12 Best Tips to Balance Your 9-5 While Building Your Side Hustle (from Women Who’ve Done It)
The #1 question we get asked is how to juggle your 9-5 while building your side hustle. And since this answer can be SO different for all of our hard workin’ women, we decided to call on the experts for advice…YOU!
The transition to building your dream online business and side hustle can be difficult, especially while you’re still working your full-time job, caring for your family, or juggling every aspect of your life.
And I see you, girl, and your desire for wanting to immediately make the jump from side hustle to full-time freedom and flexibility. But if I’m being honest, growing your business takes time, hard work, and sooo much dedication! But THIS, though, is the time to push through and where the true successful business owners are made!
Whatever your current responsibilities are, the personal preferences you have, or what your daily schedule looks like, the amazing women in our community have some incredible tricks for YOU!
So by popular demand, here are 12 tips for juggling your 9-5 and side hustle from women in our community who’ve actually done and are still doing it!
#1 ARRIVE EARLY TO YOUR 9-5
Skipping rush hour and automatically getting in a work mindset are two great reasons to head to your 9-5 a bit earlier and get in an hour or two of building that side hustle!
“I get to the office before anyone else at 7am so I can work on my business uninterrupted.” — Joanna
“I go to work early and watch the module/tutorial videos or play around with the different resources suggested by the course before my colleagues arrive. By being dressed and at the office, I’m in “work” mode and can be more productive.” — Jessica R.
“I get to the office two hours before everyone one else does. I’ll spend that time working on projects, watching course videos, or providing value in Facebook groups. 2 hours per day, 5 times a week is 10 hours on your business!” — Christina
#2 MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR COMMUTE
Take a train or bus to work? Why not use that valuable time for getting some side hustle tasks or professional development in for the day?! I mean, you’re already sitting there, so you might as well be productive while doing so!
“I work on my side hustle during my bus commute to work and back. During the two hours on the bus, I email potential clients, finish current tasks, as well as work on upcoming projects.” — Michelle Balingit
“My time sitting on the bus or the train commuting to and from work is easily the most valuable. I often spend it listening to a podcast, jotting down notes, writing a blog post, watching course videos, or responding to emails.” — Katy Martin
#3 WAKE UP EARLIER & STAY UP LATER
You only have 24 hours in a day and your 9-5 takes up quite a big chunk of it! So, training your body and mind to lose a little sleep to make your dreams possible seems to be a sacrifice that is well worth it!
“I had to learn to wake up earlier! Sometimes getting work done before my 9-5 is the only option!” — Riley Grim
“I manage my side hustle by working on it before work (I’m training for a body building competition) so while people are still catching the z’s I’m hitting the gym at 4am!” — Sarah
“I usually set aside time at night after dinner to do work. Kind of like a work schedule where I will start at the same time and call it quits at the same time, so I still have time for myself in the evening.” — Victoria Pietsch
“I wake up early (like WAY early), before the kids, so I can get an hour or so in before the craziness begins.” — Erica M.
“I wake up at 4am to get two extra hours in my day. I also know I am most productive in the mornings, so I do client work from bed in those two hours.” — Laura Dimmer
“Schedule time after work! Even just 15 mins is better than nothing!” — Ariel
#4 USE YOUR LUNCH BREAKS
For many of you, the only free time in your day is your scheduled-out lunch break! Want to multitask like a champ and grow your business? Grab your food, go to a place where you can be distraction-free, and get to workin’! Even just one hour a day will make a huge difference in your business!
“Take a few options to work on at lunch so even if you can only have a small break, you can listen to a podcast, read learning material or get an hour of laptop work done.” — Brianne
“During my lunch break, I would take client calls, work on client projects, and create my own social media content to promote my business.” — Hope Linker
“Out of the hour I have for lunch, I usually take 20 minutes to eat and relax and try to work on my side business for 30 minutes or so before I head back to work.” — Pola Papadopoulou
“Go to a café at lunch! This has been huge for me. No colleagues can distract you with watercooler talk and for the cost of a coffee, you can get a lot done in an hour.” — Brianne
#5 TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR WEEKENDS
Weekends are the side-hustlers’ gold! You’ve got two free days to do whatever you want. Wake up early, grab that coffee, and get to building the business and life you’ve always dreamt of. But don’t forget to have fun, rest, and enjoy time with friends and family!
