office hours

Updated: Sep 7, 2019

The truth of managing time while working both a traditional job and managing your own business on the side.

Working at home has become something extremely desired in this day and age. People have a myriad of reasons why they pursue it - they want their own hours, they prefer to be home with their family, they have health problems that prevent much traveling.

The problem with side hustles is that, while providing a large degree of flexibility, they also degrade the boundary between home and work.

If you work away from home, you clock and stop thinking about your job when you leave the building. But owning your own business means that you don't have that luxury. Additionally, unless you're part of the small percentage of people whose business takes off and you make enough money to support yourself entirely, you're forced to continue working in the mainstream while putting in overtime at home the get your passion project off the ground.

So how do you avoid burnout?

The number one tip that you will come across in setting boundaries. This is extremely true information, but it also takes a measure of self-control. The advent of social media means that your platform is available at all hours of the day, and I'm one of the first to admit to tweeting out a word count update or flicking through Instagram to comment on other people's photos when I really should be getting to sleep.

But in the long run, the more you allow your side project to encroach on the rest of your life, the faster you will burn out on the project and have no motivation left. Remember that frenzied moment in the beginning of your side hustle when you couldn't possibly think of doing anything else? If you set up the project boundaries, you can stretch that out to last longer than just one weekend.

A couple of action steps that you can make to combat the creep include setting your phone to 'do not disturb' at night, or even charging it in another room so you can't reach it in bed, making accountability partners that will check on you from time to time, setting reminders for a specific length of time to keep you from falling into a black hole of writing, blogging, or other creativity (and completely ignoring your need for inconsequential things like eating along the way), and hiring your dog to interrupt with puppy kisses (this is usually accomplished through lots of treats & belly rubs).

Overall, while working a traditional job allows you to get your project off the ground, it still doesn't leave much time to properly handle the business side of your side hustle. But it's not impossible, just take your time and remember to breathe, you can do this.

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