Doing the Hustle- How to Work Harder & Smarter
You have been reading personal finance blogs and articles to tackle your debt to, save for a house, or just build up some cash. There are a ton if ideas how to accelerate your financial plans, and getting a second job is consistently praised. Have you been toying with the thought of a side hustle, a second job, giving 120% at your job for a raise, or taking on extra shifts at work? You have probably scoured multiple articles on ways to increase income, and an easy to do that is to work more. Duh. We all know the best things for our finances are to make more and save more. It is such a basic concept! It isn’t rocket science to figure out you’ll make more if you take on a second job, work hard for a raise/promotion, or pick up shifts.
But finding the motivation to do that extra work when you’re uninspired and miserable with your day job does, indeed, feel like rocket science.
How can you stay motivated to work harder, get your tired self to the second job, or to pick up some overtime?
Call it a passion project, a blog, or working a seasonal shift at Ulta for the discounts on all the make-up you love. No matter what cute name you throw at your side hustle, it is going to be freaking work. It will be time consuming. And it isn’t going to be all fun and games.
The first few weeks of any endeavor you take on feels like a treat. A new, fun “hobby” of sorts. Maybe you started taking on extra projects at work to beef up your resume for a promotion. The new projects are fun and challenging at first, but then slowly become monotonous, and just a hassle. The excitement of your second job quickly wears off into bitterness and resentment. The shin, the newness, of extra work doesn’t last long.
I’m amazed at people who work 2-3 jobs, have kids, maintain a social life, and still manage to make it to the gym. Do these people have a time turner?! What is the secret here?
My job requires me to sit at a desk all day, but it is mentally taxing. After plugging away for 8 hours, there is zero motivation left in me to do anything extra. Clearly, people whoworked overtime, two jobs, or balanced a family were unnatural. I never understood how I could sit all day, and yet be exhausted at the end of the shift?
Despite my lack of ambition and fatigue, I decided to start researching some easy gigs. I had worked two jobs to pay my loans off, but after nearly 2 years of only working for one paycheck, it was hard to find motivation! When my job opened up overtime (just 10-15 hours a week, nothing crazy here), I decided to pursue that route instead of securing a second job elsewhere. I’ve already worked two jobs before, this will be a cake walk Growing up, I watched my mom work 2-3 jobs, I watched my dad work 12-16 hours a day, and so, I thought working extra would be simple!
But man, after being spoiled by just working 40hrs a week, working overtime sucks. While I worked two jobs to pay off my student loans, it sucked. There is no eloquent way to describe working two jobs. Sadly, hustling in addition to your 9-5 is sometimes a necessary evil. It also feels futile to work so much, just for taxes to come chomp away Your earnings. It’s very hard to stay motivated to work extra! Obviously, seeing a bigger net income is the main motivator, but honestly, sometimes that isn’t enough to power me through 50+ hour work weeks.
So, how can you keep at it? How can you handle giving up weekends, spare time, and the lack of social life you’re about to endure?
4.) Be patient.
Be realistic about your extra income, and the extra time you have to commit to the job. Taxes will always rain on your parade, you might not get all the hours in you wanted, or your saving goal could increase from unforeseen circumstances.
Be flexible with your timeline and goals, that way you don’t get discouraged, and you can keep up the work ethic. I thought working just ten extra hours a week would increase my income so fast, I’d be maxing our my Roth IRA in a few short months. Ha! Instead of giving up, and just forfeiting the overtime money, I understand to be patient, and recognize every little bit helps!
This point is ESPECIALLY true if you are starting your own side gig from scratch. Or if you are kicking off a freelance career. You will have to have the patience of Mother Teresa and Gandhi combined. It could be YEARS before you see any real capital gains on your hard work. But don’t get discouraged! 35% of the US population freelance for extra money these days successfully.You can easily be part of that statistic. If you’re passionate about your side hustle, and have patience with yourself, you will reap the benefits.
3.) Understand it gets easier.
Working 50-60 hours a week always seemed like a pipe dream to me. The first few weeks were ROUGH. I’m amazed at people who usually work over 40 hours a week with no extra pay. There are so many professions out there that require salaries workers to commit way more than 40 hours.
understand it feels impossible at first, but then it really does get easier! The new normal becomes hustling 6:30am to 7 pm a few days week, or picking up an extra project your boss throws your way.
Now, whenever I just work my 40 hours, it feels weird having so much free time.
2.) Take care of yourself.
I hate eating healthy and any sort of physical activity. I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to working out. However, even a sloth like me cannot deny how much more energized and clear-headed eating well and working out makes you. Instead of 3-4 cups of coffee a day, I just have one in the morning, and fuel my body with real, unprocessed food. I sleep better, work better, and am more productive. If you’re sluggish, it’s hard to give the day 100%, and nearly impossible to work over the 40 hour work week.
Don’t neglect your self-care! Get your beauty rest, try to stay healthy, and give your body some sort of physical activity throughout the week.
1.) Recognize you have control of your income.
Ok, you don’t have 100% control of your income. If we did, we’d all be millionaires. There just isn’t enough hours in the week to hustle and make bank at low paying jobs. I recognize that! But, it is completely in your control to work a few extra hours, snag a second job, or work for a promotion. You can’t put in the same amount of effort, and expect to magically get more money. I’ve always held my breath for a surprise raise or bonus at my work or my husband’s (this only happened once for both of us, so it got my hopes up haha), a tax refund (we keep owing UGH), or any other surprise money windfall. Those things are out of our control, but what isn’t, is picking up overtime.
This is the biggest motivator for me. For the longest time, I didn’t seek a second gig or overtime because I thought getting extra money was out of my control. Extra money was supposed to manifests itself in a raise, tax refund, or a surprise bonus. Basically, increasing my income was not in my control.
How silly! I’ve read so many articles on how “easy” it is to increase income, but scoffed at them. I’ve applied to higher paying jobs,
I’ve worked hard to advance my career, and still, my pay was stagnant.
But really- the possibilities are endless on how to make extra money these days!
Working extra and harder doesn’t feel glamorous. Some weeks, all the extra work I do doesn’t even feel worth it. This can be especially true if you’re starting a blog, starting an online shop, or doing anything entrepreneurial. It’s going to be A LOT of work at first, with hardly any capital gains. Stick with it, take care of yourself, and remember YOU can change your finances! You have the power to work more, to work harder, and to successfully launch a side gig that rewards you financially.
Do you work more than your 9-5? How do you stay motivated?