4 Tips to Work a Side Hustle Into Your Schedule

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  • A side hustle could be a great way to boost your income.
  • Fitting in a side gig could be a challenge, but careful planning could help you make that second job work.

Worried about fitting in a side hustle? Here's how to make it work.

You may finally be at the point where you're thinking of getting a side hustle. Maybe it's a matter of peer pressure -- almost everyone you know has a second gig, so you figure you should take one on as well. Or maybe you need an income boost for a specific reason -- to pump money into your currently empty savings account or pay down the pile of debt you just accrued over the holidays.

Either way, the challenge of getting a side hustle is fitting that extra work into your schedule. If you're already pretty busy between holding down a full-time job, managing a household, and staying in touch with the people you care about, your free hours may be limited even before you introduce a second job into the mix. Here are four tips that could make it easier to fit a side hustle in.

1. Carve out time for your side hustle in advance

If you're going to take on a second job, don't expect to wing it. Instead, open your calendar at the start of the month and figure out what days or nights should be earmarked for that work. And then block off those times on your calendar. If you decide you'll be walking dogs, babysitting, or tutoring on a specific Saturday, that means you can't then cancel those working hours if social plans pop up.

2. Maximize your commute

If your side hustle is one you do from your laptop, like blogging or updating websites, and you commute to your main job via bus or train (as opposed to driving), you may have an opportunity to maximize that time -- and earn money on the way to and from work. Say you decide to hammer away at your side hustle during your 45-minute train ride home from the office. In that case, you'll leave yourself with less to do once you actually get home.

3. Choose a gig with flexible hours

Incorporating a side gig with flexible hours into your schedule may be much easier than having to commit to specific hours or shifts. Be realistic about your availability when selecting a second gig. It may be the case that driving for a ride-hailing service or doing data entry work from home is a better fit for you than waiting tables at a local restaurant due to the scheduling flexibility.

4. Sacrifice one weekend a month

If your side hustle is one that you're able to do at your own pace, it could make sense to just sacrifice one weekend every month rather than struggle to carve out time on a weekly basis. Say you take on a web development gig that requires 15 hours a month of your time. If you split that work up over four weeks, you'll have to carve out close to four hours every week to fit it in. It may be easier to just hammer that work out in a single weekend and leave yourself free the rest of the month.

Fitting a side hustle into your schedule can be tough. But the more organized and strategic you are, the greater your chances of making it work -- and enjoying a nice steady income stream to supplement your primary paycheck.

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