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Balancing Your Freelancing With Your "Regular" Job Or Other Side Gigs



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Balancing Your Freelancing With Your "Regular" Job Or Other Side Gigs

Lately, I have had a real adjustment period in balancing out my "day job", which pays the big bills, and my freelancing and online gigs, which provide supplemental income. I was just curious--how do you all balance your many responsibilities with your freelancing work? I think this is a more complicated question than just basic time management. I am looking forward to hearing your insights.

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TommyCarey

I had a "real job" when I started out and had the same problem you do right now. I would work my 9-5, or whenever I was scheduled, and I would come home to do my freelancer stuff. I didn't really offer any sort of service until a few years after I started, but I still had to manage my own websites and monitor all my data to make sure what I was doing wasn't wasted time lol.

When I started off, I would come home and answer any emails I had from while I was gone, then I would start sifting through the mountain of data. After about a year of this, I was making as much online as I was my "real job" so I decided to go full time online and see what I could do. Before that, it felt like I was constantly overworked and I would usually miss a few things here and there because I just didn't have enough time in the day.

Time management definitely comes into play, but there's so much more to do than just set time slots aside to finish something. You don't know exactly how long an article will take to type, you don't know how long a website will take to fix, you don't know how long it will take to get a response back from your hosting company, and all of these play into big factors when it comes to time management that can't really be controlled when you're trying to balance a "real job" and an online job. I usually had a list of things that I needed to do when I got home from work, and depending on how long I thought something would take, some tasks wouldn't get any attention until the weekend when I had plenty of time to attend to them and have extra time if additional problems popped up lol.

You'll need to prioritize your work, meaning that anything that makes you money is high priority and anything that you're trying to develop after your first website is up and running becomes secondary. You're more focused on priorities in the beginning than time management, because time management only comes into play when you have a steady stream of income that you need to do small tasks for to keep going. Priority management will be what you need to focus on until you start making more money than your day job Balancing Your Freelancing With Your "Regular" Job Or Other Side Gigs

Think about it, if you're managing your time well, you might not be able to get to the sales pages of your website and get the "Buy Now" button on them because you were more focused on setting up your 3rd website. Work on one website at a time, and get it set up to the bare bones point where you can capture a sale, then build off of that later on with lesser priorities. You can add new static pages or publish some blog content to help bring people in from the search engines, you can spruce up your design a bit so it looks more modern, you can play around with the menus and navigation so it's easier for people to get around, etc. These are what I consider secondary priorities because they aren't crucial when it comes to making money online. Sure, they will help boost your sales, but they aren't the main core features that will capture the sale and send money to your PayPal or bank account Balancing Your Freelancing With Your "Regular" Job Or Other Side Gigs

I hope that makes sense Balancing Your Freelancing With Your "Regular" Job Or Other Side Gigs

- Razzy




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JoeMilford

Yes! This makes total sense, and you and your apparent telepathy have described my situation perfectly. I really appreciate everything you said in paragraph four, and the relationship between priorities and time management is most important. Putting the money first is key, because we need to be rewarded for our hard work, but we also have to do the proper preparation to set up strong mechanisms for garnering revenue, and that takes planning, thought, and time management. I make a list every day and check it off as I go along, but I still seem to always have to roll a few things over to the next day. In other words, though, I set the list up BASED on priority now and get the most pressing things done first.




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Corzhens

I can say that I am managing my time very well regarding my part time freelancing work versus my full time job in the office. But I have to admit that my freelancing is kind of stagnating in terms of progress because I could not venture in other work that can make me earn more. I lack the time to diversify so I am sticking to my main line of paid forum posting which is not much for the earnings.




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anwebservices

Balancing freelancing job with full time job or even private life can be easy or disaster. Depending on many factors. But alo depending on what kind of freelancing jobs you do. Perhaps i personally doing it in two ways:
- Not setting lowest possible price for my jobs. I try to keep my prices realistic between winning competition and what it really worth for my time (and / or other investemnts)
- Other is to not set job to be done in few hours or one day even when it can be. I usually set my delivery time to max 5 days even when i can do it in few minutes. But it's because if i am busy with some other job or my private life or away from home, i will never be latte with my delivery. And guess what! People is so excited when i deliver it in one hour after they expecting it to be done within 5 days, so it brings good feedback and rating too ;)




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JoeMilford

I like that you brought up the "private life" here. No one hardly ever brings up the toll that our work takes on our relationships in these forums, and I think that that is a very important thing to be considered and entered into these conversations. It's all about balance, and while we chase our fortunes, we could be neglecting the people who are chasing us with their loves and affections. I may be on a bit of a tangent here, and if so, i am sorry, but your post made me think about such things.




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kgord

Well, I do freelancing as a "fill in" type activity when I have time. I don't have a "regular" job per se so that allows me plenty of time to do freelance type work. It can be a good thing to earn a bit of cash and fill in the void.




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JoeMilford

Right--I do not "pay my bills" with my freelancing work (yet), but it does help provide a much needed supplemental income for me here and there. Also, the freelance pay is completely erratic and I never make the same amount from week to week or month to month, so it is not what I consider to be a dependable income of any kind. This might change one day as I get better at doing this, but for now, I am not leaving my regular job(s) any time soon.




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tiffiecute

Tough but it only boils down to having a good sense of time management. I myself have a hard time working perfectly on my freelancing jobs while attending to my kids, and working at the law office.

But I do my best every day to make ways on getting all my responsibilities work well.




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JoeMilford

If I had kids to constantly care for, I am not sure that I could even do any freelancing, to be honest with you, so my hat is off to you for being able to carry so much responsibility and still achieve all of your goals. I think that is so admirable, and you must have an endless supply of energy in order to do this. You are so right about time management, and I know that I could get better at that life skill. I am working on it.




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Corzhens

I have a full time job and my freelancing is just a part time endeavor which should be on a low priority considering that I have a family and social obligations as well. But I’m able to give my freelancing a regular schedule so that I could work on it every day. And to think that in the holidays that passed, I was working on the sites as if there is no holiday for me. Maybe I am giving my freelancing a high priority?




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JoeMilford

Corzhens,
I've been seeing you show up in forums that I frequent since I started contributing to them, so I know that you are definitely active in your freelancing endeavors. It would seem that we all have to really juggle and perform a real balancing act in order to keep our freelancing going in tandem with all of our other responsibilities. I guess that the goal for many of us would be to become full-time freelancers, but that's a pretty tough road, and I have not quite figured out how to do it yet. I enjoy all of the writing practice that freelancing gives me, though; that's for sure.




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overcast

I completely see where you're coming from. I am in pretty much same boat. And it can be hard for me to work around those things. I know that not all of us can manage to get things in proper order. But it can be helpful if one knows how to handle the pressure and do the freelancing. I think some of the time job is lot better in that context.




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JoeMilford

Right, overcast--
I just need to make sure that I prioritize every day--I make an extensive "to-do" list every morning and go from there, checking off tasks as I complete them. Then, whatever is left over moves on to the next day, and so on and so forth. Trying to find balance in our lives, between our psychological and professional health, while also accomplishing goals and staying productinve, is a challenge all of us have if we have ambition and the need to be successful.




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vinaya

I don't have a regular job, I work full time freelancing, therefore, I don't have to balance my regular job with freelancing. However, I have to do a lot of balancing. I have to balance between delivering my services, selling my products, promoting my business and running blogs. My first priority is my clients, I make most of my money selling my writing service. If I do not have any assignment, I work on my blogs and websites.




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JoeMilford

I see. You have figured out what I am trying to figure out--how to do the freelancing thing full time. I am currently an educator, so that "sort of" pays the bills, but not by much--that is why I started doing side gigs in the first place. I see that you are juggling an awful lot, and it sounds like you pretty much are swamped with a full time job just with your freelancing. I congratulate you on this.




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vinaya

I earn my living by writing for clients. I am quite satisfied with my earning, however, writing for clients is a tiring job. First of all you need to have writing assignments on your hand. Secondly, you need to have high paying writing jobs, both of these are not possible always. That's why I am trying to build a passive income by launching blogs and website. Once my blogs and website being to earn me enough, I will stop writing for clients. Currently, I am juggling writing for clients and writing for myself.




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centurion

Thanks for the beautiful questions. SEOClerks have order based work opportunity. Here have no time tracking opportunity but also SEOClerk is world number 1 marketplace. This is the 3 tier marketplace where you can buy any online services, where you can sell any services and where you cna do affiliation. There have huge and huge one tier based marketplace. Those are time tracking based marketplace and huge peoples do several marketplaces for one specialization. You can do a google search and maximum peoples - freelancers in this world do full time outsourcing work and product affiliation is very much good. SEOClerks have product affiliation facility also.




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JoeMilford

centurion,
I am glad you appreciate the questions I am asking. I appreciate the information you are providing here, and it is very interesting, but my question was more about not WHAT you do but HOW you balance your time with your many responsibilities and, in your case, your SEO work. Are you full time as an SEO person? Is that your main job or only job? Many of us have to work more than just our online jobs, and it is difficult, so I was asking how you navigate that situation.




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Everett

If you live a busy life in general it is so very hard to balance your work life, and freelancer life. A lot of the times I have trouble doing this because I am bombarded with many requests a day, and they seem to keep stacking up. It is getting to a point now where I am thinking about changing business models in a way that I will have to be paid for such requests.

For instance, I offer some scripts however my clients (or buyers) want extra work done on them and before I offered this work for free (as a way to gain additional buyers in the past). However, I am at a point where I am not sure how much longer I can offer this "support" because I am mostly online tweaking scripts for my clients (or buyers) and not getting any other work done! I need to update my scripts but I simply can not because of my insane workload. It is giving me some high stress levels of which is actually giving me headaches. So know your worth, know how much time you can actually give to your freelancing otherwise you will end up like me..




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JoeMilford

Everett,
I totally identify with you. As an online teacher, just keeping up with my emails is an insane task--seriously. If all i did all day was just answer emails, I would have a forty hour a week job. I still try to do so many other things--blogging, freelancing, my own writing, etc., but it is pretty tough to figure out navigable limits to how much I work and to what a "healthy" schedule is! The workload itself can destroy our quality of life, and we need to find a way to stay away from that kind of situation and find a balance between work and our own self-engagement.




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EliteWriter

It is not easy. Personally I need silence to write, and I can only do that if there is nobody home. So I have to do my writing jobs in the morning while the kids are at school. Then, any other jobs and side gigs come in between because once I pick up the kids from school it is hard to concentrate on anything else. So I would not imagine an actual full time job and freelancing in my case.




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JoeMilford

I do not have nay kids living with me, but I could totally see how that would make it difficult to stay on task, especially if you require silence to work. Kids need to be loud at times and to play and express themselves--that's only natural, of course. I live in a small house, so I can hear everything, so silence is hard to come by. I must admit that I like working to music a great deal, so I can control my sonic environment a bit in that way, so that helps when my roommate is being loud.




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Steve5

I think it's important to know when to stop working on projects outside of your regular job. It may be tempting to try pushing yourself and your already packed schedule. But choosing your workload makes a difference in the long-term. Commit to what's important. Extra time isn't always the same as more time for work.




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JoeMilford

Steve5,
You are SO right here--at first, when I started doing online jobs and freelancing, I started getting a bit overwhelmed, but I realized quite quickly that I could not let my most significant "day job" be affected by my side gigs. My most prominent profession comes first because, currently, it does better at paying the bills and providing for myself and my needs. I would not seek to jeopardize that by getting too far off track or over-tasking due to my freelance endeavors. You give good advice here, and I agree with you.




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Martinsx1

If noise really affects you that much when you are writing, then I would suggest carrying out your writing work at night probably when everyone is fast asleep. By that time, you can focus very well without any hitches or distraction but what it entails is that you would have to sleep during the day in order to be awake in the night.




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AmieBotella

What I do is make a list of the most important things to do to the least and tried my best to assess how long will it take me to do it. For example, I'll be doing an Autocad layout of a plan for a client that will most probably take me one day to design a plan and make a 3D of it. So it'll be a priority. That is an uninterrupted 8 hours work. But since this is impossible, since I multitask at home, I'm gonna have to spread it for two days or three, the most. In between those 'work time' intended for this particular job, I may be able to squeeze in an hour of writing when an idea pops in, but since I have a deadline or mental schedule to follow, i have to stick to it in order for me to finish something and meet the deadline. I don't know if this makes sense to how you work, but for me, since I do not have a boss, I can take a break or two from my schedule but never really wandered off too much from doing the main jobs that needs to be delivered too.




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JoeMilford

I see what you are saying here, and you obviously sound like you have developed a system which works for you. It can be tough not having a "boss" because distractions are always so tempting. For example, in another forum thread, someone mentioned taking naps to enhance their creative drive, but, for me, if I ever did that, there may be a chance that I pass out for hours. We all have to, of course, develop our own individual work patterns and rhythms that work best for us as individuals. Everyone can make suggestions and give us advice about this, but I think it just takes experimentation and experience over time to figure out what is the best work strategy.




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AmieBotella

I know, sometimes that "boss" (which is us, basically, as freelancers) are also difficult to work with. Haha. And you are right to say that it takes time of adjusting and experimentation with the best time stretch you do with your work time, life time and me time. Just like you, I don't do naps. I sleep for hours. So that is not a best thing for me to do. But listing down the top priorities down to the least is the best way for me. Time schedules to the minute doesn't just work for me, but day counts does. Because in between minutes and hours, time can pass by so fast! I don't like keeping track of it, but when I mentally say or write it in my notepad that I need to finish this in three days, I don't exactly know how the hours stretch. But I get to finish things somehow.




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JoeMilford

You made me laugh as well. Sometimes, being my own boss, I can be too lenient. At other times, I can be too demanding. I can also, as my own boss, be a poor project manager, lol. I make a list everyday and multi-task a lot. I often wonder if I am just creating the idea of progress or if I really am doing as much as I should. As my own boss, I often have trouble finding a balance between my workload, my leisure time, and my overall mental health due to bouts of stress or exhaustion. I am still learning how to be my own boss, and it is definitely a process which takes time and experience to hone.




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Martinsx1

The nature of one's job is what would make balancing it with your freelance work easier or harder. Personally, I'm not having any issues with balancing mine because I currently work as a teacher, so I normally have free time at both my work place when I don't have lessons to teach and also from 3 pm till the next day after I'm back from work.




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aeon

Well right now, my working schedule is office hours. so, before I sleep. I will write everything, all of my thoughts about something, just keep doing that for weekdays, and then during weekends or if I don't have a work, I will analyze that, and form an article.




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JoeMilford

aeon,
i am jealous of your schedule! I am currently and constantly slammed! I feel as if i could work twenty four hours a day and seven days a week and never ever finish my ongoing tasks. I know this is not a mentally healthy way to live, but it is paying the bills and getting me a lot of things that I want out of life. That being said, i look forward to the days when i have more relaxation and flexibility in my schedule. To have the weekends off would most definitely be ideal, but I am not yet at that stage yet. Having more time to think over articles or other writing projects would be ideal and always make for better content, I am sure.




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TheArticulate

This can be really tough sometimes. Being that I have to devote 40 hours a week to my full time job (it's guaranteed income, where my freelancing is not, necessarily) as well as enough time for my school work, I balance everything by being very selective of the jobs that I take.

I try and only take one or two offline freelancing jobs a month and leave a weekend in between for editing purposes (since I do photography and video gigs). It's really difficult turning jobs down, but if I can't commit to a job in a timely fashion, I feel it's better to save both my time and my client's time.




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JoeMilford

TheArticulate,
It sounds like you have a pretty full plate here! I think that good time management is our saving grace in such predicaments, ventures, and situations. That was my hardest lesson to learn when i was a young student and a full time worker--I had to work to survive, and I had to keep up with my academic work for a hope for a better future--it was never easy, but it was always rewarding. Many of us are always searching for good freelance jobs, so it is a shame to hear that your busy schedule makes you have to turn some of your freelance gigs down. That is a shame, but, as you know, you have to prioritize for your own best interests and needs.




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DenisP

Thankfully I'm currently in the position where my freelancing work is actually the main source of my income. However, this isn't a result of me having a fantastic income by any means, but saving up enough money from my main work to be in a safe enough position to give freelancing greater attention.

A couple of years back I saved a bunch of money from my "day job", and moved to a country with a really low cost of living. Living off of savings initially, I was able to work on my freelancing career until I was making at least enough to support myself somewhat on that alone.

Probably not the answer you're looking for, but that's just the story of this little life experiment I'm doing, haha.




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JoeMilford

DenisP,
You sound like you have quite an adventurous busines slife and that you are willing to take pretty big risks with your freelancing career options! I respect that. I live in a suburban area of America, and the cost of living is pretty high, so I have not been able to just survive off of my freelancing skills so far. That would be an ideal situation, but I love teaching, and that is the job I have which gives me benefits and actually pays the bills. I went through my savings years ago, when I was out of work for a minute, and am just now building both my freelance and my academic careers back up simultaneously. It's not easy, but we all have to work hard to get what we want, of course.




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treecko142

I work during the day so I just set aside my entire evening during weekdays for freelancing. My weekends are my time to rest and not worry about earning. I also set my freelancing schedule on what services I will do during Sundays so that I can manage my freelancing schedule and so that I can choose my activities for variety so that I won't get burned out or too tired from freelancing. At the end of the day, if I'm too tired, I just sleep and not force myself to do online work because it's just additional income to my already stable job.




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JoeMilford

treeco, I think that it is totally healthy to set your weekends to the side for yourself! It is such a shame that we all have to work so hard, and this predicament tears into our quality of living and out time with ourselves alone and with our loved ones. I also have a stable job, but the freelancing does help me financially, so I am always trying to manage my time, like you, within reason, to get in my freelancing after I have finished my more important responsibilities. Of course, this can be nearly impossible some days if i want to have anything close to a "life", lol.




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edencaga

It's difficult to handle when you work in real job while doing freelancing job. Now I have work and focus working at home. You really need time management depending on what kind of job you are doing. Its up to you if you can handle those things still depends on each person.




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Barida

The truth when we try to combine the freelancing work with our normal jobs is that there is going to be sacrifices somewhere along the line. This is the same issue that I'm having at the moment where I get to do so much on a daily basis at my place before going home to continue with my freelancing work.

The thing is this, always spread the work you do on the internet and try as much as you can to take up jobs that you know won't make you give less to the offline work that pays your bills. The reason is because at the end of the day, what will really matter is how you get to make that consistent income and not one that comes from the internet.




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JoeMilford

Barida,
Do you think that you are consistent every day with how you divide up your time and accomplish your tasks? Or, do you find that almost every day is a bit different depending upon what you must accomplish in your freelancing? I also think that, at the end of the day, like you said, we need to make time for ourselves and for our loved ones in order to have a happy emotional and psychological life. My main point is that I find it hard to get a consistemt schedule, on a daily and weekly basis, with my ever-shifting freelance opportunities wrapped around my regular "day job".




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coolavender

I have a regular part time work in the afternoon as an accountant/auditor for a medium-sized firm. I do freelance work around this schedule during the weekdays and devote more time to freelancing work on weekends. I'm also running an offline business leasing out a vehicle. I'm actually earning more from the combination of online freelancing work and though I'm tempted to do so, I still don't feel confident about giving up my day job. Presently, my work at a writing site has taken a backseat but it's something I can always do if I have more time to spare. Right now, I'm focusing on a site that pays me so much more and has more flexible work schedule.




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JoeMilford

coolavendar,
I guess that what you are saying here, in terms of what the forum asked (how to find balance or how do you find balance between your freelance work and other work) is that you can make your own schedule with the freelance tasks, so you do not feel that any sacrifice is really affecting you in terms of time or in terms of profit. That is a great place to be in one's career, especially if you are taking on more than you can handle due to a hectic schedule. Still, though, if I weer making more at freelancing than my regular job, I would be tempted to just focus on the online business I am generating. So far, I have not had the confidence to make that sort of leap yet.




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