5 Ways To Find Time To Side Hustle (Even If You’re Super Busy)

Starting a side hustle is a powerful way to increase income and pave the way for financial independence. But it can be hard to find time to side-hustle after a tough day it at the office.

If you’re struggling to make ends meet or failing to reach your financial potential, your options to get ahead are fairly limited. Short of creating cash out of thin air, you can:

  • a) Try to earn more money
  • b) Cut your spending
  • c) Pray for a miracle

Generally speaking, a medieval hacking to your budget is the easiest way to quickly increase cashflow. Take an intimate look at your monthly spending and you’ll almost always find some low-hanging fruit to cut for a short-term infusion of cash.

Cancel your cable television package, quit smoking cigarettes, and quit eating Taco Bell twice a day, for example, and – voila – you’ve just given yourself a big, fat raise.

If You Can’t Cut Anymore Expenses, What Do You Do?

Sadly, cutting spending only works if you’ve got room to cut to begin with. If your expenses are already bare bones, the only way to dominate your finances is to find a way to earn more.

For a lot of people, that means picking up overtime at work, volunteering to cover shifts for your coworkers, or mustering up the courage to ask for a much-needed raise. If none of those options will work, a part-time “side hustle” could do the trick.

What Is A Side Hustle?

A side hustle is something you work on during your spare time and in addition to your full-time job.

Side hustles come in many forms, and could be anything from mowing lawns to painting homes, starting a blog, or creating a product to sell. Other popular hustles include:

The list goes on and on and on…. But for most people, the idea of doing any of these things sounds absolutely crazy when they’re already working full-time, raising a family, and taking care of a home.

But, is it impossible? Heavens no. Just like with almost anything else in life, the people who really want it will always find a way.

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Here’s the truth about hustling on the side….

No one – and I mean no one – who hustles has hours and hours of free time to spare. The vast majority of hustlers had to make the time to get ahead, which means they gave something up. Considering the fact that I hustled until I could quit my job in 2012, I can speak from experience.

Successful side-hustlers have to MAKE the time to get ahead, which means giving something up. Click To Tweet

When I built my freelance and digital media business alongside my husband, I had a full-time job, a house to care for, and two kids under the age of three. I had almost no time to myself at all, but I had a drive that was almost insatiable.

So I did the only think I could do; I got up at 5:00 a.m. to work until it was time to get ready for my full-time job, worked nights after my kids went to sleep, and hustled on weekends when my friends were having fun.

How Are Successful Side-Hustlers Making It Happen?

And I’m not the only one. Out of the dozens of hustlers and entrepreneurs I know who built something on the side, the vast majority made it happen while working full-time.

Here’s how a few popular bloggers and entrepreneurs described this difficult time in their life:

“I started side hustling while working full-time as a financial analyst and while I was attending my full-time Finance MBA program. That means I was working around 50 hours a week at my job, I took 12+ credit hours for my MBA program each semester, and I still side hustled so that I could make money.

“It was hard, but I was very dedicated, motivated, and I made sure to have great time management skills, so that’s what helped push me through tough times. I gave up some sleep in order to do all of this, but it all paid off in the end.”

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner – Blogger and Content Creator, Making Sense of Cents

“Starting a side hustle while working can be difficult, but there is a lot of wasted time you’ll find if you just step back and see where you spend most of your time. For me, I was watching nearly 4 hours of TV a night, so we dropped cable and I dedicated that time to building my side hustle. Now, I’ve quit my job and my side hustle is my business.”

Grayson Bell, President & CEO of Web Support Firm, iMark Interactive

“I started my side hustle by spending a couple hours each evening working on starting my blog. I only had to cut out a bit of TV time each evening to get started and now it has turned into my full time job.”

Lance Cothern, Blogger and Freelance Writer, Money Manifesto

5 Ways to Carve Out Time to Hustle

While everyone who hustles on the side has their own story to tell, each one of them had to give up something to get ahead.

You can’t create extra time out of nothing, but you can find time by getting creative with the 24 hours you have every single day.

If you’re desperate to get ahead and can’t find the time, give these strategies a try:

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Side Hustle Strategy #1: Devote the early morning to your side hustle.

When you’re rushing around all day and night, finding time for a side project or hustle seems like an impossible feat. To free up time you didn’t know you had, Cothern suggests getting up early to “work” before your real job.

“If I had to pick just one way to find extra time for a side hustle, it would be to get up an hour earlier in the morning,” says Cothern. “It may be painful, but no one else is up that early and you’ll be able to get a lot done with almost no distractions.”

If I had to pick just one way to find time for a side hustle it would be to get up an hour earlier Click To Tweet

Side Hustle Strategy #2: Work the “second shift.”

In addition to getting up early, you can also sign up for the “second shift” – the time of evening when your kids are in bed and you’re free to hustle away.

This strategy works best if you can work on your side hustle online or at home. If your hustle is mowing people’s lawns, for example, 8:00 p.m. isn’t going to be ideal. But even then, you can use those late night hours to keep track of you financials, keep up with your taxes, or network to find new customers.

Side Hustle Strategy #3: Give up television and video games.

Most would-be entrepreneurs have to give up one hobby to pick up another, and for many, that means giving up their favorite cop dramas, Real Housewives series, or video game. Staring at a screen can be entertaining, yes, but it’s also a giant time-suck.

If you want to get as much out of your side hustle as you can, you’ll cut your TV time in half at the very least – or just give it up. You never know; you may find you don’t care what happens on the next season of Orange is the New Black after all.

Side Hustle Strategy #4: Avoid distractions.

When you’re trying to find time to build a business or earn extra money on the side, it can seem like everything is working against you. Maybe your favorite sports team is on television or the neighborhood pool is calling your name.

Either way, it can be difficult to stay focused when you would rather be doing anything other than working.

While you’re in the building phase of your hustle, it’s essential to stay focused on the task at hand. Limit distractions as much as you can and avoid contact with people and things that pull you away from your long-term dreams and goals.

Side Hustle Strategy #5: Prioritize and learn to say “no.”

Building a side hustle will take everything you have outside of your 9-5 working hours, which means you’ll need to severely limit the time you spend on events that aren’t important.

That could mean saying “no” to a get-together you don’t really want to attend, opting out of a weekend fundraiser, or simply keeping to yourself on weekends until you find time to get ahead.

If you want your side hustle to work, you have to prioritize it over almost everything else – and sometimes, that means saying “no.”

The Bottom Line

If you want to get ahead financially, you can cut your expenses or look for ways to earn money on the side. And if you’re really dedicated, you could even execute both strategies for maximum return.

But first, you’ll have to find the time – the time to dream up a job you could feasibly be successful at, the time to build a base of customers to buy your product or service, and the time to put in the work that will lead to your eventual success.

No matter what you think – or how busy you already feel, you can find the time to earn extra money to improve your life. And if you really want it, you’ll find a way.

No matter how busy you already feel, you can find the time to earn extra money to improve your life Click To Tweet

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About the Author

Holly Johnson is a nationally recognized financial expert and award-winning writer whose obsession with frugality, budgeting, and travel plays a central role in her work. In addition to serving as Contributing Editor for The Simple Dollar, Holly writes for inspiring publications such as U.S. News and World Report Travel, The Balance, CreditCards.com, Personal Capital, Lending Tree, and Frugal Travel Guy. Holly also owns two websites of her own - Club Thrifty and Travel Blue Book, and is the co-author of “Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love.” Her inspiring story has been profiled on Forbes.com and she won the 2015 Plutus Award at FinCon for “Best Contributor/Freelancer for Personal Finance”.

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