Running a side hustle while working a full-time job is not easy. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it, right? You might be sitting there, questioning your sanity…

Here you are with a pretty full plate, looking to make money on the side so that you can, eventually, move into your side hustle full-time. But…

You're not sure you've got it in you. How to hustle and make money on the side all sounded great when you were first inspired by your side hustle idea, but reality is starting to sink in and the demands of your full-time job, family and friends are beginning to wear you down.

Will you ever be able to do what you love?

Take heart my friend, Lise is here to help 🙂

You see, it wasn't that long ago that I too was working a full-time job and running my side hustle business as a freelance writer. Granted, I didn't have children at the time (they are in the plan for this year, yay!), but I did have a demanding job and had just started a new, serious relationship with my now husband (so it worked out well).

I had absolutely no idea how I was going to manage all of this and make money on the side, but I was determined to make it work.

And there lies the first key to hustling and making your side business a success.

If you're not determined—if you don't know your why for doing this side hustle thang you got going on—then the minute the going gets tough… you're likely to get going and just throw it all in.

If you're made of stronger stuff than that, read on to find out how you can really balance your full-time job with your side hustle business and make money in the process!

5 Strategies for Balancing a Side Hustle Business With a Full-Time Job

Balance your side hustle with a full-time job and make money in the process! See more on

#1: Identify what hours you have

You already know how many hours you're meant to be at your job, but how many hours have you set aside for your side hustle? 

Be intentional about this. Don't just think you'll do your side hustle business during your “free time” because that's not a plan. That ‘plan' right there, that's the one that's gonna lead to many sleepless nights and annoyed loved ones.

Instead, take a step back and get a bird's-eye view of your availability. How?

I like to use pen and paper, in the form of a desk calendar. Find a calendar large enough to allow you to scribble all over it.

Start by writing down how many hours you’re at work each day. Then using a different colored pen, write down how many hours you'd like to spend in your side hustle or how many hours you think you'll need to set aside.

Once you've got those noted down — now tally the hours for a day and then subtract that from 24. This will give you a number, this relates to how much time you have left in a day to sleep, run errands and spend time with family and friends (not necessarily in that order!). 

If you want to take it a step further, if you have any ongoing commitments that are fairly set in stone, add those into the mix and recalculate based on this addition.

By doing this exercise, you can get clear on how many hours you've got and then adjust as you go, because things will change and you might find that you're super efficient and don't need as much time as you thought you would in your side hustle, or you might find you've got a few ‘spare' hours at your job where you can sneak in some side hustle business stuff.

This step alone will make a huge difference to your day-to-day life, so take action and implement it now.

#2: Put it in a schedule

I know you're already familiar with scheduling, because you do that at work, right? But what about when it comes to managing your side hustle business and personal commitments? Are you scheduling those in too, or just winging it?

If you're not capturing your entire day in a schedule, then all those balls you're juggling right now? Well, they're one minute away from plummeting to the ground…

My go-to for capturing ALL my daily to-do's and commitments is a colour-coded Google Calendar.

It allows me to connect my Todoist app, Trello tasks, and Google Calendar so that I can see where all of my time is being spent.

If you're not tracking your entire day, then how do you know when you're meant to be doing something, or when you're meant to be relaxing? It's not about filling your 24 hours with tasks, it's about being intentional with your time and accounting for it when it counts.

If you want to keep things simple, then consider using Google Calendar. You can set up multiple calendars, assign them colours and display them all at once. The video below will help.

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Do yourself a favor and schedule everything. If you want to make sure you're making money in your side hustle, you actually need to be working your side hustle. How can you do that, if you don't know when you're meant to be taking action?

Now, I know some of you might be screaming internally at having to write everything down, and I can empathise… this doesn't work for everyone. What I will say to you though, is find your way for keeping track of what you're meant to be doing and when.

If you don't like using online tools, trying using pen and paper. I use a combination of both and recently grabbed The Self Journal from a Kickstarter campaign. They are now available and you can check them out here:  

#3: What's your end goal?

Are you freaking out yet? I know I was when I actually asked myself this question. Because, if we're honest with each other, you didn't really plan to start a side hustle, so it stands to reason that you probably didn't sit down and map out any goals for it either.

Yikes. That's ok if you haven't done this yet, there's no time like the present to think about what your end goal is and nut this out.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to start the ball rolling:

  • Are you planning to stay in your job for the next 5-10 years?
  • Will you continue to work your business on the side until… when?
  • Do you plan to exit your job soon and focus on building your business instead?
  • What's your family plan? How does your job and/or business fit into this?


Using the Self Journal to keep track of your goals

Again, you don't have to get all stringent and use a special app to keep track of these, in fact, my preference is pen and paper. Remember that Self Journal I mentioned above, this is a great place to record those goals 🙂

#4: Think outside the box

How are things at work going? Are you showing up on time, getting your job done and engaging with your colleagues? In other words, are you excelling in your job or leaving a lot to be desired? 

If you're doing awesome in your job and you've been with the company for a few years, consider approaching your boss and renegotiating your hours. Is there a possibility that you could work longer hours 9 days out of a two-week period to take one day off every other week?

Could you take a half-day once a month, or even a full day so that you can focus on building your side business into something you know it can be?

If you're worried about how your boss might take this conversation, let them know how the company will benefit from you pursuing your side, tell them what's in it for them.

If you're new to your job or you just know that your company would be open to this type of arrangement, look at how much vacation time you've got, and schedule in some days here and there over the next six months. Choose days of the week that aren't so critical to you being there, like a Wednesday.

Put your thinking cap on and think how you can make this work for both parties…

#5: Invest in me-time

I bet you're completely consumed with your job, side hustle and family/social commitments that you can't remember the last time you did something just for you.

Well, if you want that to happen, you're gonna have to plan it. In fact, I actually schedule in me-time every day, otherwise, I know it won't happen because I'll fill my time with something else!

If you aren't taking care of you, who is? You can't be your best self unless you're investing in some me-time. So do yourself and everyone around a favour and take time out every day, even if it's just 10 minutes here and there — do it.

And don't forget to schedule in some vacation time too. All work and no play will lead to a very fast approach of feeling burnt out, and you can't feel that if you're looking to build an empire, my friend!

The best tip I can provide you for getting in some vacation time is to take advantage of public holidays coming up. Use those to get away for the weekend, or try a staycation instead, but make sure your computer is safely closed — it can lure you back to your side hustle with just the blink of a cursor or ding of an email…

If you really want to hustle and make money on the side while still balancing your full-time job, you'll implement the strategies I've outlined above today. Mastering this balancing act can be extremely rewarding, it's up to you to put it all into action!

Do you have any tips or strategies you'd like to add to the mix? Leave your comments below…

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Lise Cartwright
Lise Cartwright

Founder of Hustle & Groove and your creative business strategist. If you want to get notified of new posts just like the ones you see here, then make sure you join the awesome H & G community — Join Now!

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