How To Balance Your Job With Your Side Projects As A Developer


Working 8 hours a day and having side projects can be very difficult. I know that from experience. In the beginning, I also struggled to find a balance between my work and my side projects.

However, I have found a way to organise my work and my time. I would like to think that I have found the perfect balance. As a result, I would like to share what I do with the hope that it can help you as well.

By the way, when I talk about projects, I do not mean programming projects exclusively. I refer to being present on social media, creating applications, creating content, and anything related to software development.

Create a schedule

Create a schedule that works for you. If you work better in the morning, try to find some extra time in the morning. If you work better at night, do it the night time. The main point is to find the time that works for you.

Besides being at your best, find the time when you can do uninterrupted work. If you get interrupted frequently, you will not be able to do a lot of work.

Thus, try to balance both. For instance, I work around 6:30 am because I can do uninterrupted work for 1 or 2 hours. Also, I can work without being interrupted because everyone is asleep. However, it differs from person to person.

Finally, you have to experiment and see what works for you. There is no universal path that works for all of us. The main point is that by establishing a schedule, you can spend time working on your side project before or after your job.

To recap:

  • Find a time when you work at your best.
  • Try to do uninterrupted work.
  • Having a schedule allows you to spend time on side projects.

Create a list of tasks

Unloading your brain is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Trying to keep everything in your head can make you stressed. Besides that, you are more likely to forget information.

Trello and Notion are two applications that I recommend for note-taking. In my case, I use Notion because it has more features and is therefore more useful. With Notion, you can use templates to create logs, task lists, and more.

With that being said, I always note everything in my journals and task lists. That means when it's time to work on my side projects, I do not have to waste time thinking about what I did, what I am doing, and what should I do.

Therefore, I recommend you to keep a journal or/and a task list. Note everything there to empty your brain. As a result, when it's time to work, you can focus only on your task at hand.

To recap:

  • Create an account on Notion or Trello.
  • Note down your ideas, thoughts, and tasks.
  • By doing so, you can actually focus on your tasks and not other things.

Schedule your content

If you are present on social media or have a blog/video-blog, you know how difficult it is. When you are at your job, you cannot spend time on social media or on creating content.

Thus, the solution is to create the content ahead of time and then schedule it. For your social media accounts, you can use tools such as HypeFury, Buffer or Tweetastic. You can schedule your content ahead for the next day or actually any time in the future.

When it comes to platforms such as YouTube or blogging platforms, you can schedule the content straight from them.

In conclusion, prepare and schedule your work/content ahead. Planning your stuff takes a burden off you.

To recap:

  • Create your content ahead.
  • Schedule your social media content with tools such as HypeFury, Buffer or Tweetastic.
  • Schedule your blog/video blog content from the respective platforms.

Delegate some of your work

You do not have to do everything by yourself. Detect the tasks which you can delegate, and find someone to do them.

An example would be finding someone to edit your YouTube videos. Editing your videos is a tedious process which can be delegated to another person. You could save a lot of time by delegating tasks.

To recap:

  • Find tasks you can delegate.
  • Delegate them to other people.

Conclusion

That's it, folks! Balancing your job with your side stuff does not have to be difficult. With a little bit of organisation and tools, you can do both successfully.

However, keep in mind that it can take a toll on you, even with all this help. Whenever you feel exhausted, take the time to recharge.

To recap:

  • Create a schedule. Find the time that works for you, and when you can do uninterrupted work.
  • Keep a journal and/or task lists. Unload your mind.
  • Schedule your work/content ahead.
  • Find work you can delegate to other people.


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Eke Victor's photo

Currently struggling with this as I started working and it's been hectic. But thanks for the good piece of information. Would be experimenting with them now.

Maxi Contieri's photo

Great productivity hacks and advices !

Martins Gouveia's photo

Thank you very much for shared your experiencie with us. It helped a lot.