Don’t Let Addicting Side Hustles Ruin You


Today I have a post from a personal finance blog-friend. Enjoy!

I’m somewhat new to having a side hustle and I’ve quickly discovered just how addicting it can be. I find myself trying to dedicate nearly all of my free time to my blog. Even when I’m engaged in other activities, my mind somehow wanders back to my side hustle. Quite honestly, it’s difficult to keep side hustle thoughts away.

What should I write about next? How can I make layout improvements to my site? What are some more effective ways to network?

Dedication like that can be a valuable trait when it comes to the long-term success of your side hustle. However, as I’m finding out, if you get too obsessed and lose sight of other priorities, then a side hustle addiction can be detrimental.

Most of you are well aware of how much time and dedication Michelle here at Making Sense of Cents has put into her side hustles over past couple of years.

She’s stated that a typical week consists of 80 to 100 hours – that’s 2+ full-time jobs! She’s obviously very organized and efficient, but I imagine even she has to make certain sacrifices.

As for me, I work as a senior financial analyst at a Fortune 50 company. My job can be quite demanding at times and it’s not unusual to put in 50+ hours a week. I’m also married and we have a 1 year-old son.

So, I’ve got some very important other commitments that must have priority over my side hustle endeavors. While I feel driven to make my side hustles as great as they can be, I’m well aware that I need to find a balance with everything else in my life. If I don’t, then the repercussions could render my side hustle efforts not worth it.

Below are some areas I sometimes find myself neglecting. I’ve also listed ways in which I’m trying to combat the side effects in order to find a healthy balance.

Physical Health

Every single one of us wants to be healthy. Some of us are more diligent in taking care of ourselves than others, but I would imagine nearly all of us would acknowledge we have room for improvement.

So much focus on your side hustles could be a hindrance to achieving that improvement or, worse yet, might actually cause your health to deteriorate. All the satisfaction derived or money earned from your side hustles won’t be worth it if you let yourself go and develop health issues.

  1. Sleep – Many of us could probably work 24/7 especially when it comes to our side hustles. For those of us who also have a “regular” job, our only opportunities to maintain our side hustle come in the early morning, during lunch, or in the evening. Maximizing your time is one thing, but pushing yourself too long or too late might jeopardize your sleep. Be rigid with your schedule and have a cutoff time each night. Remember, an exhausted you is a less productive you!

  2. Diet – When we are crunched for time, it’s easy and convenient to consume fast food or junk food. Food fuels our body though, so if you are putting garbage in your system, it’s going to zap your energy in the long run. Try to make healthy choices (trade that burger for a salad) even if it takes a bit more preparation time.

  3. Water – Do you drink enough water? Lots of us don’t. Being dehydrated can result in low energy reserves. Have a water bottle handy at all times. You’re more likely to stay hydrated if your water supply is always next to you.

  4. Exercise – You don’t have to be a gym rat. Hours upon hours of workouts are not necessary. Doing short, but intense workouts each day add up and can be highly effective.

Mental Health

Mental health is just as important as physical health. There’s so much to accomplish and keep up with each day that it can make your head spin. Letting your mental health suffer is a recipe for burnout.

  1. Take Breaks – Throughout the day, pause and take a few moments to clear your mind. Some deep breaths or fresh air can go a long way.

  2. Don’t be Too Hard on Yourself – We all make mistakes or miss opportunities. Don’t be too critical or beat yourself up if you make a misstep or if you don’t immediately get the results you desire. Oftentimes you are your own worst critic.

  3. Make Time for Yourself – We all need a little “me time.” Side hustles can be enjoyable, but you should also do other stuff for yourself. Read an interesting book or treat yourself to your favorite tv show every now and then.

  4. Laugh – Laughter is the best medicine. A good laugh can relax you and change your whole demeanor in a positive manner.

  5. Meditate – You can also try meditation. Set some time aside in the early morning or before you go to bed to clear your mind and meditate.

  6. Social Interaction – Social activities are crucial for mental wellbeing. And, no, social networking via Twitter or Facebook doesn’t count. Make sure you are spending time cultivating and maintaining your friendships.

Relationships

Getting caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle makes it easy to disregard relationships with your loved ones. If a side hustle is cutting into your family time, then those around you might start resenting you and/or the side hustle.

  1. Prioritize – To put it plain and simple, you must make it a priority to spend time with those who are important to you. Stop what you’re doing and give your significant other some affection. Go out of your way to play with your kids.

  2. Quality Over Quantity – Emphasize quality time with your loved ones rather than quantity – make it interactive. In other words, have a meaningful conversation or play a fun board game instead of watching hours of tv together each evening.

Do you find your side hustle so addicting that it conflicts with other priorities in life? What tactics do you take to help balance everything out?

Would you give up your side hustle if it started causing other conflicts in your life?

About the author: Jeff, also known as Mr. Utopia in the blogosphere, is a senior financial analyst at a Fortune 50 company. A devoted husband and father, Jeff uses his “free” time to run Personal Finance Utopia where he chronicles his family’s journey to get their personal finances to an ideal place.

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