Recently, I asked Twitter users who balance full-time work and freelancing how they achieve balance. The initial responses were not encouraging: "I cry a lot," one user responded. "What is balance?" another echoed.
While many admitted to skipping meals or sleep to make time for extra work, there were also many who seemed happy to make some sacrifices. "You make time for what you love to do," one Twitter user wrote.
These days, it seems like everyone has some sort of side hustle. According to a new Bankrate survey, roughly four in ten Americans (37%) have a side job and make $686 per month, on average. Whether someone works a full-time, 9-to-5 job, or a part-time job combined with a side gig, more Americans than ever are working a combination of jobs rather than just one traditional job.
Side gigs can be a viable opportunity to gain or build new skills, or even start a business venture. And while this extra income is certainly nice to have, the question of work-life balance becomes a more pressing concern as one fills up their time outside of work with, well, more work. When it comes to finding sustainable ways to pursue these additional jobs or hustles, it can be challenging to ensure that extra work doesn’t end up sapping all of your energy.
We spoke with seven people who have, or currently, balanced a full-time job and side hustles to unearth some of the strategies they have developed to make this double life more efficient, and sustainable. Working more than 40 hours a week in any capacity is going to take a toll on one’s life and energy, but if it means working towards something you’re passionate about, the sacrifice is well worth it.
Ahead, strategies from real people that can help make the full-time-freelance shuffle a bit more manageable.