Side hustle. Hobby. Passion project. Whatever you call it, working on something that interests you during your free time is becoming more and more prevalent for modern professionals. Whether it’s for pure enjoyment or wanting to turn it into a full-time business, it’s hard for some people not to spend every waking moment thinking about their project.
If you’re one of these people, I’m sure you find it almost impossible to not think about your side hustle while you’re in your corporate office. We know during the day our time is committed to other responsibilities, but it can be difficult to focus on those and ignore the siren song of a great new idea.
Of course, finding the time to pursue your passion while working a day job can be difficult. However, a good idea is a good idea, regardless of the time of day or place when it comes about. Therefore, it's generally not the best idea to try to stifle your creative train of thought in an attempt to focus. These ideas add balance and creativity to your day, and do not arrive with any regularity. So, a solution is needed--one that allows you to continue your job with minimal interruptions, but also gives you back your focus.
In addition to my day job, I write. It’s something I enjoy and it allows me to express myself in a creative way that my day job cannot fulfill. As a writer, your mind is always buzzing with ideas for your next article, and as you can imagine, this buzz doesn’t stop when I walk into the office, so why attempt to put it on hold? I might need those ideas later!
Often, I’ve found myself half-heartedly working on projects because I’m trying to focus on the task at hand while also thinking about my next pitch or a great quote I heard. This can be frustrating and overwhelming. The best solution I've found is to simply write the idea down. Once I can get those thoughts out on paper, they are moved out of my head and I can focus on my job.
Trying to snuff out those thoughts and ideas didn’t work for me. It made me half present. I wasn’t fully engaged in my day job or my side hustle. The stress of trying to balance both was hindering my performance in both my career and my passion. If you can’t devote your full attention to one or the other, neither is benefiting.
By taking physical notes, you’re allowing yourself to get your good ideas out on paper and then dedicating your attention to what you should be focusing on in the present moment. Then once you get home, you can pull out those notes and pick up where you left off.
Creativity can be unpredictable, so don’t just push it aside when it does come along. Pursuing your passion while working full time will be a constant balancing act, and every day, every week will be different.
No one ever said it would be easy to follow your dreams. But I’m sure we can all agree that it’s worth it.