This is the third post in the How to Start a Side Hustle series.
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” — H. Jackson Brown
If you already work full-time, but want to make some extra cash, it can be hard to see how you’d ever have the time or the energy after a long day at work. Well, allow me to remind you that everyone has the same number of hours in a day. It’s what we do (or don’t do) with them that makes the difference. I share with you here a few tricks I used to get my consulting business up and running while I still had a full-time job.
Leave Work on Time
You know why you’re too tired to do anything after work? Because you stay there all night! Set boundaries on how late you stay after work. If you come in at 9:00am, plan your day so that you can end at 5:00 on the dot and head home to work on your side hustle. If you have a big project to complete at your company, make a project management schedule so you can work on it in chunks, rather than cramming it all in during a week that you may also have work due for a client.
Use Your Vacation Days
At my previous job, we had pretty good benefits. I had four weeks of vacation (five after three years) and I made sure to use all them babies up. I used one full week for an actual vacation to the tropical paradise of my choice, then the rest of the time I used for consulting and traveling around the country for speaking gigs. When a potential client contacted me, I got out my work calendar and scheduled any projects around holidays and weeks that I knew were clear for me to be out of the office. By doing it this way, I was able to put my full-time job first and not piss off my boss for missing any important deadlines or events for the organization.
Maximize Your Lunch Hour
If you must eat lunch at your desk, do double time while you’re sitting there! Instead of scrolling down Twitter with one hand and a pickle in the other, use your break time to send emails to prospective clients, make phone calls to schedule meetings, or jot down ideas in a “side hustle” journal. I keep a small notebook in my purse at all times, just in case I come up with a hot idea for generating more income. It really comes in handy when you only have a few snippets of free time during the day.
Stop Watching TV
People always ask me how I get so much done in my professional life and honestly, a big part of where I get “extra time” from is because I don’t watch TV. I’m working while everyone else is watching Real Housewives of Atlanta. And I really don’t think I’m missing out on anything. I stopped watching cable years ago in college for purely monetary reasons (I was not about to use my few little dollars to pay the cable man). But then I got so used to not watching TV that it didn’t make sense for me to buy cable even when I did start making enough money to pay for it. Good thing, because most people are so addicted to TV that they waste two and half months every year watching TV when they could be making progress on their goals. The average American watches an average of 5.1 hours per day, or 153 hours of TV a month. So believe me, you’ll be well ahead of the game if you cut back your time in front of the boob tube and use it to start your side hustle!
What other methods have you used to find more free time during your day to work on your side hustle?