How to Best Manage Your Side Hustle on a Busy Schedule

  • Time to read: 15 min.

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I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage that “you can’t serve two masters.” It’s true. You need to be able to focus on one thing at a time, and if you try to do too many things simultaneously it will only end in frustration and you won’t be able to manage your side hustle.

That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have hobbies or interests outside of your day job; this article is all about how to manage your side hustle on a busy schedule so that you can pursue them without sacrificing the other important things in your life.

Find Time to Work on Your Side Hustle

How to manage your side hustle

The first step in managing your side hustle is to find time for it. Perhaps you set aside a little bit of time every day after work, or beforehand on the weekends.

Make sure that scheduling time isn’t interfering with any other important obligations; if you’re constantly missing deadlines because you don’t have the necessary working hours then this arrangement likely won’t work out. Try to allocate at least 30 minutes each day for your side hustle.

Be Realistic

Running a business is hard, and running two businesses is even harder! That’s why it’s important to be realistic about what you can accomplish in your spare time while still pursuing your passion (assuming that it isn’t making enough money yet). Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to pursue too much at once.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t set goals that you have to work for. You want to ensure that your side hustle is moving in the right direction, and that means putting goals in place. However, they should be achievable goals. This way you’ll still feel like you’re making progress even when your schedule gets busy or hectic.

Plan Ahead for Time Management

Setting aside time to work on your side hustle is great, but you also need a plan! It’s important that you schedule the tasks that will be accomplished during this time so you don’t find yourself sitting around twiddling your thumbs with nothing to do.

Finding a good balance of different types of tasks is one key way to make sure your days are well-rounded and productive.

No matter how perfect your planning, there will inevitably come a day when something unavoidable sucks up every last bit of free time you have. When this happens it can be frustrating to think that you couldn’t even get in half an hour of work, but don’t beat yourself up over it.

Try to stay positive and look for another opportunity to spend some time on your side hustle.

It’s also important that you schedule regular breaks into your day; working nonstop without rest is bad for productivity and can even be detrimental to your health! Try taking short 5 minute breaks every couple of hours where you do something completely different like going outside for some fresh air or reading a book.

If possible try getting up from your desk to work on other tasks around the house during these break times; this allows you to take care of various obligations while still allowing yourself dedicated time for your side hustle.

Create and Follow a Schedule

how to manage your side hustle

Having a schedule is great for managing your side hustle, but you need to create one that works for you! It’s important that the schedule that you follow isn’t so restrictive that it leaves no room for working on other projects or pursuing other interests.

If your schedule is too tight then it will leave little room for spontaneity which can be frustrating and may cause you to burn out on your side hustle without realizing it.

Remember that not everyone’s schedule is the same. Just because someone you follow on Twitter wakes up at 5:00 AM every day to work on her side hustle doesn’t mean that that’s what you have to do.

There are tons of different schedules, and some people work better at night while others like to get up early in the morning. Find what works best for you!

Although it may be important to find some time every day or generally keep certain hours open for working on your side hustle, you shouldn’t feel like you’re forced into doing anything that doesn’t work with your schedule.

Just because someone else wakes up at 5 AM to do their work doesn’t mean that you have to follow the crowd; be original and figure out how much time works best for YOU.

Be Consistent

Once you’ve organized your schedule, it’s important that you stick to the plan. Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than expected to accomplish your task; just try to stay positive and make sure you follow through on your promises.

Finding time for work every day will be hard at first; once you start seeing how much progress can be made in these little pockets of free time, though, things will get easier. Before long you’ll have a much healthier hobby or side hustle that is moving in the right direction!

Remember that no schedule is set in stone, so take advantage of any opportunities life gives you to put in some extra hours without breaking up your productivity too much.

Write it Down

The best schedules are the ones that are written down so that you don’t have to think about what you need to do at certain points during the day. Keep a note on your phone of what needs to be done and when so that you always have the information at hand.

Don’t let your work take over your life or affect any other hobbies or personal goals that are important to you! Make sure that, although there may be some days where you need to work more than others, you’re still allowing yourself enough time for rest and relaxation.

Scheduling your side hustle is all about being proactive, not reactive! If it’s written down then it’s much less likely that something will come up unexpectedly and eat into your free time!

This doesn’t mean that flexibility isn’t important; just remember that sometimes spontaneity can be bad as well. If you wake up one day and decide that you want to work on your side hustle, that’s great!

However it might be a good idea to take the next couple of days off after working so hard; don’t let yourself become burned out by trying to force too much work and not enough fun and relaxation into your schedule.

Set Goals for Yourself

process for setting and achieving goals

Earlier, I mentioned the importance of setting goals for yourself and your side hustle. In order to reach those goals, however, it’s best to plan out how you’re going to do so.

Whenever you set a goal, don’t just aimlessly hope that one day the stars will align and everything will magically fall into place. That doesn’t help anybody! Make a list of small tasks that you can complete every single day towards reaching your goal.

Whether it be writing 500 words or drawing up a blueprint for a prototype of your product, recognize that even little accomplishments will add together over time and make accomplishing your main goal easier as well as more likely!

