the house with no real time to prepare myself for the day. Now, I love using the extra time to set intentions for my day and just start off my mornings with as much positive energy as possible. I usually use this time to enjoy my mornings, spend time with myself and take things slow. As soon as I am fully awake, I then complete a few easy, admin tasks like answer emails, edit photos, post, plan content to post during my lunch break or after work. Helpful app: Sleep cycle which uses your sleeping patterns to wake you up at a time where you feel best rested, I definitely recommend it
- Set time blocks in your schedule. Give yourself time to brainstorm. Specifically set a realistic routine that works with your schedule. For example, I know that from 6:45 – 7:30 am I spend my mornings answering emails or planning content for the day/week. On Saturday from 10-12 I will edit photos, on Sundays I’ll shoot from 12-3. Be strict with setting these time blocks but also flexible because shit happens and it’s not always going to work out.
- Prioritize and Sacrifice
- Focus on your priorities. Don’t be afraid to make lists and move things around. Something that was a big priority to you a month ago, may not be so significant in your life anymore. Move it down the list.
- You need to be okay with declining opportunities and invitations. I am constantly having to tell friends, opportunities, family and myself NO. Mostly myself. There are so many things that come up but in order to make things work and meet deadlines, I have to sacrifice and put those aside. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t make time for leisure but definitely not much as I once used to. Or if I know I have a get together coming up, then I make up those hours elsewhere, like waking up early or instead of writing one blog post on Sunday, I’ll do 2. It’s all about balance.
- On top of that, you may have to tell companies, and events no and be realistic about how much you can actually put on your plate. Don’t try to do everything at once. Be honest with yourself and don’t spread yourself too thin. FOMO (fear of missing out is real) but I promise you. That brand will still be there, there will be another vents, another party. It’s not worth it.
- Surround yourself with supportive people // Ask for help
- I cannot stress this enough. The people you surround yourself can either make or break you. Luckily, my fiance Lupo is an angel and really helps me with taking my photos, encouraging me when I feel like giving up, keeping me focused, giving me space when I have deadlines and just being the most supportive person ever. If your friends aren’t hyping you up or your partner isn’t lifting you, find new ones. Haha. I’m not saying ditch your current friends, because you can’t blame them for not getting it but odds are, others are going through the same thing so maybe it’s time to reach out and make new friends that share your goals and creativity. Offer to collaborate with creatives that align with your goals! It will make things easier and they’ll help hold you accountable and who doesn’t want a group of creatives who have your back.
- Although, I like to think so. I know damn well that I can’t do everything alone. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Hire photographers if you don’t have someone to shoot with, ask help with video editing, pick peoples brains about their business. I get so many DM’s about this kind of stuff and am always happy to help. So reach out to that person you look up to and ask. You have nothing to lose.
- Plan ahead of time
- So once you have your content and campaigns to shoot, really be strategic with your plans moving forward. Write things down on your calendar as detailed as possible and break down big projects or campaigns into smaller tasks throughout the week or month. Book your photographers, shoot dates as early as possible based on any upcoming events, trends, etc. For example, I already shot my Valentine’s Day looks and we’re still a month out. The sooner you do it, the better. While, we don’t have the advantage of doing things in real time. We have the advantage to be very precise and room for trial and error. Helpful apps: Download software and apps like Tailwind, UNUM or Planoly to really help you plan ahead of time.
- Make to-do lists. I live for these. I usually make one on Sundays for the week but also do smaller ones the night before. The reminders section on my phone has been a life-saver. You’re able to sort to-do lists into any category and color code them and add them to your calendar, if needed. I know it sounds overwhelming but I’m a very visual person so this works great for me.
- Get organized
- Declutter! (One of my new year’s resolutions so clearly I’m no pro) Clean out your phone, organize your emails, get an external hard drive, make spreadsheets to track campaigns and email pitching. We don’t have time to not be organized because that will just slow you down.
- Create a clutter free office space. I’m still working on this but I find that if I’m in a messy room, I get easily distracted and anxious. No one needs that. So make your office your safe space. The space where you can escape and actually get work done.
- Learn to take a break + practice self care
- Do not force it. Good things take time and you need time to recharge. I used to feel guilty about giving myself time off because we feel since we don’t have enough hours in the day to work on our side hustle, that we need to be doing something at every single time of day. Give yourself sometime to unwind. Our bodies, mind and creativity need a break. This helps refuel your energy and ground you and bring back inspiration. I’ve worn myself to thin and end up getting myself in a funk and that does more damage than good.
- Do something non-work related. Step away from your phone. Go hang out with your friends, plan a date night, go shopping, join a kickboxing class. I love to do hot yoga because it gives me an hour to clear my head, build strength and mindfulness. Working out also gives me natural energy and helps me feel less sluggish which fuels my day for everything I have planned ahead.
- Do not compare yourself to others
- The worst thing you can do is compare yourself to others. This will slow you down, believe it or not. I’m so guilty of this and just find myself getting discouraged. Instead, turn it into healthy inspo and challenge yourself to work harder. Remember, there are so many people chasing their dreams but everyone has different circumstances. Do your best and be proud of it. Celebrate every victory, regardless of how small it may be. Everyone has their own timeline and you are amazing for following your ambitions and still working full time while balancing a million other things we handle as a 20 something.
- Be Consistent
- Consistency is really key. The only way to keep your momentum is by sticking to it. It is difficult to get started but once you start to see results and feel how long your days are, you will be content and all of your work will thrive and show.
The last thing I will say is to find a job that aligns with your side hustle. Now, this isn’t necessary but definitely will make things easier. For example, I work in marketing and a lot of my blogging deals with marketing, so it’s a world I am very well-versed in.
That’s pretty much all I have! I am so interested in hearing your thoughts! Do you work full time and have a side-gig too? How do you manage? Let me know in the comments below!