Working on a side hustle with a 9–5 job is hard. Starting it is nearly impossible.
A side hustle is like a baby: they need a lot of attention, work, devotion, and they also keep you awake at night. And if you have a regular job, this pattern becomes unbearable.
The life of a healthy person should be split with the rule of the three eights. 8 hours of working, 8 of free time, and 8 of sleeping. But if you consider one hour of eating (at work) and a range between 1 to 3 hours to commute to work, you only have 4 hours of free time in the worst case. And in those 4 hours, you still have to dine, spend some family time, relax, keep in contact with friends and relatives, and possibly even take care of the house.
So how much time do you have left for your side hustle? Two hours per day at best? Maybe even one?
Let me be straightforward:
One hour per day won’t be enough to develop a successful side hustle. For that, you need the super weekend schedule.
Weekends are the perfect fit for a side hustle
I’m not a genius, so you have probably already considered weekends as the perfect integration of hours for your side hustle too.
If you consider 8 hours of sleeping, weekends have 32 hours of free time you can use however you want. So developing a side hustle based on weekends is not a bad idea at all.
However, there’s a problem with weekends: people think they are devoted to complete relaxation. And this mindset, compelling for the most, is a dream-destroyer for those that want to start a successful side-hustle.
I had a severe problem integrating work on my weekends. When I told my friends I was working on my side hustle, they already considered me free to go out together and party all night long. So even with the best intentions, I usually got involved and stayed up late with them, which resulted in waking up late and with no motivation. And even for those weekends when I had nothing to do, I had the misconception that those days were for complete relaxation. So even when I woke up with the best intentions, I still procrastinated at least until lunch. Then I had to cook, eat, go shopping for the next week and, a few hours later, it was already evening.
So I tested some different techniques to schedule my weekends for maximum productivity, but the core idea of complete relaxation is hard to defeat. And as the old proverb says — if you can’t beat them, join them — so I made a schedule that includes large time frames of relaxation.
Still, here are a few tips you can use to get more free time and start a side hustle on weekends. This way, you can free up some time to build a super weekend schedule and start a side successful hustle seriously.
4 Tips to Free some Extra Hours on Weekends
When I decided to start a side hustle on weekends and create the super weekend schedule, I had to analyze what activities were draining my time on these two days first. I discovered that shopping, going out, cooking, and cleaning took at least half of my time, so I solved the problem.
1 — Move all shopping activities on weekdays
Shopping is one of the most time-consuming activities of the weekend. But this activity is both stressful and highly time-consuming because everyone goes shopping on weekends, so you will always find an average queue of 20+ people in front of you.
Moving any shopping activity on weekdays is the winning solution. The shops are less crowded, you will finish faster, and without stressing too much.
I planned my shopping on Monday afternoons, just after work, and it works perfectly. No one, literally NO ONE, does shopping on Mondays.
2 — Move nights out on Sundays
Some months ago, I used to go out with friends on Fridays and Saturdays nights. I felt the need to stay up late, so those were the only two days in which I could do it. Staying up late became synonymous with regaining control over my freedom. But then, I realized that staying up late was only a problem of revenge sleep procrastination, and each hour I was gaining by staying up late was the time I was losing in the morning after, plus some extra hours of laziness.
Also, I discovered my threshold of laziness around 8–9 a.m. If I sleep past those hours, I keep sleeping, get lazy, unable to focus, and my brain is blurred for the entire morning. So I have to wait until the afternoon to do anything.
For this reason, I move as many friends and family hangouts on Sundays or even on weekdays. This way, I can’t stay up too late because of work, and the same goes for my company.
3 — Reduce or eliminate cooking time
Cooking fresh meals is a minimum requirement for a healthy life, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be cooked right away.
I am passionate about cooking and trying new recipes, so I used weekends to try new dishes. But I discovered that cooking 2 meals a day is very time-consuming.
It takes me between 1 and 2 hours to cook a complete meal, which means up to 4 hours per day. This is half a workday!
To limit cooking time, you don’t have to renounce your passion for cooking or stop eating healthy fresh meals. It is enough to cook once for two or three meals, which is both healthy and time-saving.
4 — Move house chores on weekdays
Since I moved out of my parent’s house, house chores were always a problem for me. At first, washing dishes, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and ironing were fun, but they took me too much time. But this isn’t something you can remove from your schedule, so the only solution is to move those chores on weekdays to keep your weekend free.
The Super Weekend Schedule to Start a Successful Side Hustle
Implementing the four suggestions above, you have a 32-hours weekend with eight hours of canonical sleep. From this, remove a maximum of 4 hours for cooking and eating. So you have 28 remaining hours to subdivide as you wish.
On a typical weekend, I would use between 8 and 16 hours of free time. But if I want to schedule a super weekend and start a successful side hustle, this is how it goes.
7 a.m. — 10 a.m.
On weekdays I wake up at 5.30 a.m but, on the weekends, I decided to allow myself some more sleep. So I set my alarm at 7 a.m. in the morning for the traditional cold shower.
Cold showers are necessary for making me uncomfortable, sure I am not going to procrastinate.
After the cold shower, I plan 2 hours of intense work straight away. These are the most productive hours of the day, so I usually use them for creative work. Then, at 9.30, I finish my working session, and I finally take my prize: breakfast with my girlfriend.
10 a.m. — 12 p.m.
I share half an hour of couple time with her, and then I go into another 2–3 hours of intense work, depending on how hungry I am.
Then, I take 1 to 3 hours to cook something for lunch and dinner and eat it.
3 p.m. — 7 p.m.
After lunch, my productivity drops incredibly, and I can’t focus as well as in the morning. For this reason, I focus on less intensive activities. If I write a couple of articles in the morning, I spend time editing them, for example, or preparing the infographics. Sometimes I even use this time to read books.
Also, I take frequent pauses in those four hours, trying to keep a 1 to 4 ratio, so for every hour of work, a quarter is for breaks.
7 p.m. — 12 a.m.
I dedicate the last part of the day to my relatives and loved ones. I try to keep myself away from anything that could go past midnight to not ruin my productivity for the next day. For this reason, I prefer activities with a few friends instead of big hangouts that risk becoming dispersive.
If you want to start a side hustle with the super weekend schedule, this plan is a good starting point. Still, there are a few things to consider.
First of all, not every weekend should become a super productive one. It is nearly impossible to be that productive every day of your life, and you will soon burn out if you even try. So pick carefully the weekends in which you should work, and those in which you should relax.
Second, use your free weekends efficiently. Get out of the house and do something interesting. Go on trips, visit friends and relatives, plan new experiences. Don’t waste your free time staying at home because you start already with less than the others.
And third, effectively disconnect from your side hustle in your free time. Don’t allow it to take away time from you. It is nice to test your abilities to create success, but the result is not the only thing that matters. Be consistent, be healthy, and you will succeed.
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Article first published on Start it Up.