7 productivity hacks to help you manage your time as a side hustler


When most people leave their 9 to 5, they head home to relax, unwind, catch up on their favorite TV shows. When I’m not at the gym, I can be found at home working on one of my many side hustles. Many people don’t know that in addition to my full-time job and running this blog, I also freelance for small businesses and start-ups helping them with marketing and public relations. 

Since 2009, I’ve freelanced for several brands and businesses. Essentially, I’ve always had three jobs over the past decade. Managing my time juggling all three has been a rewarding learning experience.

So I recently polled my Instagram and Facebook community to find out what productivity hacks they use to manage their time better while trying working on their side hustle. Let’s take a look at seven of the insanely useful productivity hacks. 

Eliminate all possible distractions

I tend to get sidetracked when the TV is on and my cell phone is right by my side. So to eliminate all possible distractions. I power off all technology and place my cell phone on do not disturb if I really need to power through a project.

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Live by your to-do list

Having a to-do list is essential when having a side-hustle. I don’t know where I would be without mine. Mastering your to-do list is even more important. You can have a to-do list but, if you don’t know how to manage it effectively you won’t be able to check anything off. To help organize tasks, use the Eisenhower method recommended by my friend and former colleague, Registered Dietitian and Podcast Host, Sherry Coleman Collins. Prioritize your to-do list from urgent to most important.  

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Digitize your to-do list

There are several digital tools today to use to stay productive. Lifestyle blogger and Influencer, Katrina Blair shared on Instagram that she uses the digital tool Asana to keep her to-do list organized.

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Optimize as you go

Research shows that successful business owners maximize productivity and performance by optimizing as they go. Julia Hsueh, Digital Consultant & Travel Blogger, recommends entrepreneurs optimize while working.

“As an entrepreneur, your time is valuable so I focus heavily on being organized, focused, and optimizing as I go. On the first of each month, I fill out Planoly's goal setting worksheet so I'm always aware of my priorities and what I need to do. I'm also a huge fan of the Pomodoro technique where you set a timer for 25 minutes and ONLY work on one thing. I've noticed this significantly increases my focus, resulting in a greater quality of work. Lastly, I track all work activities on Toggl which helps me not only keep track of client hours but also allows me to see how I'm truly spending my time at the end of each week helping me to optimize as needed for the following.”

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Take advantage of your peak productivity time

When working a 9 to 5 in addition to having a side gig, you have to learn to work with the little extra time you have in your schedule, Tech Biz Girl, Jessica L. Williams recommends using your peak productivity time to get work done.

“My best piece of productivity advice is to use some of your peak productivity time for your side hustle. For example, if you work a 9 to 5 and you are an early bird, is it possible for you to arrive at work an hour early and work on your side hustle from 8-9am? Similarly, if you are more of a night owl, can you stay an hour later? The bonus benefit of this method is that once you get home, your “workday” is done.”

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Batch Task

Many experts would recommend batch tasking over multi-tasking. Batch tasking is where you complete similar tasks in one time block. Designer, Front-end Developer, and Maker, Amie Colosa uses this method to get work done.

“Batch task! To keep up with every social media platform I use, I do tasks in chunks - we can't possibly focus on everything everyday! I personally schedule Instagram posts for the week on Sunday, and network on Twitter only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I live by my bullet journal, it helps me narrow my focuses for the month as well as my day-to-day.”

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Block your time and stay focused on one task at a time

If batch tasking isn’t your thing, you may enjoy the time blocking method Atlanta blogger and BohoBus co-founder, Rachel Regal Melvin use to manage multiple side hustles.

“Block your time and keep your mind focused on one job at a time, ” says Rachel.

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What are your best productivity hacks? Tell us in the comments below.