How to Work Two Jobs Without Going Crazy
Today I want to write about a subject that’s near and dear to my heart, because it’s my current situation – balancing two jobs, having time for hobbies and a private life. Sounds impossible? It’s not. It’s definitely hard, I’ll give you that. Sometimes you feel like time is just passing by and you aren’t living at all. You feel your days go by while you run from one place to another, one task to the next. So how do you balance everything, make time for it all and keep your sanity? Here are some of the things that help me.
Pick a Second Job That’s Easy to Manage
Let me start by saying I’m lucky and both of the jobs I work allow me to work from home half of the schedule. So I spend the normal 40 hours a week in offices, while the rest of the time I work from home. Also, the nature of my job allows me to sometimes finish my tasks quicker so I don’t have to actually work 80 hours a week for those two jobs. I do however work around 50 hours per week. I know not everyone is so lucky.
Ideally, if one job requires your full time presence, you would want to pick the second one freelance, online. If that’s not possible, than get the second job part time. For me, I found that working from home is a bit more relaxing. It probably has something to do with my PJs being ultra comfortable. It also allows you to squeeze in time for family, friends and hobbies without your employer noticing.
Schedule Your Time
I’m a morning person so I like to have the mandatory at the office job first thing in the morning. I usually start at 7 a.m. so I can leave the office at about 3 p.m. Then I’ll usually workout to get my energy levels back up and then I’ll get home and start working for the second job.
It’s important to prioritize. If you have a fixed schedule at both jobs and can’t choose when each starts, than make sure the rest of the time is yours to schedule. Maybe it’s time at the gym, or with your significant other, maybe you spend it with your kids or even shopping. Whatever you do make sure it’s something that’s fun and doesn’t feel like a chore. If you must do something in “chore” area, like doing laundry, cleaning the house or cooking, try accompanying it by something nice. When I clean or cook I like to listen to my favorite music, maybe even dance a little. If I’m doing laundry, I’ll take the chance and do some yin yoga to stretch and relax while the washing machine does its thing.
Non-negotiable me time
You have to schedule your “me time” to give yourself a chance to unwind and relax. If you just keep working non-stop, you’ll eventually burn out. I know when you first start out with two jobs it might seem impossible. It’s not. It’s a question of prioritizing. Sure, you need to get the work done. But do the best to schedule something relaxing each day, even if only for 15 minutes. Something to make you feel like this was your moment.
For example, in the busiest of days, when I don’t get a chance to workout, or take a walk or meet with friends, I like to take a relaxing bath in the evening before bed, use some essential oils and listen to my favorite music. Otherwise, instead of the bath, I’ll get in my PJs in bed with a good book and read a chapter, while diffusing some lavender. Yes, I’m pretty obsessed with essential oils, they are one of the rituals that help me fall asleep faster. Alternatives would be to just listen to some music, meditate or write in my journal. Really anything goes and even as little as 10-15 minutes can make you feel like the day did not go by only with work.
Make a list of the benefits of working two jobs
While this one won’t help you feel less tired, it will help make the situation bearable when you feel like giving up. Here are some examples:
- Why are you working to jobs? Is it for financial reasons? Then write that, along with maybe keeping an expenses journal to help you see how much you are saving. That will help you reduce unnecessary expenses and it will also help you keep an eye on your goal. Maybe you need a certain amount to get a new car. So write that goal down and then create a little fund to watch that progress. It’ll keep you motivated and it will give you a purpose to keep going when it seems too hard.
- Wanting to try a new career path? Maybe the second job is to see help you slowly change your career. You are tired of what you’ve been doing till now and want to change, but are uncertain if the new path you have in mind is for you. Trying a part time job in the new area might be a good way to check, without loosing the job you’re currently in. If you are in this category, you could try to keep a journal writing down your thoughts on the new career each day, or at least each week. If at some point the negatives become overwhelming, you’ll know it’s time to quit.
- You’re trying to make money out of your passion. I see this with a lot of my friends who are personal trainers. They have a normal job and are personal trainers in the evenings. The extra money might not be a necessity but they have a huge passion for fitness and working out. But even for someone who turned their hobby into a job, having two jobs might become too much. If this is you, list why you wanted this second job in the first place. What makes you passionate about it? Remind yourself why you started.
Don’t isolate yourself
Unfortunately, when your work life is super busy, you might have a tendency to isolate the rest of the time. Especially if you are an introvert like me and you recharge on your own, isolating yourself becomes a huge risk. On one side, yes, you’ll need that to recharge your batteries. But depending on your jobs, they might not give you much of a chance to be social, even if you are surrounding by others. Relationships at work are not always great, your coworkers might not be your friends. So if you need alone time to recharge take it. But also take time to be with your friends. Don’t shut them out completely. If you are beyond overwhelmed one weekend, than see your friends for a couple of hours and spend the rest alone. If you are feeling better, do it in reverse – one or two hours alone time and the rest with friends. Isolating can lead to depression and when you are tired from overworking the risk increases tenfold.
Other resources to help you balance two jobs:
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