“Weekends are golden! I used to schedule so many things on my weekends that I didn’t have time to rest. Now, I try to schedule my time in a way that I can work on my business but also have some fun.” — Pola Papadopoulou
“I like to get writing done on the weekends before I have set plans during the day. This also helps me focus and stay driven since I can’t reschedule something we already have tickets for!” — Kathleen Garvin
“I like to use my Saturday’s to work on my freelance work. By going to my favourite places to bang it out, it doesn’t feel as stressful and certainly doesn’t feel like a work day.” — Jodie Lavery
“Every Saturday and Sunday morning, I dedicate at least 2 hours to working on my business. The earlier I start, the sooner I am done for the day and can still enjoy my weekend.” — Katrina Hansen
“Weekend mornings are when I may ‘splurge’ and take myself to a nice coffee shop or coworking space to really crank out some work. I find that Saturday mornings are when I am the most driven to get large to-do lists checked off and make bigger strides in my business.” — Kasey Bingmer
#6 PLAN & ORGANIZE YOUR TASKS
Working a 9-5 and building a side hustle at the same time can be well… quite chaotic. To-do lists can run a mile long, tasks can be easily forgotten, schedules jam-packed! The key to managing it all? Stay organized and plan it out! Prioritize your tasks, utilize apps to make life easier, and just take it one step at a time.
“Plan, plan, plan!! Planning is so key! I use Asana to manage my business tasks and I use a planner timetable to manage my overall time.” — Jackie Jacobs
“Organization is key! Spend money on a well-organized planner where you can divide and conquer all of your tasks. I also make it a habit to prioritize my list and tackle the most important business-building items FIRST.” — Alison T.
“Find apps that help organize and streamline your business so you’re working smarter not harder!” — Tina
“Each weekend, I have a planning session where I look at my main 3-5 goals for a week and schedule all my tasks to move me towards meeting my goals. That way, each day when I start work, I know exactly what to focus on to be moving my business forward.” — Jessica Haines
“I use a paper planner and color code my daily schedule. Using this method, I can visually see when I have time available to work on growing my side hustle. I can no longer use the excuse, ‘I don’t have time.’” — Heather
“I think it’s extremely important to have to-do lists that are prioritized so you remain organized and on task – Be productive, not busy!” — Ashleigh
#7 BLOCK OUT TIME IN YOUR CALENDAR
Can’t seem to find enough time in your week to put towards your side hustle? Schedule it out! Block out time in your calendar and make sure that you utilize it only for building your business.
“I pace the extra work I take on by keeping close tabs on my calendar. We’re talking a good old-fashioned paper and pencil calendar.” — Lena B.
“I HAVE to write it down on my calendar or I will come up with an excuse to do something else instead. I use a red marker on my calendar for non-negotiable tasks/events. It reminds me that I DECIDED to make my business a non-negotiable priority, and that my friends, Friday night on the town, or my Netflix time will just have to wait because this is the most important thing.” — Bri Mathias
“Make it a habit and SCHEDULE it! I come home, workout, shower and then I have a set amount of hours that I spend on my business until I make dinner and call it a night. I make sure that I stick to it every weekday!” — Kelly Hill
“Look at your schedule a week ahead of time and plan in time for side hustle work. Get dressed and show up.” — Jessica Hendry
“I calendar block so I know what I’m going to handle on what day and schedule it around my non-negotiables (my 9-5, workouts, travel to and from work, etc.).” — Kristi Jacobsen
#8 DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME
We already know that our time is super limited, so why waste it? There are so many opportunities in your day to make yourself productive! Instead of scrolling through social media, binge-watching Netflix, or staring at the ceiling while waiting at appointments, use that valuable time for something to grow your business!
“Use the time you have. An hour for lunch? Half hour drive to work? An hour for reading before bed? Where you have the time, you have to use it for something.” — Michelle Balingit
“Instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media, I use that valuable time to read blog posts, network, do Pinterest research, hone in on my to-do list. It’s amazing how much I can actually get accomplished!” — Amy Mercer
“I’ve found little pockets of time when I take my son to his reading tutor at the library – it’s a built-in hour just for my business.” — Mandi Young
#9 GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR JOB
Is your current full-time job a little too demanding and not as flexible in providing the time you need to work on and grow your side hustle? Maybe it’s worth taking on a different 9-5 job or going part-time? Because at the end of the day, if you truly want to turn your side hustle into something more, it takes a little sacrifice!
“I left my 9-5 and decided to work in a restaurant in the evenings and focus on my business during the day.” — Alanna Molloy
“I was very upfront with my boss at my full-time gig. They know that I’m building a business and that my eventual plan is to go part-time and then ultimately phase out my work with my current 9-5. Part of my contract negotiations was that I would not work over 40 hours a week so that I could ensure that I would have the time I needed to build my own business on the side. If I ever do exceed 40 hours, I get to take off the difference in time the following week!” — Brittany
“I’ve been put up for promotion several times and actually turned it down to keep my time and sanity.” — Jodi Graham
“Try to talk to your boss and negotiate to have a free day. Instead of taking a raise, I asked for a day off. My salary decreases, but I got another whole day to be able to dedicate myself to the course and my business.” — Margarida B.
