“I have kids”
“I need time to unwind”
“It’s a pandemic!”
“I have a full-time job”
+1 million more.
There are so many reasons I’ve heard people say to explain why they don’t have time to start working on a side hustle. I think I may have heard them all. And many of them are very, very valid.
While I feel empathy for all of these reasons why you’re “busy,” here are my typical follow-up questions:
“How much TV/Netflix/Hulu/HBO did you watch last week?”
“How much time each day do you think you spend on Instagram/TikTok?
“How many days did you meet friends (in person or virtually) for drinks last month?”
“What time do you wake up on the weekends?”
“How do you plan your schedule?/Do you plan your schedule?”
Regardless of who you are and what you do, I almost always can help you find at least 10 hours per week to devote to a side-hustle, which is a great start.
But First, Why Are Side Hustles Important?
Side hustles are so important for many reasons, but first and foremost, they are a signaling mechanism that tells me:
1. You Can Manage Your Time
2. You’re Committed to Learning and Growing
3. You Have a Passion for What You Do
4. You Can Bring Outside Experiences to Your PM Roles
5. You Have the Ability to Thrive in Different Industries, Work Structures, and With Diverse Groups of People
6. You’re Entrepreneurial
Additionally, they can help you achieve financial independence and build additional passive streams of income.
I’ve written in much more detail about the specific benefits of side hustles in both of these two posts below. If you haven’t read them yet, check them out first and then come back here to learn how to manage your time!
How to Find or Create Time for Your Side Hustle
There are so many excuses and time stealers that can get in the way of your side hustle.
If you’re working remotely, those time stealers are often even more present as they’re literally feet away from you (the couch, the TV, the kitchen) and it can take a LOT of willpower to overcome them.
Here are a few of my favorite tried-and-true ways to help people just like you carve out at least 10 hours/week for your side hustles.
1. Cut Your TV/Netflix/Hulu/HBO/TikTok/Instagram Time by 25%
Side Hustle Time Created (Each Week): ~10 hours
If you’re like most people, you’re spending close to 6 hours each day consuming video content created by others. Instead of consuming, you need to carve out time to create.
One of the most powerful ways you can carve out time for your side hustle is to reduce your media consumption by 25%.
Whether that means having no social media days or limiting yourself to 1 episode per day of your favorite show or setting up limits on your phone usage, if you can reduce your usage by 25%, you will reclaim ~10 hours of time that you can devote to your side hustle instead.
2. Order Your Groceries, Clothes, Dry Cleaners and Everything Else Online (Instead of Going to the Store)
Side Hustle Time Created (Each Week): ~3 hours
The Coronavirus pandemic has taught many this time “hack” that some people (myself included) have been using for years: Order absolutely everything you can to be delivered instead of going in person.
Sure, you probably order a lot online from Amazon, but did you order your groceries online before the pandemic?
How about your clothes?
How about your dry cleaning?
How about alcohol?
How about Costco?!
Think about your last trip to the grocery store: How long did it take from start to finish? If you’re like most people, you probably spent close to 2 hours door-to-door-to-door.
Sure, you’ll pay a small price premium for ordering with an app like Instacart, but you’ll reclaim at least 1.5 hours each time you shop.
By shifting all of your offline shopping to online, you’ll reclaim at least 3 hours/week to devote to your side hustle.
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3. Wake Up 90 Minutes Earlier on Saturday and Sunday
Side Hustle Time Created (Each Week): 3 hours
Don’t get me wrong, there is something truly great about not having to set an alarm on the weekend. However, if you want to find more time for your side hustle you can definitely do it by waking up earlier (or staying up later) on the weekend.
Note: You should still aim for your 7–8 hours of sleep per night to maximize productivity, but you will have to sacrifice your 9–10 hours of sleep on Saturday and Sunday to find more time for your side hustle.
4. Commit to One Side-Hustle Related Event Each Week
Side Hustle Time Created (Each Week): 2–3 hours
Each and every week, commit to finding at least one side-hustle related event. This could be a hackathon, a maker day, a meetup in the industry of your side hustle, or something similar.
This time will serve many purposes including:
- Helping you connect with others in your side hustle space
- Sparking creative ideas for your side hustle
- Learning from others
- “Heads down” time on your side hustle
At first, it may feel like these events are pulling you away from your side hustle, but trust me, the dedicated time will quickly pay off!
5. Extend 1–2 of Your Weekday Work Days by 2 Hours
Side Hustle Time Created (Each Week): 4 hours
Do you usually leave work at 5pm?
Do you usually start work at 9am?
Choose 2 weekdays (I recommend Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday) to extend by 2 hours.
- Start 1 hour earlier and end 1 hour later
- Start 2 hours earlier
- Work 2 hours later
I’d recommend the 2-hour blocks if you can, so you can really focus in on your side hustle. Leverage this additional time while you’re still in “work mode” to crank on your side hustle.
This strategy also has the added benefit of providing you more “regular” time to work on your side hustle instead of only working on it when you get “lucky enough” to have a couple of spare hours.
What Side Hustles Do You Have? How Do You Find Time for Them?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter at: @amitch5903