Balancing Your Full-Time Job with Your Side Hustle

Jessica Malingowski is a food freedom coach in Durham, North Carolina.  She is excited to be sharing her story as a guest blogger for this community! 

Ever since I decided that I wanted to own a coaching business, I’ve been learning how to balance my time between a full-time job and a side hustle.  Even though I love coaching, sometimes I would come home from work feeling exhausted and have no motivation to complete projects for my business.  Over the years, I’ve learned how to adjust my mindset and schedule so that I can make the most of my time and continue to take inspired actions that will move my business forward.

Now that I have a few years under my belt to adjust and readjust my schedule, I can say that my perspective on the best ways to go about balancing your time between your full-time job and your side-hustle is by following these steps.  Taking these steps on a weekly basis allows me to make the most of my time and ensures that my business is still moving in a positive direction.

Step 1 – Figure out what brings you joy

At the beginning of my coaching career, I was trying to do EVERYTHING that other coaches were doing and some of those things were not bringing me joy.  There are definitely tasks that every business owner has to do no matter what, but I’m talking about the main projects that define your business.

I had to ask myself important questions about what projects I wanted to take on and what projects I needed to say no to.  When I got rid of the projects that did not bring me joy, I had more time to focus on the things that I actually enjoy doing.  One of those projects happens to be writing, and now I have more time to blog and brainstorm book ideas.  I am more motivated to come home and work now that my projects are tailored to what I actually enjoy doing.

Step 2 – Evaluate your projects

Before I start a new week, I look at my ongoing project list and assign each one a priority level.  Which one needs done first?  Which one can wait until next week if I don’t have time this week?  Which projects are not actually projects and are just tasks that I can sprinkle into my day?

For the big projects, evaluate how long they are going to take and assign them a day (or days) to work on.  You may need to consider if some of these projects need broken down into phases so that you are not overwhelmed by the total project.  When you’ve assigned big projects specific days, note the small tasks that need completed whenever you have time during the day.

If we have a list of projects but do not prioritize them, it is overwhelming and we often give up before we’ve even started.  Prioritizing and breaking down projects will help you take action and leave you feeling less overwhelmed.

Step 3 – Assign each day a specific task

When I first started my coaching business, I would write down all of the things I wanted to get done during the week.  I never assigned specific tasks to specific days and oftentimes, this caused me to be indecisive.  In turn, no projects would get done or very little would get done because I was spending too much time deciding what to work on.

I’ve learned that it is helpful to assign certain tasks to specific days of the week.  For example, my blog writing is scheduled for Monday’s and Tuesday’s because I feel more creative in the beginning of the week.  My research and marketing projects are scheduled for later in the week, and my client sessions are schedule each day based on client needs.  Assigning projects specific days allows me to create daily habits and helps me stay focused on the task at hand.  Of course, life happens and I have to adjust my schedule accordingly, but for the most part I stick to this schedule.

Step 4 – Give yourself a break

I am super Type A and thrive on schedules and to-do lists.  While having a schedule and checking things off your to-do list is great, there also needs to be room for LIFE.  Do not be too hard on yourself for not getting something done or for going out on a Tuesday instead of writing your blog post.  Life happens and you need to enjoy it!  You need to show yourself grace and know that you are doing your best to reach your goals while enjoying life at the same time.

This is the exact reason why I schedule “off” days.  I’ve found that my brain needs a break mid-week and I also give myself an entire weekend day off.  Days of rest and total freedom are necessary for me to feel like I am taking care of myself.

I love both my full-time job and my side-hustle but I would easily burn out if I did not follow these steps.  I am an ambitious person and I want to do all the things!  But I know I need to stay balanced and enjoy life.  Aligning with what brings me joy and prioritizing my important projects helps me to maintain a healthy balance between my work and personal goals.

I hope these steps can help you find more balance.  If you have any additional tips, please share below!


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