5 Tips to Avoid Side Hustle Overwhelm and Stay Focused

Are you feeling overwhelmed right now?

I know the feeling, starting a side hustle can be adventurous and a fun way to earn some extra income but once you’ve decided to start you might have a ton of questions as to how to get things going, what you should do next, and more importantly what you shouldn’t do next.

Combine that with all of your regular everyday hurdles in life and before you know it overwhelms begin to set in.  What was once a fun and simple side hustle has turned into an overwhelming business.  In this article, my goal is to help you get over that hurdle and keep moving forward, and I will do that by sharing my top 5 tips to help you.

So if you are overwhelmed with the idea of getting your side hustle going check out the tips below.

#1 Get Critical With Your Schedule

One of the first things I know that can help take a lot of the overwhelm away is to get critical with your schedule.

I’m not talking about scheduling one thing here or there, I’m talking about scheduling everything. In fact, your entire day should be planned from the moment you wake up to the second your head hits the pillow.

A schedule also adds clarity to your day which is one of the reasons overwhelm occurs in the first place.  If you have your entire day planned out there is no guess as to what you need to do. It also breaks things down into small achievable chunks so you don’t have to focus on all of the things you need to get done at once.

I know for some of you this might sound a bit overboard but I want to share a quote with you that has inspired me to plan everything.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”  – Winston Churchill

What this means is that everyday you don’t plan your schedule you are on the fast track to failure.

Why you might ask?

Because when you schedule your day, your week, your month, your year, and more importantly your life, you are taking control of it, and if you aren’t scheduling it with your own agenda someone else will be scheduling it with their agenda.

So you have to ask yourself do you want to live by your agenda or someone else’s?

#2 Add Margin Into Your Week

Now just because I schedule everything doesn’t mean I’m all work and no play, in fact it’s completely the opposite for me.  The first thing I place on my schedule is time off.  That might sound odd but I always schedule personal time and family time first because they are my highest priority.

Back when I started my first side hustle I use to plan all my work around my life and that lead to a bunch of overwhelm trying to plan family stuff around my work stuff and then one day I asked myself what is the reason I’m really doing all this?

The reason I do all of this is for my family and to live a more stress free life, not to increase my stress.  That’s when I realized I had a priority issue and needed to change things.

Today I take 3 days off from working on business stuff, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.  Now this doesn’t mean I can’t work on anything in those days but I don’t have to and that is a huge relief.

#3 Focus on One Thing

Recently their was a great book that came out called The One Thing and this brings up a great point I want to discuss and that is doing to many things at once.  Since I’ve started Side Hustle Academy one of the most common problems I see is people taking on to much at once.

For example, you may want to write a book and then also start a social media consulting business at the same time and the problem with doing 2 or more things at once is that it dilutes your efforts.

When you focus on one thing you can put 100% of your attention towards that one thing.  If you focus on 2 things your now focusing 50% on one thing and 50% on another.

Focusing on to many things is often referred to as shiny object syndrome and can be a huge reason for overwhelm in your business.  Now I’m not saying you can’t do multiple things rather just focus on doing one thing great first and then once you’ve got that going where you don’t have to do a lot to manage it, move on to something else.

#4 Decide On Your Next Step

In my first tip I talked about setting a schedule and getting critical with it.  In this tip you’ll want to break things down to small bit size pieces and then decide what your next step is.  One thing I do before I start a project is write down everything that has to be done from beginning to end.

For example in my current project I’m creating a course.  I broke all the task down that need to be completed to small 30 minute task.  I find 30 minutes to be a great period of time to focus on one thing and just get it done.

This also works great if you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of time in a day to work on your side hustle.  Usually everyone has 30 minutes somewhere in a day to put towards your side hustle, and that might not sound like much but progress is always better than no progress.

Once you have everything broken down to small bit size blocks you’ll want to schedule those on your calendar  and figure out what you need to do first and then just do it.  Then when tomorrow comes do your next 30 minute task.

Over time you’ll build what I call a progress chain.  Your goal is to see how long you can keep the chain going without breaking it.  The best part is you don’t have to think about what you need to do next because you’ll already have it planned out way in advance and I find having this kind of clarity takes away a lot of the overwhelm  away.

#5 Take a Break

The final tip is to just take a break.  As simple as that sounds taking a brake can do a lot to help you get on track with things and stay focused with your side business.

Now their are two basic types of breaks you can take, the long break and the short break.

The first is a long break, and this would be something like a weekend getaway to a full fledged week or two vacation.  Long breaks are great because it allows us to let loose and let our minds wonder a bit.

It also allows us to get out of our daily routines and see things from a different prospective, and by the end of this break you’ll feel energized and ready to go back at.  I like to think of this as a reboot on your thinking to help you get rid of all the excess frustration and overwhelm in your life.

I personally like to take a long break every 3 months, and it doesn’t have to be big either.  As an example I just took my family on vacation last month but I’ve also planned out a weekend getaway with a few friends in coming up in October.  Then after the first of the year I usually do a weekend ski trip getaway.

I also I like to look at those small trips as a reward for working hard and it also gives me something to look forward as I’m pushing forward with my side hustle.

Second is the short break, this what I like to call the micro break.  A micro break can be anything from 5 minutes up to a half hour.

In my last tip I talked about breaking things down into 30 minute time blocks, and at the end of that 30 minutes is a 5 minute break.  Once I get done with that 5 minute break I start right back into a 30 minute time block, and once I complete this cycle 4 times I take a 30 minute break.

I kind of like to think of it as a mini vacation without having to pack my bags.  Now this technique isn’t something I invented it actually something called the Pomodoro Techenique.

The great thing about taking these smaller breaks is that it allows your mind to refocus on your work.  I also find doing work in these small sprints helps get more done faster instead of trying to focus for 3 hours on something, I know all I have to do is focus for 30 minutes and then I can take a break again.

Are You Dealing with Side Hustle Overwhelm?

If you’re dealing with side hustle overwhelm hopefully these tips will help.  The key is to figure out where your overwhelm is coming from and looking for solutions.  For example if you’re tired from working all day just focus on doing a 30 minute sprint once a day in the morning before you go to work.  If that don’t work, try something else.

So now it’s your turn, are you facing side hustle overwhelm and what are you doing to overcome it.  Share your thoughts, comments, tips and ideas below.


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