How to Juggle a Side Hustle With Your 9-to-5

Whether you’re reaching for your lifelong dream of being your own boss or just want to add another revenue stream to your current income, having a side hustle is a great way to up your career game. Hustlin’ ain’t easy, though, and you’ll have to perform more than a few acrobatics to keep all the balls in the air. As you hop across schedules and inevitably sacrifice some weekend plans, keep these guidelines in mind to keep from losing it.

Get a planner.

Even if you’re working in a more creative field, it’s going to take some razor-sharp organizational skills to get things off the ground. Test out the timing to figure out your preferred setup; if you’re most creative in the morning, it might make sense to get an early start rather than trying to crank out ideas after a long, draining day. Night owls, on the other hand, may prefer burning the midnight oil and hitting snooze a few extra times. If you’re serious about adding a taking on a whole new workload, be prepared to cancel a few social engagements as a sacrifice to the side hustle gods.

Find your community.

With all the new platforms and software out there, there are more ways than ever to connect to others in your field and find clients and customers that can help get your side hustle off the ground. Whether it’s through visual fields like Instagram, freelancing platforms like Upwork, or even in-person networking events, finding others in your industry can help you make valuable connections and gain useful skills that will help your hustle grow and bloom. A little human support (outside of your mom’s very sweet Facebook posts) goes a long way.

Don’t forget self care.

Burnout is real, and the effects can be really damaging. Don’t forget that you’re doing this for you, so it’s okay to make a little time to take care of yourself, too. Form healthy habits like sleeping enough, eating well, and indulging in some Sunday relaxation rituals to keep the burnout at bay. Your mental health is going to be taking a few hits as well, so pay it some attention with outlets like therapy, journaling, or apps like Headspace that help you maintain your brain without going insane.

Be flexible.

Pay attention to how this juggle makes you feel. Maybe the joy you got from calligraphy just isn’t the same when you’re doing it for someone else’s wedding with 350 guests who need hand-written envelopes, but maybe the joy you get from seeing your name in print from hours of freelance writing is the only thing getting you through your day job. Take time to reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of your situation, and be open to new possibilities that this foray could bring. Anything is possible, if you just schedule it really well. (Oh, and file your taxes correctly!)