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7 Proven Strategies: Balancing Your Side Hustle with a Full-Time Job
Mindset & Productivity Side Hustle

7 Proven Strategies: Balancing Your Side Hustle with a Full-Time Job

Many aspiring entrepreneurs can become paralyzed by the fear of not being able to manage both commitments simultaneously. However, with the right strategies, it’s possible to succeed in both areas without sacrificing one’s personal life or well-being. 

Here are some insights and lessons I’ve learned through my own journey, which can help you effectively balance your side hustle alongside your primary job.

My favorite tools in my business:

  • TubeBuddyYouTube channel management tool for keyword research, video optimization, analytics, and competitor analysis. It helps me save time and grow my audience by optimizing content and gain insights into my channel’s performance.
  • ThriveCart: This is what I use to host my online courses and membership. One-time fee of roughly $495 for a lifetime license.
  • Flodesk: My email provider, get 50% off your first year, unlimited email subscribers at no increased price. It comes with email templates, lead, popup, & opt-in forms for collecting email and is very intuitive.
  • Honeybook: Platform for Virtual Assistants and Freelancing; templates for contracts, create and send invoices, scheduling, automations, and manage your clients all in one place!
  • Create an LLC for $39: Super easy to use service to create an LLC for your online business, walks you through the whole process, step-by-step.
  • Visual timers can be incredibly helpful in managing your time effectively, as they provide a clear visual representation of how much time is left for a task, helping you stay focused and maintain a sense of urgency.

Set Clear Boundaries

When working on a side hustle, letting it spill over into your primary job or personal life is easy. Set clear boundaries to keep each area of your life separate. Allocate specific hours for your side hustle and stick to them. Communicate these boundaries to your family, friends, and colleagues to ensure they understand and respect your time. This will help you stay focused and avoid burnout.

  • Overworking: You may find yourself working late into the night or on weekends, blurring the lines between work and personal time.
  • Constant Availability: You may feel the need to be constantly available to clients or customers, responding to messages and emails at all hours of the day.
  • Distraction During Personal Time: You may struggle to disconnect from work during designated personal time, constantly checking emails or thinking about your side hustle.
  • Neglecting Personal Responsibilities: You may prioritize your side hustle over personal responsibilities such as household chores, spending time with family, or self-care activities.
  • Difficulty Setting Boundaries with Clients: You may have difficulty saying no to client requests or setting clear boundaries around the scope of your services.
  • Lack of Separation between Work and Living Spaces: Working from home can make it challenging to create physical boundaries between work and personal spaces, leading to a constant feeling of being “on.”
  • Comparison and Competition: You may constantly compare yourself to others in your field or feel pressure to constantly outdo your competitors, leading to feelings of inadequacy or burnout.
  • Failure to Take Breaks: You may struggle to take regular breaks throughout the day, leading to decreased productivity and increased stress levels.
  • Ignoring Signs of Burnout: You may ignore signs of burnout, such as increased fatigue, irritability, or decreased motivation, and push yourself to keep working at an unsustainable pace.
  • Difficulty Switching Off: You may find it challenging to mentally switch off from work, which can make it difficult to relax and unwind during personal time.

Setting clear boundaries is also crucial to avoid conflicts with your primary job. Having an online business, like being a virtual assistant, is no different from getting a second job at a retail store to earn extra money. However, in the world of remote or hybrid work schedules, it can be very tempting to work on your online business “on the clock.” This can create issues with your employer if they discover you are not fully dedicated to your job during work hours.

To prevent this, make a strict distinction between your primary job hours and the time dedicated to your side hustle.

7 Proven Strategies: Balancing Your Side Hustle with a Full-Time Job

It’s often a limiting belief that having a “work-from-home side hustle” will interfere with your primary job more than a traditional second job, like working in a part-time retail job or waitressing at night. 

Instead, use your personal time, such as early mornings, evenings, or weekends, for your online business. This not only helps maintain your integrity at your primary job but also reduces the fear of your employer having a problem with your side hustle. Ensuring you’re not working on your side hustle during your primary job’s hours reinforces trust and professionalism in both roles.

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✅ Learn how to turn your unique skills and passions into a profitable online side hustle.
✅ Practical tips, strategies, and real-life examples to kickstart your side hustle journey with confidence.
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Learn from Others

Investing time in learning from others who have effectively managed this balance is essential. Read books, listen to podcasts, and follow blogs on productivity, time management, and entrepreneurship. Learning from others’ experiences can save you valuable time and help you avoid common pitfalls.

