Digitalization has made it easier than ever to have a side hustle as an additional income stream and 2020 changed the global economy creating the gig economy. Before I share how to juggle multiple jobs, let me give you some background context to my career.
Learning how to master time management started for me during my university days like many I used to manage a full-time university degree with a part-time job. This was the first time I had to learn how to manage my time effectively, as I had to add daily commuting between 2 cities on the list as well. If I miss the train I knew that I wouldn’t make it in time for the lecture or worse I would miss the opportunity to take the final that I studied for. Also missing the train would mean getting fired at work, less leisure and less sleep. Then after university, I was juggling a full-time job and a part-time job.
This brings me to my present lifestyle managing a full-time job, my blog, and a podcast. Here is how I stay sane because everyone can manage time more efficiently. Keep in mind, there are always people who have much more on their plate and yet they too just got 24 hours like the rest of us.
1) Say “no” by prioritising yourself
When you are just starting off with your career and want to develop yourself it is difficult to say “no”, of course, you may also have other personal reasons that may make it difficult. However, as long as saying “no” doesn’t damage your career, there’s no personal harm done in declining a project or in not working extra hours.
MW Tip during your workday, always work on the tasks that advance your career most first and then focus on the urgent tasks next. You cannot hold yourself back because another team member believes something is urgent for them, as there will always be something urgent. The question is who will benefit from prioritizing the tasks labeled “urgent”, it’s either the colleague, the whole team, or yourself. Also, if a task can be done within 5 minutes, do it right away. Completing tasks right away rather than saving them for your to-do list will be more time-consuming.
2) Take real breaks
Every champion needs a break to recharge. For me, this usually means taking an annual 3-week vacation, rather than smaller breaks throughout the year. I learned that this is the only way for me to really switch off because if I take small breaks (2 days here and there) during the year, they usually feel like a weekend rather than a vacation and I would only end up thinking about my expected workload the following day.
When you take a longer annual vacation your colleagues usually figure out how to get things done by themselves or find someone else to help them out. If you just take 2 days off, they know that you will return soon and that you will get it done.
This is why I emphasise on adding hobbies to your self-care regimen that require you to focus on the task at hand. Running for example is a great physical sport but for me running and the gym still make me think about work because during these activities I can still reflect on work. However, high-intensity sports like team sport is perfect for forgetting about work when you’re not working. For me it’s tennis, not only do I need to concentrate on my movements on the court but also on my opponent, leaving no room for me to think about my to-do lists.
3) Delegate whenever possible
I know this sounds controversial considering the first tip, however people that have a side hustle usually find it more difficult to delegate tasks because individuals that have a full-time job and are self-employed are used to doing things by themselves in their side hustle jobs.
The strength of all side hustlers is that the majority are masters at figuring out things by themselves. However, to do both your full-time job and side hustle, you need to figure out the most efficient and effective way of working. Being able to delegate tasks, if beneficial, is the best way to keep healthy relationships with all parties involved.
4) Make a work plan and automate what you can
The only way you can be successful when having multiple jobs is to avoid multitasking at all costs. Clearly define when you are working and when not. I make it a priority for instance to not work in the evening for my full-time job and I dedicate the weekend entirely for my social life and side hustles.
I respect my coworkers’ and clients’ free time and I show this by not bothering them after usual working hours and in return they have learned over time that this is also how I prefer to be treated, in an effort for a healthy working environment. But this also came with learning that in most cases, it doesn’t benefit anyone when you show that you can work overtime. Sending out late-night emails just doesn’t leave a good impression on the recipient, it’s better to take advantage of the delay send button.
Furthermore, I am a believer in productivity and automating as many things as possible. Nowadays, you can automate social media postings, reports, and even automate moving emails to designated folders based on topic or sender, saving you another few minutes. Moreover, if a back and forth of emails can be prevented through a phone call or a meeting, this is still the most productive way of working and communicating.
Completing a task fast doesn’t always mean that it was done right and long hours don’t usually mean that it was efficient. It’s ironic how people are proud and communicate that they need to wake up early or need to work longer hours to complete a task. I personally support working the extra hour if otherwise a party gets damaged or if there is a personal career advancement in the line. However, I wouldn’t be proud of the extra hour and share it in public and simply keep that information to myself and log in the hour into the HR tool.
5) Find your network
Once you find a network of individuals that have full-time jobs and side hustles, you will find the motivation and support needed to keep going. Many established professionals juggle several job roles and you will be surprised how many people in your network have multiple jobs.
The unfortunate thing is that not many people share this information publicly because they fear judgment.
Nevertheless, if you want to be successful you have to learn to be open to judgment. Communication is the only way you can find a network of established professionals with similar goals and interests. Not only can they share with you valuable advice but will also allow you to collaborate.
Moreover, real employers want employees that are masters in networking and building relationships. Finding your “hustle network” is the best way to practice maintaining important relationships and who knows your newfound network may even benefit your full-time job as well.
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