Say you have a great full-time job. It pays well, it provides regular benefits and supports your life and family perfectly.

But what if you have a niggling idea you’re really into and want to start a business?

It’s been squatting there in the corner of your brain for a while now. You want to write, shoot nature photography, give music lessons, do graphic design, make furniture, resell hand sanitiser, build websites… whatever it may be.

You don’t want to go quitting your job for this business idea, who knows if it’ll work? Surely you can’t make a full-time wage from it? Perhaps not.

How about using your side gig as a means for a little bit of extra money? Lots of people have simply turned their hobby, skill, money spinner or passion into a great side hustle.

But how do you manage full-time or part-time work, your personal life and side hustle freelance work simultaneously without blowing a circuit?

Turn COVID-19 into a positive

Many of you with gainful full-time employment have been stuck inside with more time than you’d normally have on your busy hands.

With no commutes and a more efficient workday with less ‘time in chair’ you’ve been presented with the perfect opportunity to stretch your hustling legs.

Turn off Netflix, put down your PlayStation controller, stop thumbing Instagram and doom scrolling the news.

Now’s the time to start your dream side hustle!

Make smart use of your breaks and spare time

Of course, when you’re working your day job, you should be giving it your full attention. Not least of all because you’re being paid to satisfy the requirements of the job you were hired for.

While you should never disrespect your full-time job, there are always ways to make better use of your scheduled down time – especially at home.

If you’re WFH, calculate the time you’d usually commute. Set an alarm and use that time to ‘do the work’ of your side hustle. It’s better than sleeping in.

If you’re still going to the office or work site, instead of doing personal errands or slacking off on your lunchbreak, get savvy and put those minutes to use.

Answer emails, check on your accounting app, give your clients a message, post some marketing content to your social media. It doesn’t have to be much, but the goal is to minimise time spent out of the office managing the admin of your new hustle.

Manage tax compliance and financials with a cloud app

This is virtually essential if you don’t want to spend your weekend poring over receipts, bank statements and filing quarterly taxes.

In fact, this is probably the most important piece of advice here. Get an affordable cloud accounting app without a lock in contract.

Don’t underestimate how much time and cranial capacity financial management and tax compliance requires. It can suck very quickly and that’s the last thing anybody wants out of their ‘easy’ side hustle.

Keep your finances separate

If you’re going to be pumping a bit of extra cash into your idea, keep it separate from the get-go. Let’s say you want to upcycle wooden pallets into furniture and sell them on Facebook marketplace.

Make sure you grab a new bank account and card to buy your pallets and tools. Then make sure your money comes into your side hustle account only.

It’s pretty easy to set this up with your existing bank and will save a lot of time and create great efficiency and transparency over your financials.

When you need to pay tax or look at cashflow and profits, you’ll be extremely thankful you aren’t combing through every purchase on your personal account.

Be cash positive

Never go into debt on a side hustle. Not only is this a financial burden, it increases the stress of what should be a nice little money spinner you’re passionate about. This makes your hustle a distraction and a burden.

Sure, you may have to outlay a little for a website, logo, materials or resources, but if it isn’t coming back to you, rethink what you’re doing quickly.

Make sure you make use of as many free or cheap solutions as possible. Use social media for all your marketing, use free listing and trading sites to push your product or service and never take out a credit card for your idea.

Don’t over-extend yourself

Create a schedule and stick to it – lest your hustle bleeds into important work or family time. Use alarms on your calendar, if necessary, to keep it tight. It should be passive income

Start small and keep your focus on your passion. Take on a small clientele or make or resell small batches of product at a time.

This not only keeps it light; you won’t burn out either and you won’t have overextended yourself, financially or timewise.