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The Art of the Side Hustle: Carving out Time

Carving out Time

Now that you have found a good problem to fix, it is time to get started.

To get started as a side hustle you are going to have to come up with ways to carve out time to get things done. There are no shortcuts here…you need time to get things rolling.

Maybe you are an unemployed 23 year-old living on your parents couch. Well this article is not for you.

For the rest of us, finding the time to get momentum moving forward on a new project takes some creative changes of habit.

When I started TribeBoost, I was married, with a hefty mortgage, two kids in private school, two car payments, and a host of other responsibilities and bills.

With two young, active children and a full-time job — free time was not something that it seemed like I had much of. But that is just a lie we tell ourselves.

There is always time. Don’t tell yourself that. It’s bullshit.

Make the time!

If you are like me, you will have a job or other responsibilities that you cannot simply give up.

Finding time for your side hustle requires examining your time outside of being at work or sleeping. There are still about eight hours of time left even after those big time sinks.

Here are things that worked for me:

news-addict

Say Goodbye to News

Just about everybody in the U.S. seems addicted to news today.

This is not entirely our fault. Everywhere you see a TV showing the news. Airports, barbershops, office break rooms, restaurants, or auto repair shops — it’s nearly impossible to escape getting sucked into the news.

Whether it be fake or real, we cannot get enough of it. This is probably largely due to the dopamine rush released when finding the next big issue to be outraged about. We then get more dopamine when we argue about the news or politics with our peers. The feeling of righteousness is very addictive.

Please remember that news organizations are for profit businesses.

Seriously let that sink in — as it seems like the whole world has somehow forgotten that simple fact.

These news organizations are not working for the good of humanity. They appeal to us that they are beyond reproach and could never be ethically challenged. Possibly no bigger lie is told to us on a daily basis.

Corporate media is mostly about advertising dollars along with a hefty side portion of swaying public opinion.

Knowing about the psychology of the human mind, these news organizations purposely focus on things to get you hooked. Humans are wired to perk up and listen to fear based reporting.

And there is always something new to be afraid of. Just carefully pay attention and see how many of the news items are frightening, disturbing, or troubling.

“At 11 tonight tune in to learn about a common household product that could kill you.”

Not only is the news putting you on a fear and outrage hamster habitrail of hell. It is also a giant waste of time!

Make Use of Your Commute Time

I also used to listen to news during car rides. Or even a bigger waste of time — sports talk radio.

Replace your listening time during commutes to podcasts about business, startups, technology, or marketing. There are literally thousands of amazing podcasts where you can gain important tactical information and guidance.

A great byproduct from podcasts for me was inspiration to get off my ass. Hearing others that started something and achieved success was a supreme motivator.

This also dispels the hurtful notion that it cannot happen to you. Eventually you hear enough stories to realize the winners are no different from you in any major way. They are not smarter or luckier. They simply got busy…

binge watching

Pause Your Netflix Account

Netflix is a great value and has some amazing content. But binge-watching The OA all weekend is not going to get your product launched.

The average American watches over five hours of TV a day!

Five hours of focused work is more than the average American produces at their job.

So giving up TV basically can reward you with a full-time job worth of effort on your side hustle.

Anti-Social Laptop Lunches

Starting TribeBoost while on a full-time job, I usually choose to eat lunch alone with my laptop.

Not as fun as shooting the breeze with co-workers…but when else are you going to answer client questions, setup new accounts, and take care of business?

I didn’t want to delay new business opportunities or customer issues till after leaving the office. So lunch work time can be vital to keep your side hustle clients taken care of.

chargers stink

Weekends

If the above hacks don’t do enough for you, do some work on weekends. It won’t kill you I promise!

Even if you have kids with busy sports schedules, you can get up at 8AM on a Saturday and usually get a few hours in before any would be troubled.

Giving up NFL football games on Sunday won’t hurt you either. In fact, if you are Chargers fan like me it could make you happier (hearing about a loss is always easier than watching the loss).

Sure these hacks won’t be fun or easy. They will require you giving up chill time you enjoy. It is called sacrifice. That is how this works.

Remember it is called a side HUSTLE, not side EASY. The future will belong to those who employ the HUSTLE and not those who laze away on the couch.

When you make these changes they can become healthy habits.

Even though I’m full-time with TribeBoost now, I still don’t listen to news. There are too many great business and startup podcasts to learn from and be inspired by. I read business, leadership, and marketing books instead of current news. I also wrote this on my laptop during lunch dining alone, as finding time to write still requires me using some of these tricks.

* Here are the other articles in this series – The Art of the Side Hustle

Kevin Strasser is the Founder and CEO of TribeBoost. You can connect with him on Twitter @kjstrasser