So if you read my last post about why starting a side hustle is a great idea, you’ll know that I have started two things in my spare time – a plant pot business and this blog. Both of these things, although I no longer paint plant pots, have given me so much joy, freedom and the chance to be creative. But they can also consume a lot of my free time and stress me out. So I wanted to share my top five tips for taking a step back from a side hustle.
Having a side hustle is great, but by definition it means you’re doing it on the side of something else – be that working or studying. Often there aren’t enough hours in the day to successfully do both, so at times one thing will have to take the back seat (and that is of course the side hustle). Most likely, to make sales, get views and build an engaged audience you’ll have to have an online presence and that can get really consuming.
From planning content, to engaging in meaningful conversation with others, it’s not always an easy ride, especially when your brain is being pulled in several other directions too. So how can you take a break from a side hustle, to ensure you don’t harm yourself or your business?
Work out what’s overwhelming you
As I’ve said previously, there are many side hustles that require you to be online and finding your next customer. There are so many different social media platforms and selling platforms to keep up with that it can be really overwhelming. So before you decide that it’s all too stressful and you need to take a step back from everything in your side hustle, see if you can take a break from one or two platforms and carry on with those that you enjoy.
For me, I’ve recently stopped posting on Pinterest as it was taking up too much of my time and was one of those bang your head against the wall tasks. And do you know what – it’s been completely fine. My blog views have dropped a bit and I keep asking myself when I’ll go back to it but it’s just one less thing to worry about.
So, if one particular platform is really getting to you and bringing you nothing but stress, take a step back for a week or so and see if you can come back feeling refreshed.
If you’ve never heard about using Pinterest for business but want to find out more, check out this Pinterest course which has taught me everything I know.
Plan your time more effectively
Sometimes I get really overwhelmed by maintaining my Instagram. I spend a lot of time on it and never feel fully organised with what I’m sharing or doing. Then I realised that’s because I aimlessly scroll on it a lot of the time, getting nothing from it apart from feeling rubbish. Since I acknowledged that, I’ve properly planned when I use the app and what I do when I’m on it – from engaging with others to finding photo inspiration.
You can manage your time better by having a proper strategy in place. If you also find yourself opening apps just to randomly flick through them, work out what you want to achieve from that platform and then every time you go on it you’ll be ticking off pieces of your strategy rather than scrolling through random photos and stories for hours on end.
Take a proper break
When you work and study full time, there are more obvious breaks and times where you can close your laptop and stop. When you’re trying to maintain an online presence or grow your sales, it’s so much harder to stop at the end of the day and not think about it.
In a job, you’ll take annual leave and when you study, you might have a few weeks off after your exams before your next deadlines are announced. But when you have your own business or platform, you don’t often tell yourself you’re taking two weeks off and not going to do anything to progress it. Maybe that’s the solution?
With busy weeks filled with our full time jobs or studying, the weekends and evenings seem the most appropriate time to work on our side hustles. From time to time, take the weekend off. Plan your content to avoid a weekend, or set up automated publishing tools so you’re still there but you’re resting too.
Take some time off – it’ll do you good.
Write your ideas down
I’m very much guilty of this, but having a ‘creative’ project on the side means my brain is always whizzing with the next idea or plan. Sometimes I’ll be thinking about it for days and weeks before I jot it down anywhere – but it truly helps to write it down.
If your brain is always active with new plans, write them down with any other details or related ideas and get it all onto paper. Then when you’re feeling more motivated and available for them, go back to it and see what you can do.
This can help you to not only keep all of your amazing ideas and not forget them, but also save them for a time where your brain isn’t quite so overwhelmed and overworked.
So there are a few tips I have for taking a step back from a side hustle. It’s difficult, especially as your side hustle can become a bit like your baby and you don’t want to put it down, but it can be for the best.
How do you switch off?