3 Tips to Balance Your Side Hustle

Jacqueline Benson

Jacqueline Benson,

October 07, 2020

Entrepreneurs have this inherent desire in them to always be doing something... To always start a new project, new passion, new hustle. Sometimes, this drive becomes a burden and you’ve overworked yourself. I’ve been hustling for a decade so I’m here to give you a few tips on how to keep your side hustle balanced with the rest of your life.

Tip #1 | Set expectations.

Set expectations for your time. With your family. With your friends. With your clients... And with yourself. A few ways you can easily set these expectations:

  • Share your calendar with those who may need to see it, then block out time to work on only your side gig, or vice versa, and block out time only for rest and quality time with family.
  • Set business hours on your side gig email account. (And yes, you should have a separate email.) Setting business hours on your email allows you to automatically respond to someone with a polite and timely response; while also informing them of a rough estimate of when you will get back to them. Simply use a vacation responder as an automatic response when you’re focusing on other things.
  • If you offer project-based services or larger projects, place the average expected timeline in your sales pitch. Think of this as when a physical product states how long it takes to be made or shipped.

Tip #2 | Create Automations

If there are things you do or send repeatedly, create it once and never stress over it again. You can use plugins, add ons, apps, whatever meets your needs. Utilize them to automate. A few things I do to automate tasks:

  • I like keeping canned responses on the ready to answer common questions or advise on next steps. Sometimes Gmail isn’t the most intuitive on canned responses so I like keeping mine organized in a chart in Notes or Google Sheets. Just copy and paste!
  • Use a program made for your business type. For me, that’s Dubsado. It’s a business management solution for creatives that allows me to create automated workflows, deliver projects to clients, create reusable forms, and streamline everything I offer.
  • Use Trello’s built-in Butler or sync with Google Drive to create automated actions. It saves so much time and keeps it all organized.

Tip #3 | Break Up Daunting Tasks

With every side gig, there are things you’re not going to want to do. For me, I’m a one-person operation and that means I’m responsible for accounting, marketing, client relations, and more... all on top of the actual work itself. Let’s just say that the accounting part of that list isn’t something that I look forward to. I used to be guilty of letting the work build up to the point that it was almost unimaginable to tackle. Then, I shifted my mindset and took that huge task and broke it into smaller, more manageable tasks. Spending 1 hour each week inputting expenses sure feels a lot better than countless hours in one day on a tax deadline. *Use Tip #1 and block off time each week and dedicate it to only this project.

Figuring out how to balance a side gig doesn’t happen overnight. Even with these three tips, it may take some prep work to get some sense of that balance. Implement one new tool at a time and see how it works for you!