As a mother and a professional, I know – personally and intimately – that the work day never, ever ends.  When I’m home from my actual job, I still have work to do, emails to send, meetings to plan.  And when I’m at work, I still think (sometimes obsessively) about my tiny humans: their schedules, their health, the overall, unceasing maintenance of being a parent.

And in the pursuit of building a life for them – and myself! – I’ve also taken on the increasingly ubiquitous side hustle. Seems like a lot to handle at once, but I have learned some important tricks to maintain my sanity while increasing my income and being as present as possible for my little ones.

Many side hustles are gigs started by stay-at-home moms. Other side gigs are working professionals who are trying to make an even better life for themselves and their families by supplement their careers.

The key is in balance: how to add more financially without subtracting from the time you spend with them (or yourself!).  How, then, can you successfully manage a side hustle?

 

Start a gig that is flexible

If you want to start a side gig, make sure that you choose something flexible.  Freelance writing, for example, is a great, flexible option.  You can set your own hours, take on your own clients at your own pace, and do as much or as little work as you need.  There are even websites you can check out that help connect businesses in need with freelancers like upwork.com and freelancer.com. You also have the freedom to set your own prices and write what you’re knowledgeable and passionate about.  This is a great example of flexibility.  Taking on a side gig with set hours can be cumbersome and detract from your home life.  Make sure you focus your efforts on something that will allow you to set your own hours and work as much or as little as you desire.

 

Cater to your existing skill set

A side hustle is not the proper time to take on something new!  If you want to get the most bang for your buck, manage a side hustle that you’re already good at.  For example, if you’re naturally good at networking and sales, a multi-level marketing gig might suit your skillset. Or if you’re a certified teacher, on the other hand, tutoring might better suit your needs.  Choosing something you’re good at to minimize your time investment and maximize your earning ability!

 

Set limits

It’s important in running a side gig, as in life, to know your limits.  Say no when necessary, and don’t take on more than you think you can reasonably accomplish within the limits of your family life or full-time job.  From a Nav.it perspective, think about the ideal amount of income you want to make on the side per month and work backwards from there. How many hours will you need to put in to make that? How many projects will you have to take on? If that amount of effort doesn’t seem reasonable, scale back to the hours you think you can manage and go from there. A side hustle should augment your life, not cause you undue or unnecessary stress.

 

Plan your time

If you’re not much of a planner, this one might be hard.  But when you’re piling work on top of an already busy life, it’s ideal to have an idea of when you will actually squeeze in your side hustle. For example, if you have a 9-5, pick the kids up, do dinner and have them in bed by 8pm, then it seems you either have between 8pm and bedtime or early mornings to do your thing.  And who said anything about a little ‘you’ time or spending time with your partner? So be realistic on time management. Will you work on the side hustle two to three times a week? Will you carve out time on the weekends?  Are you days flexible enough to get all your work done before 5pm?  Even if life happens and you don’t always stick to your schedule, having an idea of when you can slip in your side hustle work will allow you to balance your personal time and professional time as much as possible.  

Millennials know that side hustles are an important and significant source of not only income but personal fulfillment.  If you manage a side hustle properly, it can make life better for your family, while showcasing and refining your skills and making you feel like the rockstar you are!

 

Image Credit: Mirjana Jesic

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