Fitting in Your Side Hustle: Tips for the Busy Mompreneur
I’ve always been entrepreneurial. From an early age, I was always trying to get my side hustle on. Starting little businesses like selling candy at school, starting a lawn cutting business in the neighborhood, and peddling body jewelry in high school (random, I know). I’m a serial entrepreneur and it just runs in my blood. Starting a business is exciting for me and I love to put all of myself into it. I get super excited and passionate and borderline obsessive. The thing is, I am a mom as well. I’ve learned quickly that you can not put your whole self into anything as a mother. You are pulled in a million different directions which can leave you feeling defeated and ineffective. Luckily, I have figured out a way that I can have both a successful career and be an engaged and present mama bear.
Here are four strategies that you can use to fit your side hustle into your busy mom schedule.
#1. The Parent Split-Shift
I’m a huge advocate for the “parent split-shift”. If you haven’t heard of the parent split-shift before, it is essentially working during the day, spending the afternoon with your kids, and then plugging back in when they go to bed. This is how it works in my house- I work until about 4 or 5 pm and then head home to spend some quality time with my kids. During this time I am able to be fully present and focus solely on them. Quality over quantity. I am able to get dinner ready, take them to the park, give them their baths and put them to bed. Then after bed time, I am able to plug back in and get more accomplished. The key to this strategy is making sure that you stop working at a reasonable hour both in the afternoon and evening. Otherwise, you run the risk of burning out.
#2. Side-Hustle Focus Day
I strongly believe you need to take action on your side hustle every day in order for it to be successful. However, dedicate one day at a week that you dedicate solely to your side-hustle. It could be a day during the week where you arrange childcare for your kids. You can also pick a weekend day where your spouse can handle the kids for the day. If you can, try to keep the focus day consistent so you can plan for it accordingly and get into a productivity “groove”. Make sure that you have a to-do list for this day and work only off of this list. It will keep you focused and productive.
#3. Side Hustle Sprint
If you just can’t seem to find a larger chunk of time, schedule your side hustle in 20-minute increments throughout the week. If you are intentional and focused, you can accomplish a TON in a short amount of time. At the beginning of the week, take a look at your schedule for the week and identify times when you can schedule some side-hustle time in. It could be in the morning before the kids wake up, at nap-time, when your spouse gets home from work, whenever you can find it! Before your side-hustle sprint, identify 1-2 items that you want to accomplish. Be realistic with yourself, you don’t want to set yourself up to fail. For example, you likely won’t be able to write a complete blog post in 20 minutes. You can, however, write an outline and the intro. If you can’t accomplish the whole task in 20 minutes, you can break up the task into several increments. In this example, you can spend your next sprint writing the body of the post. Little blocks of time add up quickly!
#4. Side Hustle Vacation
I discovered this technique when I was in grad school. When I was trying to study at home I found I was too easily distracted. I would sit down to study and then the next thing I knew, I was reorganizing the garage. The weekend before finals I would book a hotel room for the weekend and basically hole up and study for 48 hours straight. It was amazingly productive. I know it’s hard to get away from your home and family, however, if can try to do this for yourself from time to time. This allows you the opportunity to get away from the day-to-day and work on projects that you can never find the time for. While I miss my kids immensely during this time, I come back feeling refreshed and accomplished and a much better mommy!
WIth all of these strategies, it is important that you are being kind to yourself and carve out regular “me” time (and time with your significant other, if applicable). Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your relationships, business, and your health. It’s the whole “put the oxygen mask on yourself before others” thing. You need to take care of your self before you can take care of others.
Owning a business and raising a family is a monumental task. If anyone can do it, it is you. Keep up the awesome work, Mama!
Tell us- How do you fit in time for your side-hustle? What tips do you have for other moms with side-hustles?
Other posts you may enjoy:
- How to Balance Work & Kids (Without Going Completely Insane)
- Work from Home with Kids
- Working from Home: Keep your Toddlers Entertained
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