Want to make some extra cash but not sure if you can handle a side hustle and a full-time job?
While it sounds great to create another stream of income outside of your day job, starting up a side hustle may not be the right choice for everyone.
In this post, I’ll walk you through how to know if you can work full time and side hustle, as well as go through some tips on how to side hustle while working full time.
Let’s get started!
Although I am a CPA by profession, I am not YOUR CPA. All content and information in this post is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute accounting, tax, or financial advice and does not establish any kind of CPA or accountant-client relationship.
This post contains affiliate links, including those from Amazon, which means I may make a commission on sales at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Check out my Disclaimer for more information!
- Can You Work Full Time and Have A Side Hustle?
- How to Side Hustle While Working Full Time
Can You Work Full Time and Have A Side Hustle?
Before we jump straight into the tips that will help you manage a side hustle with your full-time job, there are a few points we need to go over.
This section will help you make sure starting a side hustle is the right choice for you.
1. Make Sure Your Employer Allows It
Before you dive straight into starting a side hustle, make sure you’re actually allowed to operate a business or have a side job.
Some employers have clauses in their employment contracts or employee handbooks that don’t allow employees to have second jobs or outside employment.
Depending on what type of side hustle you want to start, you could also have a non-compete clause in your employment contract to deal with. If you are wanting to start something similar to what you already do for your day job, you want to make sure you aren’t competing for the same customers.
Check your employee handbook or employment contract before you start up your side hustle to make sure you won’t have any issues at work and to help you decide what type of side hustle to start.
2. Is It Realistic For Your Schedule?
Take a look at your schedule and be really honest about how much free time you have in your days.
If you find yourself sitting on the couch watching TV for three hours every night after work and you generally spend your weekends hanging out at home – you probably have plenty of extra time to start something on the side.
However, if your weekends are full of social events and you get home late from work every night, you may want to think about whether a side hustle is realistic. Do you really want to spend all the free time you do have to work on your side hustle?
You don’t need to have hours and hours every day to work on your side hustle but you do need to have enough uninterrupted time to focus sometime during the week.
For example, I spend about an hour every weekday working on Financial Flamingo, and around four to six hours on the weekends. Its definitely not all my free time, but it’s a good chunk of time each week.
3. Why Do You Want to Start a Side Hustle?
Why do you actually want to start a side hustle?
Of course, to make some extra money. But do you want extra money to pay off debt or add to savings? Do you want a backup stream of income in case you lose your job?
Are you wanting a short-term side hustle or something you can build longer-term?
A lot of people that start their own businesses as side hustles also have the goal that one day they will make enough money with it to go full-time with their business.
Knowing what you want to get out of a side hustle will help you decide on the right side hustle and give you an idea of whether you are motivated enough to really stick with it long term.
If your only reason for starting a side hustle is to “make more money” but you don’t have a specific reason or goal to work toward you might find it hard to stay motivated over time.
4. Passive Vs. Active Income
How much time you’ll need available to put into your side hustle will also depend on whether you want to focus on passive or active income.
Passive income is income that is mainly earned on autopilot. You will have to put in some work upfront to get things set up, but once things are set up you don’t have to do too much to make money.
Examples of passive income are blogging, affiliate marketing, selling digital products, print-on-demand stores, drop shipping, and investing.
With active income, you are usually trading your time for money. This would be things like coaching, running a store with physical products, web design, teaching, freelance writing, graphic design, video editing, or becoming a virtual assistant.
While the sound of passive income is great to most people, active income could be a better choice. You generally can charge more for active income streams since they take more time and energy. If you have direct skills you could make money from, active income streams might make more sense for you.
If you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to your side hustle, you may want to go with passive income streams instead.
How to Side Hustle While Working Full Time
Once you’ve decided that a side hustle is a right choice for you, you need to make sure you use your time efficiently so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Let’s go through some tips on how to side hustle while working full-time.
1. Choose the Right Side Hustle
The first step to successfully side hustling is to choose the right type of side hustle for you.
Again, you want to think about how much time you have to dedicate to your side hustle and whether your skills are better matched with passive or active income options.
Do some research into the different types of side hustles and see which ones stand out to you.
- What skills do you already have that you could apply to a side hustle?
- Do you want to work directly with clients and customers?
- Would you enjoy creating your own products or sharing your expertise?
There are so many different side business ideas that can be started on the internet that there is something for almost anyone.
Take your time on this step and find an idea that will be something you will enjoy and that you have the skills to create.
2. Set Good Boundaries
Once you get your side business started, one of the best things you can do to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed is to set good boundaries between your day job time, home time, and side hustle time.
When I first started blogging I was really excited and spent every single bit of spare time I had working on my website.
You are probably going to be a bit tempted to do the same, but this is a great way to get burned out.
