Ok, the secret is out. My business is now my side gig. BIG DEAL. I am here to tell you this whole side hustle thing is working way better for me than I ever thought it would.
Yes, it’s alot of hours, but newsflash, I was already working alot of hours before and spinning my wheels in the process. We have already talked about the whole “WHY” I needed to do it, so let’s talk a little bit about “HOW” I manage to do it. For starters, 35 hours per week goes to the “JOB”. The rest of my week is for my side hustle. Here is a typical day:
- 5:30 AM: Rise and SHINE! Roll over, check phone. This usually means I scan all of my social media channels, reply to comments and tweets and add a few posts to my queue on Sprout Social. THEN, my glasses come on, which is my dog’s queue that sh&^ just got real and it’s time to head out for our morning walk. Throw on yoga pants, brush my teeth and stumble down the stairs. Make coffee, walk the dog while carefully balancing the coffee cup containing my caramel macchiato, courtesy of my Tassimo machine (no Kuerig here).
- 6:00 AM: Get the hair did. For us curly hair girls, this includes a ton of product and a flat iron. I shower the night before, so my hair is ALWAYS an out of control mess in the morning. And if I shower in the morning, let’s not even discuss the secret witches’ brew of products I need to add to my hair to calm it down. Dress in outfit I laid out the night before, OR scramble and look for something clean and somewhat professional.
- 6:45 AM: My best Bud and fellow commuter arrives at my house and sends a text about the status of the Uber car, which will drive us to the train station, so there is no worry about parking.
- 7:15 AM: Settle into my seat on the LIRR. Phone OUT and READY TO GO! Check emails, respond to existing or potential clients, add a bit more text to a draft post and see what calls are slated for today, either during lunch or after work.
- 7:50 AM: Arrive at Penn Station and from there hop on the subway to the “J-O-B” and get logged on and working.
If any of the above sounds exhausting – it can be, but if you are really going to straddle both worlds and balance your job and your side hustle, it’s what you have to do. Anyone who tells you different is just blowing sunshine your way. And that is BEFORE I have started working. While I am at work, if I don’t have a call scheduled during lunch, I can spend that time adding to my social media posts, responding to tweets and adding to the draft blog post I created this morning on the train.
After work, I am usually home by 6:30 pm, which leaves me until 10pm to get some work done. Use your DVR. I am not saying you can’t enjoy life or a TV show, but have your priorities straight. I would rather be working on a website I am getting paid for, than sitting and watching TV. I get up at 6am on Saturdays and work 6:30 – 1:30pm and then I have the rest of the afternoon for TV catch-up. It’s all about prioritizing your work flow. And I am here to tell you, as much as I LOVE Kerry Washington and Scandal, Kerry isn’t writing out checks for my bills. I need to earn that money on my own.
Here are some more ideas for keeping you focused throughout the day:
Make Music Playlists to Fuel your Purpose
Music can energize, galvanize and inspire. It can also calm, de-stress and soothe. Use energizing music when you are exercising or cleaning or sailing along through your tasks, getting them out the way.
- Use soothing music when you need to de-stress or center yourself, such as during meditation.
- Making separate playlists to suit your mood can really help make your day more productive.
Cut the Coffee
I know, I know – you gotta have your coffee, but try to cut it down to no more than two or three cups a day. Tough for a coffee addict like me to do, but it does help a lot. Any more than that, and the energizing effects are reversed. And if you must drink coffee later in the day, switch to decaffeinated after 3 p.m.
Honor Your Learning Style
Everyone has a predominant learning style, or even a mix of styles. Decide which type of learning is most effective for you:
Visual: You find it easier to learn from graphics, videos, cartoons, diagrams, webinars or infographics.
Aural: You’ll pick an .MP3 file or a podcast over a webinar or article any day!
Kinesthetic: You need to learn “hands on”—by doing things, touching them; jumping right into a new platform or software
Verbal: You prefer the written word—transcripts, written instructions, articles—in fact, you can read an article faster than you can watch a video.
Once you have determined your best learning style or styles, honor it. Get rid of that written “To do” list if verbal learning is last on your preferences list. Dictate that article, if you’re an aural learner. Draw little icon-pictures instead of writing things down or use a mind-map, if you’re a visual learner. If you cater to your preferred learning style(s) you will find that tasks flow easier and you remember things better, leaving you with more time, focus and energy.
Automate Your Day
Why do something from scratch when you can automate it, using resources, apps, tools and templates? Use timers, tracking apps, scheduling suites—whatever makes tasks easier for you or helps you perform tasks and take care of responsibilities more efficiently.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Throw out any task that isn’t absolutely essential. If you can’t throw it out, delegate or outsource it. That goes for household chores like cleaning—hire a cleaning lady—or grocery shopping too—many supermarkets allow you to order over the phone and have your groceries delivered.
Learn to Say No
Ever find yourself in a reactive state, where your routine slips out of control? Chances are, you’re agreeing to take on other tasks and responsibilities, when you should be saying “no”. Protect your routine by learning to respect your own boundaries. Never give excuses or reasons why you can’t do something (this just encourages argumentative pressure). Just tell them “No. My plate is full.”
What are trying that works for you? I would love to hear from you. Side Hustlers UNITE!
Make Today Amazing!