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Is work life balance possible when you have a side hustle?

3-minute read

Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith

25 October 2021

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The side hustle has been growing in popularity as a way to earn extra money from a hobby or skill, but balancing the rest of your life alongside moonlighting is not without its challenges.

Getting a startup off the ground can mean sacrificing a lot of your free time, so how do you make sure your work and life balance is working for you? Here we’ll explore what work life balance means, and tips for achieving it when you have a side business.

Work life balance meaning

Work life balance means how you divide your time between work and family and leisure time. How you split this time will be personal to you, but having a healthy balance is important to avoid stress and burnout.

As well as improving wellbeing, benefits of work life balance include: boosting productivity, finding purpose in work, and making time for family and friends.

Work life balance tips – how to juggle life, work and a side hustle

Your side hustle is another area that’ll take up your time and focus, so you’ll need to be even more organised to make sure you know how to balance work and life. Read on for tips for getting the balance right.

Flex around the 9-5

The world of work has changed during the pandemic with more employers offering flexible working and the opportunity to work from home. Depending on what you do as a main job, it could be worth exploring ways to flex a traditional 9-5 working day to give yourself more time for your second job.

For example, could you do your main job from home some days during the week and use some of the time saved on commuting for your side hustle? Or could you ask your employer about starting a little earlier and finishing earlier to make work fit with your lifestyle?

Focus on what you love

Chances are you’ve set up a side business as you’re passionate about the industry or craft itself. Yet of course, running a business involves a wide range of responsibilities that you might not have the energy for after finishing your main job.

If you’re struggling with motivation, start with what you enjoy most – it’ll feel a lot less like work and remind you of why you started your side business in the first place. You can also make use of free templates for managing cashflow or read our guide to bookkeeping to ease the pain of your business admin.

Manage your energy levels

It’s important to look after yourself and not risk burnout by taking on too much too quickly.

Observe what times of the day you’re more alert, creative, or inspired and plan your diary around that. Bear in mind this may vary from week to week depending on what else you’ve got going on. For example, if you know you have to give a big presentation for your employer, don’t also put pressure on yourself to launch a new product line for your side business in the same week.

Of course one of the benefits of keeping your full-time job is you’ll continue to have a stable income while you get your startup off the ground. Hopefully this reduces the chance of financial stress while you wait for your business to turn a profit and you aren’t relying on a new business to support yourself.

Read more tips on how to manage stress.

Set a schedule – and stick to it

One of the most important tips for maintaining a successful side business is being consistent with the time you’re putting into it. It’s no good spending three hours one week and then nothing for the next month.

This doesn’t mean you need to spend all your free time on your side hustle, just that you need to put regular time into it – whether it’s two hours a week or 20.

Remember, be realistic about what’s possible and use the time you do have wisely. Get the train to work? Make use of your commute to read industry blogs, listen to related podcasts, or research competitors.

A planning tool like Trello can help you organise your to-do list and keep track progress and deadlines.

Freelancer working on a train

Take a break

Even before the pandemic, self-employed people were struggling to take time off for a break with one million failing to take time off for three years. Our report into the wellbeing of small business owners showed many continue to check emails from clients and monitor their social channels.

The good news is you’ll have a four to six-week holiday allowance if you’re in full-time employment alongside your side hustle. While it might be tempting to use your annual leave for your business, it’s important to make sure you’re also taking time to switch off and relax as well.

Keep track of your finances

Finally, whether you plan to grow your side business into a full-time success or want to keep it as a way to supplement your income, it’s smart to have a personal and business budget. This helps you keep track of your finances and make sure you’re investing your time and money wisely.

For more tips on managing financial wellbeing read our blog from financial coach, Selina Flavius.

Do you have any tips for getting that perfect work and life balance? Share your experience in the comments.

Photograph 1: Art Photo/

Photograph 2: Mariia Korneeva/

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Catriona Smith

Written by

Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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