Stay open to learning and growing. The landscape of online business is constantly evolving, and what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. Keep up with industry trends, seek feedback, and be willing to develop new skills. This mindset not only helps you stay relevant but also equips you with the tools to tackle new challenges head-on.

I love what I do and believe in sharing knowledge. One of the things that brings me immense joy is guiding aspiring online business entrepreneurs to pursue their passions and unlock their online business potential in ways they may not have imagined. I enjoy providing direction and sharing the wisdom I have gleaned through my journey. 

Secure your spot today on the waitlist for my upcoming LIVE webinar to advance your knowledge. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to invest in yourself!

Turn Your Hobbies Into Side Hustles

There are endless possibilities for turning a profit with your passion. However, some interests have more potential than others. Here’s a sampling of the most popular hobbies to hustle on the side, especially online.

Maintain and Build Friendships

Maintaining friendships can be challenging, especially when it’s easy to get caught up in working 24/7 and sacrificing social interactions. 

Many of my friendships fizzled out because I kept saying no to dinners, group hangouts, and camping trips, all in the name of working on my business. I’ve come to understand how significant it is to make time for personal relationships for my own happiness and overall well-being.

Make a conscious effort to schedule time with friends and family. These interactions are vital, whether just a quick coffee catch-up or a phone call. Remember, it’s not just about your online business; it’s about enjoying life and the people in it.

In addition to maintaining existing friendships, building relationships with other online business owners is important. They understand the unique struggles, ups, and downs in a way “real-world friends” might not. Join online communities, attend networking events, and engage with other entrepreneurs on social media. These connections can provide support, advice, and camaraderie that can be incredibly valuable on your journey.

I realized that being part of a mastermind group was a real game-changer for boosting my online business to the next level. The group was there to encourage and motivate one another through challenges, celebrate each other’s wins, strategize, identify, and help each other focus on strengths or trends. This took the feeling of “going it alone” out of being a solopreneur.

Next Level Membership” is a community of like-minded entrepreneurs personally led by me, Kelly Anne Smith. The main goal is to create a supportive space for you to build relationships while helping you overcome your online business challenges and achieve growth.

As a member, you’ll get to join LIVE group Zoom mastermind calls, coworking sessions, monthly workshops, and an easily accessible library of valuable videos and resources.

You don’t have to go through this journey alone! Join us to elevate your online business with motivation, community, collaboration, and sound strategy.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Prioritizing tasks that will most impact your goals is important, especially when time and energy are limited. Use tools such as to-do lists, planners, or digital apps to keep track of your tasks and deadlines. When listing tasks, also include an estimated time for completion to help schedule your day effectively. Prioritizing ensures you’re dedicating time to activities that will move your side hustle forward.

  • Identify High-Impact Tasks: Start by identifying the tasks that will have the most significant impact on your goals. Ask yourself which activities are directly contributing to the growth of your side hustle. This could be tasks like creating content, reaching out to potential clients, or developing a product.
  • Use Task Management Tools: To keep track of your tasks and deadlines, utilize tools like to-do lists, planners, or digital apps such as ClickUp, Trello, Asana, or Todoist. These tools can help you visualize your workload and organize your tasks by priority. Digital apps often have features like reminders and progress tracking, which can be incredibly useful.
  • Estimate Task Duration: Next to each task on your list, add an estimated time for how long it will take to complete. This helps you allocate your time more effectively and ensures you’re realistic about what you can accomplish. Break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps to make them less overwhelming.

PRO TIP: Visual timers can be incredibly helpful in managing your time effectively, as they provide a clear visual representation of how much time is left for a task, helping you stay focused and maintain a sense of urgency.

  • Create a Daily and Weekly Plan: At the start of each week, create a plan that outlines your most important tasks and when you will work on them. This plan should include both your primary job responsibilities and your side hustle tasks. For example, if you know that Mondays are particularly busy at your primary job, plan lighter side hustle activities for that day.
  • Leverage Small Time Blocks: Look for pockets of time throughout your day where you can fit in smaller tasks. This could be during your lunch break, early morning, or the evening. For example, if you have a 15-minute window between meetings, use that time to reply to emails or draft a social media post.
  • Review and Adjust: At the end of each week, review what you have accomplished and adjust your priorities and plans for the following week. This reflection helps you stay on track and make any necessary adjustments to your workflow.

