Making your side hustle work

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word hustle as meaning many things - to ‘obtain illicitly’, ‘push one’s way’ or ‘pressure someone into something’. But perhaps the best definition for the context of this blog post comes from Urban Dictionary. They define the term as ‘to have the courage, confidence, and self-determination to go out there and work  it out until you find the opportunities you want in life.’

While traditional definitions focus on the negative connotations of the word, recent use of the word is undeniably positive, even aspirational. Working on a side hustle alongside your day job is something most creatives in marketing or advertising do. And while two projects may seem totally unrelated, Tim Harford, a British economist and journalist, outlines the benefits of working on simultaneous projects in his TED talk.

He states that all great thinkers are adept in juggling multiple projects. Everyone from Charles Darwin to Albert Einstein produced some of their most ground-breaking work while not solely focusing on specific projects. He says that it’s highly common for creative people, such as artists or scientists, to practise ‘slow-motion multitasking’ and although it may seem counter-intuitive not to focus exclusively on one project, it actually increases creativity and productivity.

So, how does the average person that isn’t Einstein make their side hustle work? We’ve taken a look:

Pursue your passion

Think of the one thing you love doing more than anything; the one thing you would do for the rest of your life paid or not. Got it? Good. Now go for it. In the words of Mark Twain, “find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Utilise your commute

Do you find yourself lamenting your commute to work? Stop viewing the task of commuting as ‘lost time’ – it’s an opportunity to gain time. If your commute takes an hour each way, that’s two hours a day you’ve gained out of nowhere to work on your personal project. You have the time; you just need to make time for it.

TV is your enemy

It was Gil Scott-Heron that famously rapped “the revolution will not be televised”. We’d all do well to remember that. Think of the countless hours you spend watching mind-numbingly bad TV – now halve it. Take all that passive viewing and turn it into something meaningful. Once you’ve made the switch, you won’t look back.

Make hay while the sun shines

Catching an extra hour in bed during winter is a necessary coping mechanism for many of us. However, during the summer months you should harness the sun’s energy! When the weather turns warmer, use this natural shift to get out of bed an hour earlier. Dedicating an hour in the morning will prevent the nightly excuse of being too tired from your day job.

Self-care means more than wine and chocolate

Taking some time for yourself usually means relaxing on the sofa with a glass of red and some chocolate. Redefine the way you take time for yourself. Why allocate yourself time during your hectic schedule to spend it hurled up in a ball on the sofa?! Use it and use it wisely! Five or ten years down the line, it could prove to be the most loving form of self-care you could have ever given yourself…

Appreciate things won’t happen overnight

Be patient with yourself. Remind yourself that your side hustle isn’t why you’re unhappy with your current job, nor is it a quick fix to leaving. While it may pave the way for future success, your side hustle should be nurtured organically and not with expectation of immediate success.

While holding a job down and making ends meat is of course the number one priority, creativity can’t be switched off. As a creative marketing agency, many of our team work on personal projects outside of the office and we benefit from this enhanced creativity. By embracing these straightforward steps, you can make your side hustle work for you without burning out completely.

How do you make your side hustle work around your schedule? Tweet us @otbtweeter with your nuggets of wisdom.

Making your side hustle work