Whether you're trying to launch a business, side hustle to bring in a little extra cash, or trying to replace your job altogether, it can be challenging to juggle the two. Staying productive while remaining responsible for the other can have you failing to do your best in either capacity. Here are some tips for being productive whilst working a job and pursuing a business or side hustle simultaneously.
Commit the Time
You must be committed to your job to keep a roof over your head and food on the table. The same can't be said of your business or side hustle, but you must be as committed. You should treat your business like it is your sole source of income for it to produce a sustainable income, even if that income is not your primary source. When you set a schedule, task, or deadline for your business, treat it like one your employer at your job set for you. If you don't complete it as ordered, consider the repercussions.
Compartmentalize Your Energy
Don't bring your job to your business, and don't bring your business to your job. Keep your two work lives separate and set separate schedules. If you have calls or meetings planned, plan them accordingly. Suppose you have emails to send, read, or reply; discipline yourself to perform only email activity related to the job or business during the allotted period.
Conserve Your Capital
Minimize your cash investment in your business and limit the debt you take out. You don't want to be working your job to pay for your business, producing an endless and fruitless cycle. This saps your energy and reserves, reducing productivity, confidence, and motivation. Enroll others in investing in your business. Or manage the capital you have as efficiently as you can and when resources are thin, rely on your mental resourcefulness to get you through until more capital resources come in.
Network and Collaborate
Working and networking with other business owners in your area or industry can help you get further faster in many aspects and areas of your business, from garnering leads to licenses to contracts. You can share business and marketing tips, promote each other's companies to your respective audiences, and partner on special products, services, or events. All of this allows you to capitalize on the productivity of others, increasing your productivity exponentially. Coworking spaces and freelancers are two other ways to save on workspace and hiring resources, which can also help boost your productivity.
Take on Interns
You may not be able to afford employees right now, but as a business, you could get local colleges to assign you interns. In exchange for giving the students hands-on experience in your specialty or running a small business in general, you get the free assistance and the productivity boost that goes with it.
Resist burning the candle at both ends, no matter how bad the compulsion. You need sleep to think more clearly, stay healthy and be more productive. Remember, the objective here is to work smarter, not harder. Get regular sleep every night, ideally six to eight hours at the same time every evening. If you can't shut your mind off enough to get to sleep, try developing a bedtime routine to help wind yourself down and prepare your mind and body for bed. And make sure it includes a time before bed with no screens, phone or otherwise.
Take A Break
Call it escape, decompression, and a mini-vacation within each day. It can be anything, from cooking to Pilates to painting to adventure sports to streaming your favorite movies and TV shows at home - as long as it is not work.
Giving yourself small rewards for the small achievements you make today compels you to make more tomorrow, and as those small achievements add up, they eventually become bigger and bigger, as do the rewards.
If you choose streaming as one of your forms of daily decompression, incidentally, you can even find programming to help boost your productivity, like the following documentaries streaming now on Netflix:
- Miss Americana by Taylor Swift - A raw and revealing look at how the rock superstar overcame some of her most challenging hurdles during one of her life's darkest periods to produce her "Reputation" album.
- Becoming by Michelle Obama - An inspired and intimate peek into how the First Lady of the United States remains productive during a book tour examining the strength in the community where she broached some of the most challenging topics facing American lives today, including political dividing lines, race and social barriers.
- Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work - A motivating examination of how the legendary comedian approached the business of show business and managed to stay relevant in an ever-changing entertainment landscape for decades, looking at what it takes to get to the top and stay there.
We hope these tips offer you some practical ways that you can be productive while working a job and building a business.