Making time for your side hustle

You need to strike a balance with your main job

In Summary

• Being too busy with your side hustle will affect your performance at your regular job

Race against time
Race against time

Lots of people wish they had a side hustle; a business they can do while staying in regular employment. In a perfect world, a job plus a side hustle equals two sources of income.

In reality, starting a side hustle is fraught with difficulties, the biggest of which is finding time for it. Most regular jobs require employees to be present for at least eight hours a shift. Some shifts run for much longer than that.

When you add up the hours spent on commuting, the average employee has as much as 12 hours a day taken up by their main job. The rest of the time goes to household chores or studying for that extra qualification. Lots of businesses started as side hustles fail because the owners do not have time to run them. The question arising is how one can run a side business and still find time for their main job and other responsibilities.


Nutrition coach Abhishek Jain says one must find time for his or her side hustle to make it succeed. “For the people with regular 9-5 jobs they hate, find an extra 1-2 hours per day and work on your side hustle. Use your 9-5 job to take care of expenses. Build your passion project on the side,” Jain says. For those planning to leave their jobs to concentrate on their businesses, Jain advises them to wait until the side hustle is bringing in more money than the income from employment.

Bryan Smith, a chief technology officer, has allocated Saturdays for his side hustle as a software developer. “It can be hard to balance a side project with a demanding job, but it is doable,” Smith says. His philosophy is to accept that there will never be enough time to do everything. That realisation has helped him find ways of adapting to the situation.


Online entrepreneur Tina Efosa urges those starting side hustles not to neglect their regular jobs. “It's important to remember that your day job is still your primary source of income and should take priority over your side hustle,” she advises. “So, be sure to balance both and avoid letting your side hustle interfere with your day job responsibilities.”

Being too busy with your side hustle will affect your performance at your regular job. It will also cut down on the time that you should spend with family and friends. Paying attention to personal health and relationships is part of finding the right balance. For this to happen, it may sometimes be necessary to turn down business if the workload is excessive.


Running a side hustle requires one to be extremely efficient at using time. Avoid distractions, such as paying too much attention to social media. Take advantage of short pockets of free time to get things done. For example, you can catch up on phone calls and emails while waiting for a meeting to start. Make a schedule and stick to it.

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