I get you. You have a day job and a blog/business on the side that you want to turn into you main source of income. You are trying to build your brand, readership, customers/clients, site visits, follows, etc. The side hustle already feels like a full-time job because there are so many levels to it. Sometimes it’s hard to stay afloat, so today I will be sharing 10 ways that you can stay productive with your side hustle while still working a 9-5.
1 / Use apps offline
Some of my most productive days have been when I didn’t have an internet or data connection. Every blogger and entrepreneur should use apps that have the ability for you to work offline. Working offline means that you can still use the app without internet or data connections, and when you have a connection again what you worked on will then sync to your account. So for example, I was without power for 2 days due to hurricane Irma which meant that I had no internet. I was still able to work on this very blog post because I use Google Docs to create my posts anyway. I typed my blog post and once I had an internet connection again, everything that I typed was then synced to my Google Docs account. This is also a great feature to have when you want to work on tasks on your breaks at work. If your employer doesn’t allow you to connect to the wifi on your personal devices, you can still use the apps and get things done without the connection.
Pro Tip: Most productivity and business apps these days have offline capabilities, so do your research and make sure that the app that you are going to download has this. For me, offline capabilities is high on the need list when it comes to apps.
2 / Take advantage of breaks
So speaking of breaks, this is a prime time when you should be working on your side-hustle tasks. Whether that be typing a blog post, planning out social media content, writing emails to your email list, planning out products/services to launch, etc. you can totally do these things on your morning, afternoon and/or lunch breaks. You don’t have to be all work and no play during your breaks (I believe in a healthy balance of the two), but you should plan out which breaks you will use to solely work on your stuff.
3 / Dedicate time in the morning or evening to work on tasks
I am a night owl...there’s no doubt about it. Some people believe that you should get up super early in the morning to work on things, but I’m an advocate of working whenever it’s best for you. If that happens to be 5am or 10pm, it’s fine either way. It’s impossible and unrealistic to fit everyone into the mold of being a morning person. I get my best work done late at night *shrugs*. Whatever works best for you, dedicate the time to it and do it. You should dedicate at least one hour to work on your blog/biz to consistently mark things off of your to-do list.
4 / Use automation
This is the secret sauce for EVERYONE that has a blog/biz and a 9-5...but not everyone taps into it. Your commute time and work hours take a huge chunk of your day away. The best way to stay productive is by having robots work on tasks for you when you don’t have the time or ability to do it yourself. Things like posting to social media, tagging people in your email list based on products/services purchased, being notified when a specific email is received, doing market research, etc. There are so many possibilities when it comes to automation, so use the resources to help you stay on top of it all.
Related: Automation 101
5 / Streamline your workflow
If you think about your 9-5 and the different processes that come together to complete a task, you will realize that you are following a workflow that has been created to effectively get the job done (that’s their intention at least!). Follow suit for your own blog/biz and create a streamlined workflow. This will take some trial and error, but once you have outlined the flow that works best for you, it will be golden! This is because your process will be documented and predictable and predictability saves time. No more time wasted trying to remember how or what you did in your process that one time that worked so well. By streamlining your workflow, there will be less room for detours.
6 / Get an accountability partner
A great way to stay on track is to have someone else on your side that makes sure you stay on task. It’s way too easy to get off task and if you have no one to answer to it doesn’t help the procrastination situation. By having an accountability partner, you have someone else that is going to check up on you and make sure that you are staying on track. My friend Katrina of the Chic Little House blog is my accountability partner, so we keep each other motivated and encouraged to keep going. It’s nice to have someone to chat with that understands the struggles of a side-hustler and to exchange ideas with one another. Don’t limit yourself to having a local partner. Katrina lives across the country, but we always make time to chat via Google Hangouts or Facetime.
7 / Use digital organization
There are two types of people in the world...those who like writing notes on paper and those who like to keep track of things digitally. I used to be a paper note taker, but when I realized how convenient and organized my note taking process had become when I tried it digitally, I switched over. Now the only thing that I use my notebooks for is to sketch ideas for new products or anything else that needs to be sketched. If for some reason I am unable to add a note to Evernote (the only way is if my battery was dead; you can work Offline in Evernote!), I would write it down and take a picture of it to upload to my account later. So digital organization is better when trying to run a blog/biz because you need to be flexible and ready for anything. This means if you need to write an idea for a blog post but no paper/pen is handy, you would have to rely on your memory until you got the writing tools. With digital notes, you can add them quickly to an app and be on your way. This also is helpful in the reverse situation where you have a note written somewhere but cannot find it or cannot access it. If you had digital notes, you could access them anytime from anywhere. You can also search for keywords in your digital notes...good luck trying to do that in a notebook.
8 / Set deadlines
It’s easy to get caught up in the “Oh I’m so busy” phrase...but are you busy working on busy work or productive work? There's a distinct difference between the two. Busy work is work that you do that has no true purpose or deadline. You may think it's important, and though it may be slightly important there are things more important that you keep putting off. An example is creating a new business card for yourself. Though business cards are important, they aren't as important as finalizing your sales page for a new product or service, planning out your blog posts for the month or writing an email funnel. These are examples of things that are going to either bring you more coins or more traffic to your website. You also need to set hard deadlines for your tasks. Not doing so leaves too much room to procrastinate. If you're working on something that's going to launch “in the spring”, you're not being real with yourself and you're causing a disservice to your blog/biz. Set a date to it so you know it's real.
9 / Plan content in advance
We all know the old saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” It’s true. When it comes to trying to juggle your day job with your side-hustle, the only way to succeed (or at least stay on top of things) is to pre-plan your content. This means to plan your blog posts, social media content, product/service launch schedule, etc. Planning your content in advance enables you to be consistent and you don't have to scrounge around trying to think of content to post. By pre-planning my content, I feel a great sense of relief because I know what to expect and I know what I need to be working on. Trying to progress in anything in life with no plan is a recipe for failure and sure to waste valuable time on things that don’t fit your ultimate goal.
10 / Change your mindset
This means to treat your side hustle as a main hustle. When you treat it as a side hustle, things tend to fall to the wayside and you become inconsistent. You don’t take it seriously and becoming stagnant is the end result. In order to progress, you need to get a little more serious about what you want to do and ultimately take yourself seriously. This is something that I also struggle with, but I have been making a conscious effort to get it together and I’ve been seeing great results because of it. The sooner you get your mind right, the better!
I hope this post has been helpful and maybe you even learned something new! If you liked this information, comment below to let me know.