Multi-gig friends, let’s have a heart to heart. You have multiple passions, multiple commitments. You thrive on variety and change. Your worst nightmare is being chained to a desk all day and netflixing away your evenings. I get it.
But you’re also probably a little bit tired. It’s hard to stay on top of things like laundry, the dishes and even the mail. If it weren’t for calendars and to do lists you would always forget something. Even with calendars and to do lists you may still often forget things.
Today I want to share a few reminders with you about how to manage and even excel in living that multi-gig hustle. Here’s a few things I’ve learned along my entrepreneur-actor-consultant-writer-committee chair-church volunteer-wife journey.
5 Tips for Managing a Multi-Gig Life
1. Every so often do a gut check. Are your commitments worth it to you? If you feel like you’re struggling with keeping things in balance, the truth is, you probably are. So what can you let go of? What commitment isn’t holding up its end of the bargain when it comes to you values? Michael Hyatt views life like a closet. You can continually put new commitments and ventures (clothes, in this analogy) into your closet, but your closet is only so big. Some things will have to come out to make room for new items. You probably know what those things are. So do a gut check and determine what might need to go.
2. Get enough sleep. This is imperative. If you’re going to be switching gears throughout the week and wearing different hats you have to be as alert as possible. That means get the sleep you need. This is truly my secret weapon of managing my multi-gig life. How long would you sleep without an alarm? How long do you sleep when you wake up right before your alarm? That’s a good indicator of how much sleep is ideal for you. Protect your sleep! Protecting your sleep is truly protecting your brain. You need ever synapse firing throughout the day to do all you do.
3. Make time to exercise. This is especially important if many of your gigs are sedentary or use more of your brain power than physical power. A few weeks ago I talked with Dr. Karen Swallow Prior about how running brings balance to her life as a writer and academic. The same thing is so true for me. If your work has you typing away on a computer or writing in a notebook, you’ve especially got to prioritize exercise. And major bonus points if you can also make that exercise happen out in nature.
4. Check in with your loved ones. Do the people who matter most to you think you’re overdoing it? Are they getting the quality time they need? Those closest to you probably have a really valuable perspective on your life and how you’re spending your time. Don’t let your relationships suffer because of your work. That trade-off is never worth it.
5. Time activate your day. This is something that I learned back in high school when I learned about time management at a Stephen Covey seminar at Student Leadership University. Determine what is urgent, what is important, what is not urgent and what is not important. Prioritize accordingly. I typically have a pretty legitimate to do list each day. I have to plug each item on my list into a specific time within my schedule to ensure I accomplish what I need to accomplish. This keeps me on task and moving along. If I don’t account for each hour of my work day I will get distracted and think I have far more time than I do. I never have more time than I actually do. :-) For example, right now I’ve given myself 45 minutes to flesh out this blog post (disclaimer: the outline was already written). I better stay on task to make this happen. It’s my only opportunity today to work on it.
These are a few strategies I use to make sure to keep life balanced. To be honest with you I don’t have the margin right now that I’d like to have. I’ll be chewing on that (when I can!) in the next few weeks and looking forward to the holidays when I can make some bigger changes for 2016.
What are your secrets to balancing multiple commitments? Maybe you’ve got a day job and a passion project. I’d love to hear about your particular situation. So leave me a note in the comments here or on Facebook or Twitter! I’d love to hear from you.
Also if you’re interested in working with me on my multiple projects, I’m currently hiring interns for the spring! Full descriptions over here.