Do not fall prey to the misconception that you need to work your life away to be successful. I devoted most of my 20s to building a successful business and grew it to a valuation of more than $200M. While I was a success by many people’s definition, I neglected my personal relationships and physical health to reach that point — which caused me to burn out and eventually leave the company that I started.
Balance and moderation are important in everything that we do. While some people create lists to keep focus, others may choose meditation or exercise as a way to clear their mind and stay sane. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to take care of your mental and physical state regardless of what goals or ambitions you set in your personal or professional life.
Thanks to the rise of the gig economy, many entrepreneurs are turning to side hustles as a way to grow their supplemental income in addition to their regular jobs. While balancing work and life is hard enough with one job, developing a side hustle can make it even tougher. Throw in the fact that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, and this tight rope gets even harder to balance.
As more and more people turn to side hustles for extra income, it’s critical that we not lose sight of the big picture as we pursue these immediate returns. This guide will help you learn to balance your job, side hustle, and personal life.
Working Remotely Gives You More Time During The Week
If there is one silver-lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the fact that many businesses are warming up to the idea of working remotely. The digital workforce was already gaining popularity before the pandemic, but with people forced to work from home around the world, many companies discovered that their overhead went down, not their production.
If you want to balance your full-time job, personal life, and a side hustle, it would help to have the flexibility that comes with working remotely. If you have the means to do so, consider asking your job if you can work from home. Even if it’s not a permanent transition, maybe they will give you a flex-schedule with some days working remotely.
When you work from home, you can save time by eliminating the daily commute. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the average American’s commute one way is roughly 27 minutes. This comes out to almost 1 hour a day driving to and from work.
What could you do with an extra hour a day? Maybe have a lunch date with your significant other. Maybe spend it working out or meditating. Or, you could just use it to earn extra money with your side gig.
In addition to saving time while working remotely, you should also optimize your time by creating a set work schedule. Consider building in time throughout your day to work on your side hustle, your full-time job, and take personal breaks. By creating a set schedule, you can help yourself stay focused and productive without experiencing lulls.
You Should Enjoy Your Side Hustle
You need to enjoy your side hustle. Let me repeat, you need to enjoy your side hustle as it will directly decrease the free time you have. I always tell people to start the process of finding a side hustle by finding activities that interest them or that they already enjoy. If you can find ways to monetize an interest, then you can have the best of both worlds — personal and professional.
While you may not always love your side hustle or your full-time job, look for opportunities to find activities you do like within those roles. For example, if you really enjoy social media, maybe you can build a side hustle as a social media manager for a local retailer. Even if you don’t love the business itself, you can enjoy the process of working on their social presence.
If you are able to work remotely for your job and side hustle, consider using some of the extra income to treat yourself to a vacation. Even if you have to work a little bit on your trip, the productivity retreat can get you out of your normal routine and provide a little spark to your mental health.
Spend Some Time Abroad If Possible
To go a step further, if you decide to take a trip and want to really have an adventure — consider spending a few weeks or months abroad. While traveling during the pandemic can be difficult, if you can manage a trip abroad for an extended period, you should definitely try it.
Traveling is a great way to find balance in your life. Not only can you gain new experiences and culture overseas, but the energy of traveling will often help you reset yourself and find new motivation both professionally and personally.
Exploring the world will allow you to find new perspectives and is an excellent opportunity to fulfill personal needs. Best of all, if your work permits, you can still spend time on your side hustle or your regular job. You may even find yourself more productive once you are out of the house and the normal distractions in your daily life.
Stop Measuring Yourself Against Others
If you want to find balance in your life, try to stop measuring yourself against others. We live in a very digital world now and sharing is all-too-prevalent on social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
People share everything — photos of their new car, videos of their wedding, or talk about their big career breaks. While it’s natural to follow and support other people’s successes, these mediums also make it easy to compare yourself to others. If you are measuring your career or personal life with someone else’s, you may find yourself feeling unfulfilled.
Comparing yourself to others is a natural instinct, and it’s a habit that’s hard to break. However, constantly measuring yourself to other people — especially on social media where people tend to only highlight their victories — can create an unhealthy dependency on outward validation. Instead of judging your successes or failures against others, focus on finding joy in your life and working on becoming a better version of yourself day in and day out.
Finding balance can be tough for anyone, especially entrepreneurs working a full-time job and a side hustle.. We’ve been told for so long that grinding is the best way to succeed, and we’ve seen countless movies of entrepreneurs sacrificing everything for success. However, this “win at all costs” approach to success will often leave you feeling burnout and unfulfilled. Instead, look for ways to find balance in your professional and personal life, even if that means taking it slower than you want.