Whilst it would be an absolute joy to have copious amounts of money and to live rent free (in London of all places) whilst ‘figuring it all out’, alas, not many of us have that luxury. Usually when one decides to pursue setting up a business, it starts off as a side hustle. A side hustle alongside your fulltime job that actually pays the bills and offers you real-life security. Having a side hustle is hard and can be all consuming and it will quickly become apparent to you that when doing both a full time job and a side hustle at the same time, that you realise the following:
- You never have quite enough time.
- Your social life takes a substantial dip.
- You have a quiet sense of anxiety that seems to follow you (quite literally everywhere).
- It somehow seems to drain a lot of your cash flow which is rather daunting as you’ve barely even started.
- Your inbox is never I repeat never empty and to add insult to injury, replies can sometimes be left for ten days after the sender sent them due to the fact that you’re feeling painfully overwhelmed.
It’s difficult for friends and family to empathise when you have a side hustle because they perhaps can’t quite see the full picture, which at times can feel like you’re receiving a lack of support. This shouldn’t perturb you because this is only a small part of the battle at hand, however it definitely contributes to side hustle ‘burn out’. Feeling burnt out by juggling too many balls at once is totally normal. It can feel immensely lonely as you try and navigate your way through what can often feel like foreign lands, all the while holding down a fulltime job.
Tasks at work start to lose their importance and worth, as your mind becomes side tracked by the tasks that you really want to do. The tasks that will contribute to the success of your future business and the ones that you believe really matter such as finding the right graphic designer or signing up to a networking evening for those in the tech space. Whilst these are the triumphs that make us believe doing two things at once is worth it, it can feel like it’s getting too much, especially when your boss at your fulltime job is really putting on the pressure.
‘Making it work can be really tough. I currently commute 3 hours a day in total for my fulltime job, whilst running a side hustle. Previous jobs have always allowed me enough ‘give’ to focus on my side hustle and for it to not to feel like it was getting side-tracked altogether. However, when this new job opportunity came up, it was a once in a life time offer and the initial contract was only 6 months- which I thought was doable. I had no idea how high pressure it would be and my side hustle has subsequently had to take a back seat which naturally has caused me great anxiety. There really aren’t enough hours in the day, when I am getting up at 5am each day to get to work. Any promises I make to myself to do work in the evening go totally out the window once I get in at night and crash onto my bed. The motivation isn’t there and I am just exhausted.’
C . Maley
This is burn out at its finest. Whilst we hope not many of you will have the 5 am starts to contend with, we full appreciate the pressure and work load of a fulltime job can leave you feeling totally burnt out when it gets to the evening. Therefore, how should you combat against the burn out and still find the time to put energy into the thing that makes you happy?
- Don’t make a ‘To Do’ list with more than 6 tasks at a time or you’ll be so turned off by just how much you have to do, you won’t do any of them.
- Diarise time focussing on what you would like to work on, as you would an actual work meeting or appointment.
- Have automatic email replies on your side hustle inbox so people appreciate you will be busy between certain hours and that the evening/weekends are when they should expect a reply.
- Try refrain from having a mad one on the Friday night and block out some time on the Saturday to do some work.
- When you are tired go to bed and don’t force yourself to do work in which the quality will probably be second rate anyway.
- Have time out from your side hustle.
Have time out from your side hustle?? What is this madness when I am barely spending any time on it as it is?
The chances are, if you’re burnt out you’ve started to resent your side hustle somewhat. It no longer gives you as much joy as it did and suddenly it’s become something you have to do and no longer want to do. Side hustles often are a result of passion projects and if you’re no longer passionate about it, it is time to step away and give yourself some time away from it, to really appreciate just how much you enjoy doing it. This time away may also give you the opportunity to perhaps weigh up the pros of your fulltime job too and question whether the time has come to take the leap from turning your side hustle into a fully-fledged hustle. Everyone experiences the burn out and it can seriously affect how you feel about yourself and just what you can achieve. We are all only human, there are only so many hours in the day to do the things we would like to do.
Cut yourself some credit that you are trying to do two jobs whilst most people are doing one; the burn out happens to us all. Instead of focussing on all the things you sometimes haven’t done, perhaps look at all the things you have done.