What to Do When You're Sick of Your Side Gig


It seems like everyone these days is juggling more work than ever. On top of your full-time job, you may also run one or two side gigs. And while that side hustle can bring in extra income to help pay down debt or boost your savings, managing multiple jobs can leave you feeling run down.

If you rely on that extra income, decreasing stress is not as easy as just quitting your gig. There are other ways you can maintain your income while reducing your chances of burning out.

What Is Burnout?

Burnout is a real condition, not just a buzzword. According to Psychology Today, burnout is a state of chronic stress that can cause mental and physical fatigue, feelings of detachment, and even depression.

If you are experiencing burnout, you may feel tired all the time. Or, you may have chronic insomnia due to stress. Many people have trouble focusing or may have a compromised immune system. In some cases, burnout can make you physically ill, causing everything from gastrointestinal problems to headaches.

Burnout does not occur all at once; it slowly builds over time. If you recognize a few mild symptoms, it's important to take action now, before it's too late. Use these techniques to regain balance in your life.

1. Ditch Some Lower-Paying Customers

While it may seem contrary to maintaining income, one of the best things you can do to manage burnout is to cease working with your lower-paying clients. Many side hustlers and freelancers have clients that simply don't pay very much, but keep them around because some income is better than none. But by spending time on these smaller clients, you're wasting valuable time you could be spending relaxing or pursuing bigger fish.

2. Pursue Only the Golden Geese

Similarly, if you are looking for new clients, focus only on the most lucrative prospects. For example, instead of sending out 10 pitches a day, send only one or two to big-name clients that can afford top rates. You'll land fewer jobs, but the ones you get will be far more profitable. That way, you can do less work while keeping the same cash flow.

3. Hire Some Help

If possible, hire some help. That can mean hiring someone to deliver groceries or baby-sit the kids. Or, it can mean hiring a virtual assistant to help manage mundane tasks, such as invoicing or answering emails. Paying someone to help you a few hours a week can free you to focus on more profitable work and give you more downtime.

4. Set a Schedule

When you juggle a full-time job with a side gig, it's easy to work around the clock. But working at all hours can lead to fatigue and stress. Instead, schedule yourself at least one full day a week with no work at all, to allow yourself to recharge. While you may be afraid to skip work for the day, you'll be surprised at how refreshed you are and how much it may help your productivity.

5. Take a Day Off (From Your Real Job)

If you're feeling overwhelmed, taking a day off from your real job can be as refreshing as a full vacation. If you have paid time off, plan a long weekend and take a day to work solely on your side gig, while still giving yourself some time to relax. Doing this every few months can give you a much-needed break without damaging your income stream.

Working a side gig can be a great way to earn extra income, but it can be difficult to manage your time and maintain your health. By using these tips, you can juggle both your jobs and keep your income streams flowing.

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