Today I want to talk about finding the time and time management to do side hustles. I know a lot of you that watch these CarTalks have full-time jobs as tech people, developers, IT people, sysadmin, DevOps people, anybody in that kind of tech space. You are dedicated to doing 40 hours a week to do what you do.
I’m a huge proponent of having a side hustle. For those that don’t know what a side hustle is, it’s essentially a business on the side that makes money. You have your full-time job and you have a hobby which is something fun that you do that doesn’t make any money or you have a side hustle. A side hustle can be anything that usually makes money, but sometimes it doesn’t. You can use it as kind of a personal branding and marketing thing for you. So, that’s anything from community involvement to doing blogging on the side, not in your full-time job. Doing video course creation like with Tech Snips by the way.
There’s a lot of things you can do on the side. A side hustle is generally any kind of business-related activity that helps you out career-wise. I’ve had a side hustle for about 15 years and it’s something that I really enjoy doing because you get the autonomy. You get to kind of feel like when you’re working for yourself and you get that autonomy to decide what you want to do and what you want to work on. Once you get involved and get out there more you’ll see that you’ll get a lot more traction and you make more money and you get more famous, and you ultimately help a lot of people, depending on what you do.
But, this CarTalks isn’t necessarily about side hustles in particular. I’ve done of few of those CarTalks in the past but this one is about time management and how you would set aside time for that. Like I mentioned, I know a lot of you have a full-time job and you’re used to doing the 40-hour week, 50 hours a week, or even 60 hours a week. Putting in overtime or if you’re salary, just working extra to get things done and that’s really all you’ve known.
In my opinion, you’re really hurting your career. Notice that I didn’t say you’re hurting your job. Your current job is great, I’m sure your boss loves you working that much but you’re ultimately going to hurt your career unless you see yourself in that job your entire life, which I do not recommend doing. In that case, you’re just going to stagnate your entire career and what’s the fun in that. Life is all about getting better and succeeding in achieving more and you staying in the same job your entire life, is definitely not the way to go. Anyway, that’s a rabbit hole I won’t go down today.
You Are Not Your Job
So, to find the time, first of all, you have to realize that you are not your job. You have lots more skills, either from previous jobs, current job, or if you have a side hustle now. You have lots of different skills that apply to things outside your job, so do not tie yourself to your job directly. You independently know a lot more than just your job. That’s a big mindset shift but once you get past that, you’ll realize that you then start to kind of break away from your full-time job a little bit. I’m not saying just totally drop it and do a terrible job and get yourself fired, but chances are I bet you could scale back your workload by 10 – 20 percent and honestly nobody’s going to know.
You’re probably doing things that you do for yourself that you think is enjoyable or you’re using OCD tendencies that people don’t even realize. That’s something I realized a long time ago, and once you figure out how much time you can actually scale back on your job, then you’ve opened up this time window. That time window can be really relative; you have time during the week if you can stop work at 4 PM and have a couple hours in there and if you do that, that’s 8 – 10 hours a week right there.
With those 8 – 10 hours a week you can do a lot of different things. You can start blogging, you can start doing video content, joining us at Tech Snips, you can plural site courses, LinkedIn learning, all these courses. You can do conference talks and once you get involved and start teaching and start giving back to the community you’ll find that (depending on your goals) your career is going to skyrocket because you have then made yourself known, you’ve proven to other people that you know what you’re doing and you’re teaching other people.
Lots of companies love that kind of thing. They love seeing mentors and people teaching other people. That’s very valuable to lots of different companies. You’re really building up your resume if you want to stay in the full-time job, or if you’re like me you can even go down the route of completely dropping your full-time job and doing all this crazy stuff full-time like I do today.
So, you have a lot of options there. Once you get that mindset that you are not your job and you open up this time window, next thing is to develop a routine. I know this is really hard to do but if you’ve been years and years at a job, doing the same thing every day, going to work at 8 and leaving at 5, doing family dinner, Netflix or whatever kind of routine you do, you have to start out slow and develop a routine. Once that routine sets in over time, it’s much easier to get the ball rolling on here.
Find Your Routine
What I recommend, don’t say (for example), I want to do one blog article, or I want to record a video, or I want to do a talk. If you’re very serious about this, what you need to tell yourself is – I want to do one blog post per X timeframe (per week, per month) and set a recurring reminder for that sort of thing. You need to continue, you can’t just say I want to do one thing once and stop or I want to do one thing twice and stop. You have to keep that reminder going, that scheduled task in whatever calendar that you have because you need to set that routine.
Once you do that routine, what I’ve found is I don’t even need the reminder anymore. You kind of do the same thing over and over again and you get into that mindset. Just think of how easy it is.
There’s a really good book about habits and it kind of goes into the psychology of difference between your habits and where you’re not and whenever you’re in a habit, you use a different part of your brain. That’s why whenever I take a shower in the morning I sometimes forget I’ve washed my hair because I’m too busy thinking so much that I have to wash my hair again because I completely forgot when I just did it 30 seconds earlier. So, you know washing your hair is just a habit that you don’t even think about.
Sometimes when driving you don’t even realize how you got there, it’s the same thing. It’s just such a habit. You need to form that kind of habit for a side hustle, community work, for activities outside of your job that help you out in your career.
The biggest challenge is to ensure that you are able to break your mentality away from you or your job. First, realize you are not your job, you have much, much more skills than your current job has, and you have many other ways to help people, to make extra money other than just your full-time job. Once you realize that, then establish a routine because whenever you first realize that your job is not you, then you open up.
You’re probably going to open up at least 5 hours a week, it’s really all you need at first. Just 5 hours a week and develop that routine. Once you have that routine and putting in those 5 hours a week and having those activities, it then becomes a piece of cake. It then becomes part of you and how you work. Eventually, depending on what your goal is, if you do that enough, articles, videos, conference talks, books, whatever you want to do, I guarantee that if you keep that routine up, you would definitely find that you’ll enjoy it.
If you enjoy what you do now you’re definitely going to enjoy teaching others and helping others do what you do. It’ll look great on a resume, you’ll have more employers come to you. It’ll be much easier to find a job. You’ll have many more income making opportunities for you. So, I highly encourage you to get better at time management development, develop a routine and get going.