Starting strong on your side hustle isn’t going to help you out if you make yourself so exhausted right out of the gate that you no longer want to work on it after a month.
Make sure to set aside some of your time to still be free time – relax, work on your hobbies, binge Netflix, etc. You need the time off to rest your brain so you can be more productive during times you are at work or working on your side hustle.
And also – don’t spend a bunch of your time when you’re at your day job working on your side hustle! This is time theft and your employer won’t appreciate it if your performance drops because you are working on personal projects.
Let’s talk about how to create a schedule for working on your side hustle that will help you set these boundaries.
3. Create a Schedule for Your Side Hustle
Creating a schedule for when you work on your side hustle can help you set better boundaries and stay more focused on what you need to get done.
Look at your current schedule and think about when you do your best work of the day. Are you a morning person or would you rather stay up late and sleep later the next morning?
Based on that, see when you can fit in time during your week to work on your side business.
For example, I am a morning person. Even if I didn’t work on Financial Flamingo, I usually get up at 5 am to work out before work. In order to have an hour every day to work on my website, I started getting up at 4 am instead.
Now I have an hour to work out, an hour to work on my side hustle, and plenty of time to shower and get ready before heading to work.
This might sound totally unreasonable to you (I know most people think it’s crazy to get up so early), but the point is to figure out what part of your day will work best for you to get an hour of time to work on your side project.
4. Work on Good Time Management
You aren’t going to make much progress with your side hustle if you don’t use the time you have to spend on it wisely.
I can write a blog post from start to finish in two hours – if I’m focused. Sometimes I’m not. I’ve found that knowing exactly what I need to get done helps me a lot with focusing on the task at hand.
- Make sure you know what you need to get done in the next few weeks.
- Break down your larger tasks into smaller parts that are easier to accomplish quickly.
The most important thing to remember when deciding what to do with the time you have to work on your side hustle is that you want to focus on the things that are going to provide the most value first.
For a side business, that is usually going to be the tasks that are going to result in you making money.
What time management methods will work best for you is going to depend on what type of side hustle you are working on and how you work best. For example, I find that batching tasks related to my blog posts helps me a ton, but that likely isn’t going to work well for someone who is editing videos for clients.
If you’re finding you are struggling to get things done, I highly suggest researching a new time management technique and giving it a try.
5. Create Systems Instead of To Do Lists
This tip has helped me so much. It was always hard for me to get into a consistent routine of writing blog posts every week until I put a system in place for writing them.
If there are tasks in your side business that you are always doing over and over again, it really helps you get things done efficiently if you use the same process for the task every time. Even if you have a checklist of everything, if you aren’t following a process you still might end up wasting a lot of time jumping around.
I’ll give you my example of creating a system for writing a blog post, but it can be applied to processes for pretty much any project you could be doing for your side hustle.
When I first started blogging, I would start a blog post differently every time. Sometimes I would find all the images first, sometimes I would create an outline, sometimes I’d just start writing.
There was never a system so it made things take much longer than they should have – and sometimes I’d forget steps I needed to do altogether.
Now I do the exact same thing every time I write a post:
- Find my keywords for SEO
- Research what I want to include in the post
- Create an outline of the post
- Write my intro and conclusion
- Write my headline and meta description
- Write the blog post
- Find images
- Proofread and schedule the post
Whatever type of project you are working on, break it down into all the tasks that need done and turn that into a checklist you follow in the same order every time you need to do that type of task.
6. Take Advantage of Weekends
Spending a little bit of time every day working on your side hustle is a good idea, but weekends can be the best time to get larger chunks of uninterrupted time to work on your business.
I am definitely not suggesting you spend your entire weekend working on your side hustle (unless you really want to!). Doing that every single week is probably going to burn you out.
But if you could set aside four hours on a Saturday morning, you can probably get a lot more done in that organized and focused four hours than if you had to start and stop what you were working on over four days.
7. Be Patient
You have to be patient when building a new business!
There are a lot of articles online that talk about how people were able to start a side hustle and go full-time with it within six months.
I’m not saying those people are lying, but that is generally not going to be realistic for most people. If you don’t have hours and hours every day to spend building your business you are going to have to be patient as you grow over time.
Especially if you are learning all new skills for your side hustle – you are going to have a learning curve.
Don’t constantly compare your side hustle progress with other people online. Just focus on the highest-value tasks you need to get done and keep moving forward. It will pay off eventually!
Having another stream of income in addition to your day job can make a big difference in the time it takes to reach your financial goals.
If you’ve decided starting a side hustle while working a full-time job is right for you, these tips will help you juggle them both.
Now it’s time to get started on your side hustle while you’re motivated about it!
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.
Check out these other posts to learn more about side hustles:
- How To Start Your Own Blog
- How To Start A Profitable YouTube Channel
- My Blog Income Reports
- How Running My Business Keeps Me Sane