5 Time Management Tips for your Side Hustle

5 Time Management Tips for your Side Hustle

Are you struggling with time management for your side hustle? Whether your are full-time or part-time, there is no doubt that you struggle with Time Management while trying to grow and run your making, woodworking, content creation business, or any other side hustle.

This is one topic that I get lots of questions on. Most people are surprised to learn that I have a full-time professional job and family in addition to my woodworking and content creation side hustle. When I sit back and think about, I’m often surprised myself! I also don’t think I necessarily do a great job with it. I am continually trying to improve on this, so take my advice with a grain of salt…..

Time Management Tip 1: Figure out what works best for you

There is no single formula or format I can give you to implement into your life that will make time management any easier. You will need to juggle your competing priorities, change things up as you go, and try to find a schedule and pace of work that fits you and your families needs the best.

Between being in the office, traveling, and after-hours work, I probably average 50-60 hours per week at my full-time job. I get to see my oldest two daughters for a few minutes in the morning when I take them to the bus stop, have family time from when I get home around 6pm until the kids go to bed around 730pm, do some cleaning/dishes/etc and spend some time with my wife watching a show or something for an hour or so and get into the shop around 9pm.

This usually gives me an hour or two of shop time depending on my energy level for that day. Our weekends vary depending on what’s going on, but I typically try to have a decent amount of family time on the weekends since there isn’t a ton of it during the week. The exception to this would be if I have a project that requires some outdoor daylight hours to complete, even then I try to get the family involved whenever possible. See my DIY Tiered Herb Garden project for a good example of a weekend family project.

Time Management Tip 2: Take breaks

I know you have all heard the same advice on being consistent with social media posting, YouTube video publishing, live streaming, etc, etc. That is all great advice and is important to grow your business and social media presence, but it’s all for nothing if you become burned out!

There are different kind of breaks, so I’m not saying to go lock yourself in a closet for a week. You can build up a backlog of content and take a week vacation while still posting on your regular schedule without anyone knowing the difference. I know it is difficult to create such a backlog, so my breaks are typically just slowing down the content creation rather than stopping all together or having enough backlog to keep the same routine. So if I’m posting to Instagram twice a day (more like once a day here recently), I’ll back off and post once a day or every other day.

Another strategy would be to take a break from the shop without sacrificing your content creation and social media presence. You can do this by posting a combination of different types of content. This could be posting your old projects, other peoples projects (with proper credit), customer submitted pictures, etc. For blogging, you could have a simple list post rather than an in-depth tutorial. This strategy will help give you some breathing room while also bringing some variety to your content.

Time Management Tip 3: Don’t over-book

Whether this is dealing with sponsors, customers, readers, or family, be careful not to over-promise and under-deliver. While this may work ok for the airlines, this is a terrible idea for your small business or side hustle. When making your schedule for the day, week, month, or year, you need to allow some wiggle-room because no matter how organized you are, things will go wrong.

Your could have camera equipment or tools fail, family emergencies, unexpected time requirements from your full-time gig, or a myriad of other unforeseen events that will foil even the best laid plans. If you have project after project stacked up, it will really put a wrinkle into your plans when something else comes up.

One way to deal with this is to have your major projects or custom builds schedules out for however long with some time gaps in between. If you get to the end of project and you finished on schedule without interruptions than use that extra time for a small project, an extra blog post, something for yourself or your house, reaching out to new sponsors, or just taking a break!

Time Management Tip 4: Pick and choose your sacrifices

To get any significant shop time your will have to give something up, it’s that old thing about there only being so many hours in a day….

Only you can answer what these sacrifices should be. Start by looking at all of your upcoming or regular time obligations and simply choose what you can either do without or accomplish in a shorter amount of time. This could be giving up weekly drinks with friends, your bowling league, your standing tee time on the golf course, the weekly live concerts at the park, or any number of activities that may not be your top priority any longer as you try to grow your side hustle.

Once you get to the point where you still feel like you’re not getting enough shop/work time but have nothing else to give up, you may want to look at outsourcing certain things to gain some efficiency. In today’s world of online freelance help, this could mean tutorial writing, video editing, podcast editing, Instagram account management, graphic design, plan design, etc, etc. Pretty much anything you can do you can also pay somebody else to do.

However, be cautious on giving up too much. Not only could this reduce any margins you may have, but it could take away what makes your business different, you and your personality, designs, taste, etc. Another way to look at this would be outsourcing other things in your life rather than in your business, such as paying a dog-walker, housekeeper, laundry-mat, lawn maintenance, or a number of other things that might not be a priority.

Time Management Tip 5: Make the most of the time you have

When thinking about time management for your side hustle, it’s easy to focus on just that and nothing else in the greater picture. If there are indeed only so many hours in a day and you are maximizing the amount of time you can devote to your side hustle, than you simply need to make the most of the time that you have.

This means having a plan and goals for what you want to accomplish in the 1.5 hours of shop time you have this evening. This means cleaning up the mess and putting away tools from your last project so that you don’t have to waste time doing that when you’re ready to start the next one. This means having all of the supplies and tools that you need to complete a project so you’re not having to run out to the store or wait on an Amazon delivery in the middle of a project.

In addition to being as efficient as possible with the limited time you have, this also means focusing on your family when you have family time and doing your best work possible at your full-time job. If you do these things, your side hustle will not suffer because you are having to make up for deficiencies in the other areas of your life.

Time Management for your Side Hustle Summary

It is true, there are only 24 hours in a day. In order to make the most of this time you need to figure out the schedule and process that works best for you, take a break every once in a while, not over book your time, sacrifice your time obligations that are no longer a priority to you, and make the most of the time you have for whatever you are doing.

If you enjoyed this post, please check out my other business advice and social media related posts.


Matt is a passionate woodworker, father of four, and number cruncher by day. His love for woodworking was sparked by his great-grandfather's carpentry legacy and nurtured by his dad's DIY spirit. Encouraged by his wife, Matt turned his woodworking hobby into a successful side hustle, focusing on creating custom cutting boards and engaging with a thriving online community. Now, he's shifting gears to share his knowledge and passion through Borkwood Blog, where he hopes to inspire and connect with fellow woodworking enthusiasts.

View all posts by Matt →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *