Extra cash is never a bad idea. For some of us, working 9 to 5 just isn’t cutting it, but the idea of working more hours can be overwhelming. Each time we think about trying, we bombard our own heads with questions:
- Where can I find a second job?
- How far away is it?
- Will the time and energy be worth it?
- When will I sleep, eat, and breathe?
If you set up your home for a side hustle, these questions will fade, along with your money issues. You’ll be able to work as soon as you wake up or get home, making more money without spending extra time on a commute.
Want to know how to begin? Let’s dig into how to set up your home for a side hustle, plus peek at a few side hustle gigs to get you started.
Table of Contents
1. Remove Distractions
This is a big one. If you’ve ever worked from home remotely, you know that there are dozens of distractions and temptations that can pull you away from your work.
If you’ve never worked from home, well, we’re here to tell you that you’re bound to get sidetracked by shiny-object syndrome.
There’s the big screen TV, the laundry piled up in the corner, there’s even a big yellow circle outside called the sun, and it’s calling your name.
Somehow, you’ve got to ignore all of it.
If you have a roommate who works from home, he or she is bound to be the biggest distraction of all. From rolling past the living room at night eating a bowl of crunchy cereal to cranking up Justin Bieber in the wee hours of the morning, you’ve got some serious obstacles to overcome.
What To Do:
For starters, keep your phone in a different room and try turning the internet off if you don’t need it. If you do need to use the internet, use a website blocker to make sure you only use the sites related to the work you need to get done.
With those two steps, you remove any temptation of losing hours on Facebook or Netflix instead of building your side hustle.
If you’re tempted by looming chores, remind yourself that doing laundry all night won’t pay the bills. Choose a day on your calendar instead to work on washing your whites. Rainy days are best to clean up and do other household chores.
If you have a roommate, you’ve got to get creative. Sit down with him or her and explain that you’ll need some quiet time between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. (or whatever hours tickle your fancy) to get some work done. If they want you to pay your half of the rent, they’ll get the message. With any luck, you live with a respectful roommate, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
If it is an issue, it’s time to invest in headphones and some white noise. You can buy white noise machines, or you can pop on YouTube and take a peek at their offerings. A fan will even do the trick.
By closing yourself off to distractions and noise interruptions, you can be more productive and crank out additional work in no time.
2. Design The Ideal Workspace
Speaking of closing yourself off, if you share an apartment or house with someone else, you’ll want to create your very own workspace for yourself. This personal space is a huge plus when you need to be productive.
If setting up shop in the shared living room or kitchen isn’t an option, consider a corner in a spare bedroom or your own room. But don’t just shove a desk and chair in there and call it a day. Take the time to set it up, so it feels different and exclusive.
Experts say that creating an ideal workspace is beneficial because the space we occupy shapes who we are and how we behave, both of which affect our psychological wellbeing and creative performance.
If you work an eight-hour shift at your job, you’re going to need a clear mind and some creativity before digging into your side hustle. Taking the time to design the ideal workspace will help you get there.
What To Do:
First, decide where to set up shop. Clear that area out completely, including any wall art.
Next, choose colors that speak to you. If you like black and maroon (the color of compassion), it’s time to hit the thrift stores to find the ideal desk and chair that matches your colorful needs.
If the color isn’t super important to you, go with neutral earth tones. They’re rather soothing.
If you can’t find a desk or chair in the color you like, spend a Saturday painting that awesome desk you picked up at a yard sale for $25 bucks. Make it your own.
Have fun with this process. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in this area working. The least you can do is make it an enjoyable space to be in.
Do the same with any wall art or pictures you want to hang. Check out antique shops, thrift stores, and yard sales for some good buys. Bring your new space full circle with a soft light desk lamp. Don’t work under glaring, bright lights.
Workspace lighting is more important than people realize. Our work environment, work performance, and well-being are affected by it. So, turn the lights down and bring on the ambiance.
If you can work in natural light, even better. It’s good for the soul.
3. Dress For The Job
It’s true that one of the advantages of working from home is the freedom to dress however you want. But, tempting as it is to work in your jammies, you might want to dress up a little even for your home office.
