You have 7 days a week.
168 hours in total.
You spend 56 of those asleep.
At least 40 at work.
If you’ve an average commute, 10 hours will be getting to and from work.
10 will be spent cooking and eating.
36 hours on family and recreation.
That leaves the 50% of adults aged 23 to 38 who hope to run their own business one day with 16 hours a week to work on a side hustle.
But even with two working days of time available, many people rarely find time to work on making their dreams a reality.
Amy*, a woman starting a digital agency alongside her job as an operations director knows this challenge only too well:
“My day to day job is full on, and with two young children there is a lot to be thinking about and a lot of balls to keep up in the air.”
So with it being so hard, how can you find the time alongside all your other commitments?
1. Switch up your commute (+ 10 hours per week)
If you drive to work and have the option to get public transport instead, switch up your commute. If you can get a seat on the bus or train, take a laptop and maximise your commute by working on your side-hustle.
2. Take your lunch break away from the desk (+ 5 hours per week)
If you don’t take your lunch break each day, start now. Get out of the office and find a local coffee shop, park bench or even your car (if you’re not able to put idea one into practice) to work. It’s what Tom** started doing to launch his web design business alongside his job as a graphic designer:
“It was hard to break the habit of eating at my desk, especially without raising suspicions, but gradually upping the amount of time and making a point of ‘going out for fresh air and a walk’ meant I could free up at least half an hour most days. Also… I’m entitled to proper breaks (We all are!) so my boss could never quibble about it.”
3. Ask for flexible working (+ 2 hours per week)
Do you work any regular days from home? If not, request flexible working so you can work on your side-hustle before the working day starts and when you clock off. If you did this once a week, you could easily gain an extra hour each side of the day.
4. Use your holiday time (+ 8 hours per month)
If you’re dedicated to your side-hustle, consider booking off holiday time to work on your business. You could book one day a week off at least once a month. Knowing you’re technically getting paid to work is always a nice feeling and helps ease the loss of pure holiday time.
5. Schedule emails ahead of time (+2 hours per week)
Amy says one of her favourite ways to maximise time is “being able to write emails and delay sending them to a time the next day makes it easier to hide the fact I’m working late, whilst getting ahead of myself with business-related work.”
6. Commit to the same three hours every weekend (+3 hours per week)
Our resident blogger Bettie Confetti knows all too well how easy it is to let the side-hustle slip, which is why her simple advice is the most effective of all:
“You’ll never feel like you have enough time for your side hustle so the most important thing is to carve out specific times where you’re focussing solely on that. Make every Sunday morning your side-hustle time. It’ll set you up for the week ahead and allow you the head space to figure out how to fit your work in for that week.”
If you implemented all of the above you’d find an extra 19 hours per week.
Even making one of these tips a habit now will help you move your side-hustle forwards faster, so you can get to the point of leaving your job much sooner. Anyone who’s transitioned from side-hustle to full-time business will tell you that it’s worth the hard work and pain now for the taste of freedom sooner.
One day in the not so distant future you might follow in Bettie Confetti’s footsteps:
“After two years of graft, I felt like it was time to take the leap… so I’ve handed my notice in and am going at it alone!”
Isn’t that worth finding time for?
*Amy and Tom’s real identities have been changed as they are still in full-time employment