How to Stay Sane When Working More than One Job

by Kristina Rudic | August 17, 2017

  • My Vault
A man working at a coffee shop

More and more, people are working past the traditional nine to five—and not just in terms of hours. According to the Harvard Business Review, millennials are “workaholics,” surveying as “work martyrs” more than any other generation. This isn’t the only thing—millennials also think about work more often, and for longer periods of time, than anyone else in the workforce. So it’s not shocking that nearly eight million Americans are working more than one job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are a variety of reasons why you might want a side gig, such as a desire to explore a different industry or a need to pay off student loans. However, juggling more than one job can be a tricky task. We've got five ways to maintain a side hustle while staying sane in the process.

1. Learn to Schedule

If you’re going to be working more hours in more than one location, you’re going to have to write your schedule down somewhere. The most effective way to keep track of everything is to get a calendar on your phone to keep all your work hours in one place. An easy way to ease into working two or more jobs is to set reminders for yourself, such as having your phone bing! at the time you need to leave for your next gig and then again 10 minutes before the gig starts, so you know how much time remains for you to get there. You will quickly learn that organization is the number one thing that will allow you to work two jobs, and to succeed at both of them.

2. Communicate

Depending on whether you work a full-time job and are thinking of adding a part-time gig or you want to juggle two part-time jobs, it may not be within your company policy to work something on the side. Check with your company (especially you have a full-time job) and then let your manager know of your plan. When the person you directly report to is aware of why you might need to come in early in order to leave early on a certain day, they will be far more likely to want to help you instead of questioning your dedication to your work. Let the managers at all your jobs know how many hours you work at the other place(s) and which days you will not be available for them. Keep in mind that you shouldn't let your primary job suffer because of your new commitments; be sure to emphasize that your full-time job is still your priority. If you are freelancing or working more flexible hours, then try to schedule yourself consistently for all of them. This way, the jobs will never overlap.

3. Keep Track of Finances

Working more than one job can make it difficult to keep track of how much each job is bringing in to your account. Unless you are regularly logging in to your bank account to take note of your finances and how you are allocating your money, it is smart to open a separate checking account for each job. That way, you can easily save all your money from one while living off the lump sum of the other. By doing this, you are also able to see how much you are making from each job, so you can understand how profitable each job really is for you, and weigh that against your time invested in the job. Freelance work can end up being more profitable than a full-time job, and vice versa; it’s on a case-by-case basis. By seeing the hours versus income ratio, the difference can become more apparent.

4. Take Care of the Little Things

When working a lot of hours, many things tend to fall by the wayside. From laundry to hanging out with friends to calling your mom, the little things can really pile up. This is where scheduling becomes even more important, as it can make juggling multiple jobs much more manageable. Schedule a time of day each week to do the little things that need to get done; choose a Monday morning or Thursday afternoon where your only task is to tidy up, pay the bills, call your parents, or whatever else it is you know you should do but maybe isn’t at the forefront of your brain. This way, a month won’t go by before you realize you haven't done your laundry. If you're short on time but have the financial means, you might consider outsourcing some of these tasks. If your incomes make it affordable to send out laundry or have a cleaning lady come to your house, then take advantage of it!

5. Unwind

Perhaps the most crucial thing for your sanity when holding down two jobs is that you need time alone. Take a break, and do this often. Schedule yourself a night in or say "no" to plans every now and again, keeping in mind that although you want to do it all, you now have less time in the day to do it. Sleep a lot, drink water, limit your time starring at a screen, and do something that you love—even if that is just taking a nap. Make it a priority to do whatever you need to get back to neutral because, trust me, when you work two jobs, you burn out faster than everyone around you. To ensure it doesn't get the best of you, take care of yourself first and foremost.

Tags: jobs | managing a schedule | multiple jobs | side job | work

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