How to Balance a Full-time Job and Freelance Writing Sideline

Five Helpful Tips to a Smarter and More Productive Way of Working

Published in October, 2021 by FireGhostWriter

Are you looking for ways to successfully balance your full-time job and freelance writing sideline? If yes, then let me tell you how.

Working full-time is hard enough but getting a side hustle is another story. Ever since we were kids, we were made to believe that success is a result of hard work. We have to study hard so we can finish school and have a decent job. From there, we have to work hard in order to put food on the table and survive. A single job is not even enough for most people as they have to take more and work harder just so they can be "successful" someday. But that's a myth, my friends. I'm done believing that and I hope you will, too.

You see, it's not about hard work. It's about smart work. I'm not saying that you should not do your best in your job because you should. But hard work alone will just lead you to burn out. Over the years of juggling multiple jobs, I have come to realize that it is not impossible to work and enjoy life at the same time. Balance can be achieved if you are working hard and smart. 

Tip #1: Do not multi-task

This is often a mistake committed by a lot of people who do freelance work out of their regular jobs. The modern society taught us that multi-tasking is the key to be productive. But is it really? Well, paying the bills is your topmost priority but how will you do that if you are going to lose both jobs because you do not know how to prioritize? Every job, whether it is regular or not is a commitment. It demands your time, effort, and integrity. 

Handling multiple jobs will only work if they are not in overlapping schedules. This means that you can and should only attend to one job at a time as much as possible. If your regular job is at day time, then you can squeeze your side hustles in your night schedule. It's what works for me, by the way. I only work on my writing gigs at night, right after work. That way, I can focus more and have a better quality output in each job. 

Tip #2: Know your priority

If ever the time comes when you need to choose between your full-time job and your side-hustle, you ought to choose smart. Unless you are financially secure and money is not a problem for you, of course you can go with what you really want but if I'm gonna be honest, it's the full-time one that is more stable and pays bigger so it's definitely the wiser choice. 

I'm saying this because it a tendency for people who work multiple jobs to overlook one and deliver a half-baked performance. Employers do not like this and if it gets serious, it might lead to layoff. In order to prevent this, you have to be certain as to what your priority is. If it is your full-time job, then there should be no negotiations during your working hours as much as possible. Instead, adjustments and compromises can be made on the time intended for freelance gigs. 

Tip #3: Choose your gigs wisely

As freelance writers, gigs may or may not always be available depending on the surge of clients and projects knocking at our doors. While receiving gig opportunities and client orders is always a good thing, we should only accept what we can handle. Not every opportunity that comes deserve a yes especially if it no longer fits in our schedule. Clients expect us to meet deadlines and gigs require time and effort so we should only commit to those we deem worthy and achievable. Besides, your life should not just revolve around your work. Too much work can eventually lead to burnout.

Tip #4: DID it! (Diligence, Integrity, Discipline)

These three principles are what I live by and I apply it even at work. Handling multiple jobs is not easy and it is normal to fail or commit mistakes while you're at it. However, you should always condition yourself to be at your best because your performance will not only reflect your character but it will also affect the flow of future opportunities that will come along your way. 

Diligence is about going out of your way to make sure that your are doing your job properly and efficiently. Integrity, on the other hand, is being honest and trustworthy to your clients, employers, and workmates. Lastly, discipline is about working in an organized manner such that you do not miss deadlines and tick off everything in your to-do list on time. If you are able to exhibit these values in your work life, your working environment and schedule will more like to be better.

Tip #5: Rest when you can

Working full-time is already exhausting so what more if you are handling multiple jobs, right? It's definitely a different level of exhaustion. However, as I've said, your life should not just revolve around your work. You ought to live a little. Besides, it is not just your jobs that your are balancing but also your personal life. 

Whether you are single or married, rest and personal time are essential to maintain your sense of self and prevent burnout. Rest while you can and find time to have fun. Of course, do this when work is already accomplished and while you're at it, remember that you don't have to feel guilty enjoying life.

Work hard and smart!

I don't know if you are a full-time freelancer or is just doing it in the sidelines just like me but no matter where you are right now in your work life, I hope that after reading this blog, you will also commit to working hard and smart from now on. Good for you if you're already on it but if you're just starting right now, remember that you got this. You can achieve your goals and still live your life. 

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