How to do your creative side hustle alongside a full-time job

One thing I have learned through having a ‘side hustle’ alongside a full-time job is that I can easily spend more energy beating myself up for ‘not working hard enough’ than actually doing the work itself. I have also learned that this is based solely on my own super-inflated internal expectations (and a bit of compare and despair on social media) rather than taking into account what time I actually do have.

Over the past few years, I have found some great ways to manage my side hustle alongside my expectations. Here they are: 

Doing a ‘time flow’ –Alongside maintaining a cash flow, I also create a time flow which allows me to know how much time I actually have to spend each day on EnviroVisuals. I used to allocate one evening and weekends to my side hustle, and while this works for the particularly strong-willed amongst us, I ended up finding ‘better’ things to do with my evening and weekends. Doing a little every day is, for me, the better way to go. In my time flow, I take into account travel, work, and important (but often neglected) things like spending time cooking, being with loved ones and taking an hour out before going to bed. The beauty of doing a time flow is that I am not burning out, I am not beating myself up, I am not feeling guilty about work while ‘trying’ to read a relaxing book – instead, I am fully present and productive in each activity.

from chaos to logic cartoon

Signing up to skillshare – Skillshare is an amazing platform that enables people to teach lessons ranging from digital marketing to hand lettering skills. This means that you can come home from work, sit on your sofa in your comfies, and learn something new in a bitesize chunk per day. For example, I really didn’t like doing branding and social media marketing – mainly because I just didn’t understand it. Doing a course on skillshare helped me to realise it’s not that scary, and I now quite enjoy doing Instagram posts and thinking of ideal customers! 

skillshare printscreen

Listening to podcasts – Podcasts are especially good if you have a long commute on a packed train or tube. My previous commute was over two hours each day, giving me enough time to really get stuck into a podcast. Podcasts also help you to feel less alone in the world of side hustling, especially if all you see is glamourised Instagram posts of your competitors. My favourites are the Accidental Creative and the Side Hustle Show. I’ve learned so much from the hosts and their guests, including how to pursue your passion project, how to make passive income, and how to do social impact through entrepreneurship. 

Find nifty ways to practice your side hustle –As a visual facilitator, I am pretty lucky as I get to practice my skills in a diversity of environments. If I go to a conference or work meeting, I will whip out my notepad and sketchnote what’s being said. If I am watching a TED talk, I will draw in real-time. Earlier this year, I even tried to incorporate visual practice into my own self-care routine – I started drawing the things I am grateful for each day rather than writing them down (my usual gratitude routine). To practice pitching, I bring up my side hustle at networking events or with friends. Have a think about how you could incorporate learning into existing activities, making practice a lot more fun and less ‘time consuming’.

Sketchnote from a work conference on social impact

Remember why you are doing it in the first place – One of the most important things is actually just remembering that the reason I do my side hustle is that I am passionate about creativity and making a difference. If I remember this, and try and remove the toxic ‘but you’re not doing well enough’ thoughts from my head, any action however small is going to be valuable. And, remember, everything balances out – life sometimes gets in the way and even if we can’t invest in our passion for one week, we will make up for it in the future. 

rebecca envirovisuals

I’d love to hear your own tips for managing a side hustle with a full-time job. 

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