Be sure not to overwhelm yourself either; remember that slow progress is better than no progress at all. You can always work on making those small tasks more manageable once you’ve reached the current finish line!

Stay Motivated

Finally, one of the most important things to keep in mind while building your side hustle is that you should never lose motivation. If you find yourself feeling down or burnt out by all the hard work, it’s always a good idea to take a break and recharge.

It might be frustrating to stop for even just an hour when you’re on a roll, but sometimes pushing through can lead to more burnout later.

Don’t get discouraged! Remember how far you’ve already come , figure out what’s causing your lack of motivation if there is any, and push through whatever life throws at you.

Even though it seems impossible right now , everything will make sense later on if you just keep pushing through and doing your best!

People all around the world are working side hustles—some of which turn into businesses that can change lives.

Achieve your goals by finding out what you want to do, finding time in your schedule for it, and sticking with it so that one day you can look back and say  “I did it!”

Don’t Neglect Your Family and Friends

Don't neglect family and friends.

Even when you work hard while you manage your side hustle, don’t forget about the people you love! People will get upset if they find out how much time and effort that you’re putting into your side hustle without them getting to be a part of it.

Try making a list of things that you can do with your friends and family so that everyone can have fun together while still doing something productive for your business.

For example, spending a Saturday afternoon “pre-selling” at a local festival or going door-to-door in areas around town where you’d like to sell your product.

As I mentioned earlier, there may be times when it is necessary to work more than usual; however, if this becomes the norm rather than the exception, don’t forget to apologize  to those closest to you and explain what you’re going through so that they understand.

Do your best to let them in, even a little bit ; it may be difficult for some of your friends and family members to fully grasp what’s going on—especially if it’s brand new—but just know that their patience will have a positive effect on the outcome of your business as well as your relationships with them!

As soon as you can, try to take some time off from working on your side hustle every once in awhile to spend time with the people who matter most. It’ll mean more than you think!

You don’t need much time at all; even something small like taking two hours every Saturday afternoon after lunch to hang out with someone special can go a long way.

Finally, don’t forget to have fun! People may associate side hustles only with the idea of making money, but it’s important to remember that this is a hobby and that you’re doing it because you love it—not just for the cash!

If you work too hard without enjoying yourself along the way, then what’s even the point?

Get Help if You Need It

Get help with your side hustle.

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, our side hustles just aren’t going the way we want them to. This can be frustrating and discouraging , especially if you’re spending a lot of time on it—but remember that your main focus should always be on improving what’s not working rather than giving up entirely!

If this happens to you, then don’t be afraid to ask for help from others who have been there before. In fact, reach out to someone whose business is doing well and ask about their journey.

They may have gone through something similar and learned from their mistakes when they were starting out; therefore, they’ll most likely want  to share some wisdom with you in an attempt help repay the favor that was done for them.

Be careful not to take anything personally, though; receiving advice can be tough sometimes, especially if you feel like the other person is trying to tell you how to run your business or what’s best for you.

For example, it’s important to remember that just because someone has “x” amount of years in their industry doesn’t necessarily mean that they know more than someone who has less experience—and vice versa!

The best thing that anyone can do is provide helpful tips and ideas that have helped them succeed before ; then, let it be your decision whether or not to apply those suggestions into your own business. In some cases, this may simply involve learning new skills or finding a different approach as opposed to starting from scratch.

In other cases, it may mean that you’ll need to hire a professional or find a mentor. If your side hustle is taking up too much of your time and money without any results to show for it, then I highly suggest looking into these options.

It can be difficult to embrace the idea of paying someone else—especially when you’re just starting out—but it doesn’t hurt to look around at what everyone has to offer before making a final decision!

There’s nothing wrong with asking for help; in fact, I believe that this is one of the most important parts about running business that actually works  because there will always come a point where we realize that we don’t know everything.

Even if you feel embarrassed about this , know that you’re not alone; everyone’s been there before and most of us will be there again at some point.

Keep Track of What’s Working (and What’s Not)

Keep track of what's working.

As previously mentioned, it’s important to take time off from your side hustle every once in awhile —but monitoring your progress is also key. If you don’t keep track of how well (or poorly) things are going , then you’ll never know what might need changing and improving.

You may want to start by writing down your monthly and/or weekly goals—then, set aside some time on a daily or even hourly basis where you can sit down and assess whether or not you’re meeting those requirements.

This way, you’ll always be aware of the “big picture;” for example, if you’re working on a new project that requires certain steps to be completed before it goes live but those milestones aren’t being reached as often as you would’ve liked, then you’ll know to shift your focus onto something else.

You can also use an app like Google Keep to help keep track of what’s worked and what hasn’t throughout the day. If you have a block of free time that needs to be filled with activities that will further your business—even if it’s just for 15 minutes—then there are plenty of great tools out there that can help!

Remember, don’t take yourself too seriously! Sometimes, the best way to ensure success is by having fun while doing so; this doesn’t mean that you should spend all of your nights playing video games and watching movies on Netflix (though those “breaks” aren’t necessarily bad), but it does mean that you should watch your mood while operating under a business mindset.

