If you’ve ever built a side business from scratch, you know how easy it is to get caught up in a spiral of stress and become burned out by your own dream. Avoiding burnout is essential not only for the health of your business but also for your mental well-being. Here are a few simple but powerful ways to reduce the odds of falling prey to side hustle burnout in all areas of your life.
1. Set and stick to your off-work hours.
If you have absolutely no control over your day-job schedule try to optimise the hours that surround it. Make your side hustle a priority to keep room and energy in your mind for it. Let your boss or manager know that you have to leave work by 5 p.m., no exceptions. Let your family know when your “side hustle” time is, and do not tolerate interruptions or requests while you work.
Use a dedicated work space for your side hustle as an extra reminder that this is work time not play time. You could set up a home office, visit a neighbourhood cafe, go to the library or rent a desk at a co-working space – there are plenty of options, just pick what is right for you!
2. Stay fresh on the job.
Uncertainty is the biggest source of stress in the life of an entrepreneur. You can lessen that stress by creating daily rituals that are predictable constants in your otherwise manic world. Give yourself time to create a morning or all day ritual.
Grab some coffee everyday at 10 A.M. or take a quick 15-minute stroll at lunch time. Every hour, be sure to switch up your routine by standing and walking around to get the blood flowing.When you know that something relaxing is going to happen on schedule, the surprises are less jarring.
3. Use your free time wisely.
The most difficult part of running a side hustle is mustering the energy to do all that extra work after a full day. Instead of extending each day by several hours, regularly dedicate small windows to your side business.
Wake up half an hour early each morning to work on client projects. Spend ten minutes of your lunch break polishing proposals. Keep your smartphone or tablet handy, and answer client emails during your commute, while you wait to pick the kids up from school, or during less cliché interim moments in your day!
4. Know what’s worth your time.
Not all opportunities are created equal. When you’re brand new, taking whatever free work comes your way may be a smart way to build a portfolio and experience, but over time you have to weed out what no longer benefits you. As you gain experience, you’ll have to let go of “lesser” work to make room for better opportunities. When a potential client reaches out to you, ask yourself:
Does it :
a) Pay better than something I do now?
b) Reach a bigger audience?
c) Is the make-up of their audience a better fit with my goals?
5. Love what you do.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the myriad tips, tutorials and well-meaning advice for running your business and making money. Before you know it, you lose sight of the passion that once drove your business. Don’t let that happen. If you’re not absolutely in love with your side hustle, why put that extra time into it instead of just focusing energy on your (probably less-demanding) day job? Whenever you’re faced with a decision, ask yourself, “Will I love this?”
Always choose the path you’ll love, and the extra hours and energy you pour into this business will be exhilarating, not exhausting.
Are you managing a business on the side of a day job? What challenges do you face, and how do you handle them?
Remember if you ever need someone to support you in your business endeavours, book your Free Strategy Session with me now. Alternatively, head over to my Facebook Group where I share my free, expert advice with a bunch of like-minded business women!