“I recently started a 3-month trial in my corporate role where I have gone part time and dropped one day of work to be able to focus on my business during the week.” — Karishma
“It was absolutely essential that I find a 9-5 that I enjoyed and didn’t completely drain my energy! That meant a pay cut and going from a managerial position to being a receptionist, but it was 100% worth it. Now when I get home at the end of the day, I actually have brainpower left over to work on my biz.” — Elena Hartung
#10 START MEAL PREPPING
Food is a necessity! And honestly, I have wasted so many hours in my life mindlessly staring at the fridge or pantry trying to decide what to fix for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The solution? Schedule some time out at the beginning or end of your week and meal prep! Your food is already planned and prepared, so no more precious time wasted!
“I’ve been juggling a full-time job with taking online courses and Ironman training. I personally found meal prepping on Sundays to be a huge timesaver – It’s a super convenient and affordable option.” — Lauren Ullrich
“I have found that planning my week even down to my meals so that there is no overwhelm of deciding on dinner and I can focus 100% efforts into my business at the times I allot.” — Alison T.
“Meal Prep is my #1 answer in life. It saves time, money and the frustrating ‘I don’t know what to eat.’ Sunday nights I’ll spend 2-3 hours batch cooking, prepping breakfast and snacks. The freezer is your friend!” — Brianne
#11 REMEMBER TO REST UP
I see you working hard juggling your 9-5, side hustle, and all of your many other responsibilities. No matter how much you love what you’re doing, burnout is real and it’s so easy to get exhausted and unmotivated. So, be sure to take some time to rest your mind, body, and soul! Yes, time is limited, but with a little R&R, you’ll be so much more productive, efficient, and happy!
“Rest is vital to our creativity. So, when you find yourself coming to a mental block or slowing down, analyze…have you rested? You’ll be surprised how a quick nap and a good sleep schedule can do wonders.” — Maria
“Take a “sabbath” break on Sundays. I’m human and I have limitations. A forced weekly rest helps my brain wind down, increases my weekly creativity and productivity, and helps prevent burnout.” — Celiz
“Always allow yourself to take breaks when you need them. In the end, you will be more efficient and get more done if you allow yourself to take breaks.” — Jodie Lavery
“MAKE TIME! I make time for healthy habits, exercise, getting the right food in my body. This honestly, without a doubt, helps with my success. You need to put in the work, but also take care of your body too.” — Cassie
“When I’m taking care of myself by doing exercise or other self-care practices, my best side hustle ideas come about!” — Mimi Yedinak
“Say no to the good things so you can say yes to the great things.” — Celiz
#12 STAY POSITIVE & MOTIVATE YOURSELF
While building and creating a life full of freedom and flexibility, you’re likely to get discouraged, face Imposter Syndrome, and doubt your abilities. So, remember your why, speak kindly to yourself, and always believe in yourself! You’ve got this, chica!
“Be patient and kind to yourself. These things take time. Set realistic goals with some flexibility to make it fun and manageable to build your new business and not a massive source of stress.” — Hollie
“Positive affirmations are key for me and I have to remind myself why I’ve chosen to create my own business. I want the flexibility to be home with my family and still provide for them. It’s not easy juggling multiple jobs, being a single mom and a momtreprenuer, but it’s totally worth it.” — Mabel Serulle
“Determine your WHY. Why do you want to do this?! Why is it important to you? Why is it important to you RIGHT NOW?! The answers to those questions will fuel you to hustle and be intentional with the time you have.” — Hope Linker
“Whenever you feel down or that things aren’t moving as fast as you’d like, remember that you are still taking action towards your big goals and dreams. If you don’t believe in yourself 1000%, no one will.” — Lauren Taylar
“Remember that it’s an extra effort for a specific period of time just until we can get out of the job that we no longer want and reach our freedom.” — Margarida B.
Whether you’re currently building your side hustle while working your 9-5 or are just considering it, these tips from some of the most amazing, inspiring, and totally badass women will get you so many steps closer to living the life you have always dreamt of.
And because these tips are so gosh darn good, we want to challenge you to actually implement them in your life! We can’t wait to see how they help you balance your 9-5 while building your side hustle!
Now, go out there and change the girl boss world!
CHALLENGE: Choose 3 tips or tricks to implement this month and tag us on IG stories @bucketlistbombshells using the image below for accountability!
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
Meet The Bucketlist Bombshells
Hey! We're Cassie & Shay - we're obsessed with helping women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!
Today, we’re sitting down with BB student Marion, Founder of Modali Branding! Join us as she...
We’re Cassie & Shay
– we’re obsessed with helping women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!