There’s been some evidence that the clothes you wear can affect your mindset. If there’s no real distinction between your “work” clothes and your “off” clothes (or “sleeping” clothes as the case may be), you may find it harder to get your head in the zone.
On the same token, you might also find it hard to get out of “work” mode if you’re wearing the same thing all the time. You might find yourself constantly thinking about your projects or clients, even when you’re supposed to be focusing on your relationships and hobbies. That’s a recipe for stressing and eventually burning yourself out.
But you shouldn’t take this as a sign to start wearing a suit every day either. Because so much of this is psychological, the perfect type of “work” clothes can change from person to person.
What To Do:
When you’re working from home, try wearing different types of clothes and see for yourself what makes you most productive.
If you want – start working in the clothes that you normally wear to work. From there, you might start incrementally wearing clothes that are more and more casual. For instance – going from slacks to sweats, or from sweats to jammies.
While you’re making these changes, keep track of how you spend your time. If you find yourself becoming less productive, that’s a good sign that your clothes might have gone too casual.
Or – you might try going more formal than your normal workplace. Who knows, maybe a three-piece suit is just the thing to supercharge your side-hustle efforts.
4. Be Your Own Boss
This might be the greatest challenge for anyone choosing to earn extra income with a side hustle. But if you remove distractions and stick to your guns, you can make it work.
According to a Gallup Study, more and more people are working from home. They’re figuring it out and reaping the rewards. That means they’re choosing to be their own boss.
The best part of being your own boss is that you call the shots. If you choose to sit down at your desk at 7 o’clock at night, Mr. Boss Man can’t say a word. The world is your oyster.
What To Do:
Being your own boss can be challenging, especially if you’re not sure how to organize your priorities. Try using an app like 17 Hats to keep everything you’re doing in one place.
If you’re not ready to invest in an app, good old-fashioned spreadsheets always work. Find an accountability buddy, too. This works great if you find work with demanding deadlines.
Anytime you want to get up to run outside and play, remind yourself of the fact that the bills won’t get paid, and your dream vacation will never happen unless you focus.
5. Side Hustle Ideas
Not sure what to do to earn extra cash?
With so many people today moving toward the work-from-home model, the number of side hustles out there are endless. Truly. If you can think it, you can do it. Thanks to the Internet, anything is possible.
Do you write? Freelance writing jobs are off the charts.
Do you work in admin? IT? Are you a social media geek? Or maybe you like to cut coupons and save lots of money?
Do you transcribe? Enjoy reading? Like to scan Amazon?
Jobs that match these desires are out there.
If you’ve never explored how to find a side hustle before, we’re got some suggestions for you.
What To Do:
Start with Google. Google is your BFF. Sit down in your living room with your cat (or dog or ferret or monkey) and start digging. Google things like:
- Side Hustle Jobs (for variety)
- Freelance Work (for writing)
- Virtual Assistant Jobs (for administrative and social media work)
- IT Remote Work (for internet technology work)
Depending on what you Google, you’ll see options a-plenty. Here’s what came up with the keyword search Side Hustle Jobs.
If you really like Amazon, they’re always looking for copywriters to write descriptions for them.
As you conduct your search, remember that this is a process. You may spend a week or so searching for a side hustle that resonates with you. When you do find it, you’ll have to take the time to apply for the job.
You can either drive around the city looking for jobs delivering pizza, or you can use your time to create a comfy workspace and look for jobs that you can do from home.
Option 2 doesn’t need any money for gas.
There’s lots of research out there that speaks to the kind of stress we deal with at work and how making money from home can reduce that stress.
Who knows, maybe your new side hustle in your cozy little corner is just what the doctor ordered. Maybe you’ll discover that you can create a more balanced life by working for yourself. Start small, go big.
If your current employer has an option to work extra hours from home, ask about it.
When you set up your home for a side hustle, create a cozy space to work in, and make a deal with your roommate to stay out of your way, the work-from-home possibilities are endless.
The question now is, when will you begin?