How I Balance a Side Hustle & a Full Time Job

Balancing a full time job and a side passion can be tough.  Time and energy will certainly be your two largest obstacles.  After balancing a side hustle and a full time job for 18 months, I’m sharing my five tips on how you can maximize your efficiency, happiness & energy while you juggle two jobs.

1. Schedule your time wisely

Time is one of the toughest barriers to juggling two jobs.  Pick your most productive day before the week starts, and schedule out your time.  I will schedule my time out one week in advance on either Saturday or Sunday mornings.  Create a top 3 list for your full time job and a top 3 list for your side hustle.  What has to get done this week?   Be conscious of what can wait until the following week.  I tend to schedule:

  • Meetings at my full time job to accomplish my top 3
  • Personal work time at my full time job to accomplish my top 3
  • 3-4 workouts a week
  • Meals for the week
  • A night to relax with my husband
  • A night to see friends
  • A night every other week for myself
  • 2 nights to get things done (although I’m usually working most nights regardless)
  • Anything I’d like to get done on a lunch break

2. Plan workouts in advance

Knowing where you get your energy is key.  For me, working out keeps me happy and gives me energy.  I know for myself that I feel best when I workout 3 days a week.  If you don’t know your optimal schedule, I recommend you test it out.  Trying working out 1-5 days a week, and see when you feel best.  It’s also key not to overdue it so that it’s still a stress reliever and not another to-do on your list.

I pick 3 days a week when I’ll work out in the morning.  If I can get in a 4th day, it’s a bonus.  I then typically plan my long work days on off-workout days.

3. Take breaks when you need them

I’ll admit, I’m not the best at this one.  Knowing your limits is key to not getting burnt out.  I’ve learned I have to take one night off every two weeks in order to be a re-charged normal human.  On those nights, I try to put my phone in another room and stay off of it for the night or schedule a relaxing beauty appointment.  Avoiding burnout is key to balancing a side hustle and a full-time job.  It’s much easier to take one night off every two weeks then completely pause on life – or even worse, get sick.

4. Eat well

Sounds like an easy one.  However, when you’re working around the clock, it’s easy to grab for anything that’s available, which is usually some type of processed food.  Do your best to plan meals and snacks in advance so you always have something healthy to grab.

I try to plan 3-4 meals for each week knowing that (1) we’ll probably have left overs some days and (2) we’ll eat out 1-2 days a week.  I meal prep on Sundays and use my favorite Glass Tupperware from Amazon.  I typically pick meals from my three favorite cookbooks, which are all found on Amazon, too:  Against All Grain, Skinny Taste and Skinny Taste Fast & Slow.  The Everygirl also offers an awesome meal planner & grocery list download you can use to stay organized.

5. See your friends

Maintaining a normal life is also key to balancing two jobs on your plate.  My first year with a side hustle, I was heads down and working 24/7.  I ended up burning myself out and missing out on so much time with friends that I felt alone & isolated.  Although you have tons to do, it’s important to take time and foster relationships that mean the most to you.  Schedule a monthly dinner with friends, catch up via text or plan co-working dates.  Do things that fit your lifestyle & work schedule, but allow you to maintain connections with the people that matter most.  It’ll help them to understand what you’re spending all of your time on, and it will help you with support and love when you need it most because this is a long journey.

If you have other tips, I’d love to hear them below!  After all, it’s about building each other up and fostering a community of growth!

Affectionately known to her friends as Millennial Martha for her love of DIY and decorating, Jen can’t help but pour her heart + soul into everything she touches. She’s loved to entertain since acquiring a table and chairs, and giving gifts is one of her favorite hobbies. Jen is the creator of Girl Meets Party. Her dream is to share her passions with the world in hopes to inspire others by making the seemingly unattainable attainable.

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