Tackle the Tasks You Hate First

Another tip that I mentioned in my last article  is to focus on what needs to be done—instead of on what you want to get done.

This can be applied directly to your side hustle, especially if you feel overwhelmed by the number of “to-do” items, or tasks , currently on your plate.

Hate doing taxes? Then do them right now instead of putting it off until tomorrow! Not only will tackling the most dreaded chores help you cross them off your list faster, but it’ll also give you more free time later.

Start with whatever is stressing you out the most and then work your way down the list from there.

As a side note, this can also work in reverse: if you have a task that’s not so bad but it’s something you don’t want to do, then try doing it first before tackling anything else.

This is especially true when you’re distracted by other things—but for whatever reason, that one particular item has been burned into your memory. In this case, it may be better to “get it out of the way” instead of putting it on your mental backburner until later on.

In any event, there are plenty of ways to make time for everything—you just need to find new ways to make use of what you already have. Keep trying different approaches until you find something that works for you.

That being said, it’s also important to take advantage of emerging technology in order to streamline your business and save time in the process. In fact, I recently wrote a post  that delves into this concept in greater detail; check it out if you’re interested!

Start Small Whenever Possible

One of my favorite tips when it comes to doing anything new is to break each task down into its smallest components—or mini-goals. For example, if you want to start a blog but don’t know where or how to begin, then consider creating a simple outline with which you can use as a starting point.

While there are plenty of “formulaic” plans out there that might get you results faster, they limit your creativity; at the same time, you’ll also get a better feel for blogging if you take it one step at a time.

Along those lines: don’t try and do everything all at once! If you just started out and feel inclined to give up because of something that didn’t pan out as quickly as expected, then don’t.

Look at what happened and learn from the experience instead—and maybe even write about it on your blog! With enough time and dedication, chances are good that you’ll succeed in some shape or form sooner than later.

My Own Story

I started out as a full-time student with a part-time job, but I didn’t want to feel like I was just going through the motions. This led me down a path of self-discovery that took up an immense amount of time and energy—but it was well worth it in the end!

I remember being extremely busy during my early college years due to everything from homework assignments to club meetings and even other gigs on the side.

My schedule wasn’t as flexible as I would’ve liked, nor did it leave room for much else outside of those tasks—but this allowed me to learn how to juggle different responsibilities simultaneously.

In other words: by keeping up with all of my schoolwork first (which involved studying, writing essays, and even seeking out help when necessary), I could then focus on other things afterward.

And because several of the extracurricular activities that I was involved in (e.g., working or volunteering at a local non-profit) were just as time-consuming , it really wasn’t possible to do anything else outside of my day job—even if I had wanted to.

It took me about two years to get through everything that I wanted to accomplish during college; meanwhile, my blog evolved into something much bigger than what was originally intended along the way!

But because all of these tasks required so much dedication and effort, they turned out to be something truly meaningful—and not just another excuse for procrastination.

If I could go back to that time all over again, however, then I would’ve focused more on the things that were important to me (e.g., building my self-brand) instead of trying to take on too much at once. That way, I probably would’ve gotten done what I wanted in half the time—or even less!


Remember, even if you have a lot going on in your life right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. You just need to focus on what’s most important to you and be prepared to take it one step at a time.

And once you do get where you’re trying to go? Then enjoy the benefits accordingly!

In the end, it can be much more beneficial to take things slowly and do them right instead of rushing through each task in a hurry, only to make mistakes along the way.

Working toward your goals is never easy—regardless of how busy you might be at any given time! That said, if you keep perspective and remain dedicated to your cause then it should all work out in the end.

I’d love to hear about your own experiences with juggling busy schedules and working on side projects: what did you learn / how did you get past things?

FAQ – How to Manage Your Side Hustle

How do you manage your side hustle when you don’t have much time?

It will depend on your specific situation, but there are a lot of helpful solutions out there (e.g., hiring help).  I’d recommend looking into what might work best for you and finding a routine that you can both stick to and enjoy at the same time!

How do you manage a family and a side hustle?

Ideally, you should always have enough time for anything that’s important to you; if it’s not, find ways to make more!  You might need to stay up later at night or wake up earlier in the morning, but little by little it will all add up.

How do you manage your side hustle in your spare time?

Again, this will depend on your specific situation (e.g., family commitments).  However, it’s never a bad idea to plan ahead and make sure that you can sustain yourself—after all, your passions should be able to coexist with the rest of your life, not take over it.

How do you find time to manage your side hustle?

There are a number of ways to do this, and I’d suggest trying everything until you find what works best for you.  For example, that could mean waking up earlier or staying up later; it could even mean cutting down on your sleep.

How do you manage your side hustle when you’re sick?

This is a tough one and everyone will handle it differently, but you should still make an effort to be productive.  Don’t let your health dictate how much you can accomplish during the day; instead, find ways to work with your symptoms (e.g., drink plenty of fluids, take medication when necessary, etc.).