Actionable Tips

  • Focus on One Task at a Time: Multitasking can reduce your productivity and increase stress. Instead, focus on completing one task (using a visual timer) at a time to maintain quality and efficiency.
  • Use the Eisenhower Matrix: This tool helps you categorize tasks into four quadrants based on urgency and importance, making it easier to prioritize your workload.
  • Batch Similar Tasks: Group similar tasks together to save time. For example, dedicate a specific time block to respond to all emails rather than scattering them throughout the day.

Create a Flexible Schedule

Create a schedule that includes your primary job, side hustle, and personal activities. Instead of waiting for large, uninterrupted blocks, look for pockets of time throughout your week. You might find that you can complete shorter tasks in 15-minute increments.

Once you have your to-do list and estimate how long each task will take, you can slot these tasks into available pockets of time. For example, use your lunch break or early mornings to tackle smaller tasks. This approach helps you progress steadily without carving out huge chunks of your day.

Tracking your time using tools like Toggl can provide significant benefits in managing your schedule. By recording how you spend your time, you gain insights into your productivity patterns and identify areas where you can improve efficiency. Time tracking helps you stay accountable and focused, ensuring that each minute is used effectively. 

Toggl also allows you to analyze how long specific tasks actually take, enabling more accurate planning in the future. Over time, this practice can help you become more disciplined and better at allocating your time, ultimately leading to increased productivity and a better work-life balance.

Additionally, consider Parkinson’s Law, which states that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” By setting tight deadlines for your tasks, you can often complete them more quickly and efficiently. This principle can be particularly useful when balancing your side hustle with a full-time job, as it encourages you to make the most of your limited time.

Take Care of Yourself

Balancing a side hustle can be exhausting. For a long time, I spent every extra moment I had working, rather than dedicating time to exercise and hobbies I enjoy. This relentless focus on work led to burnout, leaving me physically drained and mentally exhausted. I learned the hard way that taking care of yourself is essential to maintain energy and focus.

We all understand the importance of taking care of our health by making time for regular exercise, eating well, practicing stress relief techniques, and getting enough sleep. But understanding why we need to do so can make a significant difference.

Taking care of your physical health leads to greater mental clarity. When you’re physically active and well-nourished, your brain functions better, enhancing your ability to focus, solve problems, and make decisions. This mental sharpness is crucial for balancing multiple responsibilities and staying productive. By maintaining your physical health, you create a strong foundation for mental resilience and creativity, help you stay productive, and avoid burnout—all of which are essential for both your side hustle and primary job.

Remember, it’s not just about working hard but also about working smart. By investing time in your well-being, you equip yourself with the resilience and energy needed to sustain your efforts over the long term. This balanced approach ensures that you can continue to grow your side hustle while excelling in your primary job and enjoying a fulfilling personal life.

Be Flexible and Adaptable

Finally, stay flexible and adaptable. Balancing a side hustle is not always smooth and straightforward, so be open to adjusting your plans and strategies, and be prepared to change direction when necessary. Flexibility is crucial because unexpected challenges and opportunities can arise at any time. Whether it’s a sudden influx of work from your primary job, a personal emergency, or a new opportunity for your side hustle, being adaptable allows you to pivot without losing momentum.

One way to maintain flexibility is to review and reassess your goals and priorities regularly. Set aside time each week or month to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t. If a particular strategy isn’t yielding the desired results, don’t be afraid to tweak it or try something new. This approach helps you stay focused on your goals and ensures that you’re making progress, even if the path isn’t exactly what you expected.

Embrace the idea that it’s okay to take breaks or slow down when needed. Recognize that burnout is a real risk, and sometimes stepping back can actually propel you forward in the long run. If you find that your side hustle is encroaching too much on your personal life or affecting your primary job, it might be time to re-evaluate your workload and make necessary adjustments. Prioritizing your well-being over relentless productivity can help you sustain your efforts more effectively.

Flexibility will help you navigate the challenges and keep moving forward. By being adaptable, you can respond to changes with confidence and resilience, ensuring that temporary setbacks don’t derail your long-term goals. This dynamic approach to balancing a side hustle with a primary job will enable you to thrive in both areas, maintaining a healthy, productive, and fulfilling professional and personal life.


Looking back on my journey, I realized that I learned some lessons the hard way. I was self-educated, learning from everyone around me, both the good and the bad. While repetition helped reinforce my knowledge, it often felt like a waste of time because it wasn’t succinct. I now realize that a more structured approach could have saved me valuable time and effort.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have focused on these strategies from the beginning. Balancing a side hustle with a full-time primary job is challenging, but achieving your goals without sacrificing your well-being is possible with the right approach. 

I hope these tips encourage you to find balance and create a thriving side hustle that fulfills you.

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