The average American now allocates an extra 13 hours per week to these secondary undertakings. Coupled with a standard 40-hour full-time job, this culminates in a total weekly commitment of roughly 53 hours.
Many Americans have embraced supplementary income streams, also known as side hustles, to augment their earnings.
As anticipated, this extended workload takes a toll on their once-enjoyable side hustle, transforming it into a burdensome obligation. Nonetheless, according to Zippia's data, these supplementary earnings have become essential for covering day-to-day expenses amidst rising inflation and the heightened possibility of an economic downturn.
Side Hustle Toll on Well-Being: From Enjoyment to Burden
Dr. Nicholas Dragolea (MBBS/MD), a medical practitioner, entrepreneur, and founder of Fetched, acknowledges the gratification derived from managing one or two businesses alongside a primary job, especially for individuals with an entrepreneurial mindset.
However, he also notes the inherent challenges of this pursuit, including effective time management, mental fatigue, and the absence of leisure time. Successfully navigating these challenges is imperative to safeguard one's well-being and prevent health deterioration. Brooks Conkle, an entrepreneur and managing member of Kea Marketing LLC, sheds light on the isolating nature of such pursuits.
Conkle acknowledges that entrepreneurship inherently involves a sense of loneliness, as the camaraderie of an office environment is often absent. This isolation can magnify the weight of responsibilities and exacerbate stress and feelings of seclusion.
Entrepreneurs like Kari Lorz, the proprietor of Money For The Mamas, are all too familiar with the challenges that accompany the pursuit of a side hustle. Lorz's personal experience highlights the transformative potential of a side hustle. Still, it also underscores the price she paid for her dedication. She shared, “I wanted to be working on my side hustle every possible moment. It was so easy to work; all I had to do was walk 10 feet to my computer.” However, the relentless cycle of early mornings, late nights, and a lack of adequate rest eventually exacted a toll on her well-being and overall quality of life.
All The Signs of Side Hustle Burnout
Lorz's reflections reveal many warning signs that served as cautionary signals. Her to-do list continued to expand, household tasks were repeatedly postponed, and she found herself harboring resentment towards activities outside her side hustle. Chronic sleep deprivation affected her effectiveness as a partner and mother and contributed to mounting stress.
The never-ending list of tasks that caused this stress contributed to weight gain from stress-induced eating. Once a regular part of her routine, exercise became a casualty of her busy schedule.
Lorz's energy levels plummeted, and she relied on sugar to combat afternoon fatigue. Her living space descended into disarray, and her family could sense her heightened irritation, frustration, and stress levels. “At the peak of my stress,” Lorz recounts, “I did have a small medical emergency.”
Dr. Dragolea affirms that managing challenges such as time constraints, mental fatigue, and a lack of relaxation is crucial to preventing health deterioration. The specter of burnout looms large, as chronic stress can give rise to anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and even physical health issues like weakened immune systems and heart disease.
Strategies for Safeguarding Well-Being
Strategies for mitigating side hustle burnout include setting clear boundaries, improving prioritization and delegation skills, and incorporating regular exercise into one's routine. Dr. Dragolea highlights the importance of self-care: “Taking time to exercise or to meditate and practice mindfulness is the most effective use of my time and will pay dividends in the future.”
According to Dragolea, You may feel that taking an hour to exercise is not the best use of your time when you could be working on your side hustle, but doing so will make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to tackle anything in both your business and personal life! Hence, he cautions, “It's important to be aware of your limitations and to listen to your body when it's saying that “enough is enough.”
Adding to this, Conkle advises, “The work never ends, so find an end time. Create a list for what needs to be done the next day and then turn it off.” According to Lorz, “it can be quite difficult. Ultimately, because many side hustles run out of people's homes, you can always be working, so there's no clear line between work and home life.” However, individuals can avoid overextending themselves by setting aside specific hours for their side hustle and committing to taking breaks and downtime.
Having navigated her own burnout experience, Lorz found solace in revisiting hobbies and gaining insights from books like Burnout by Emily & Amelia Nagoski. “Reading has always been my favorite hobby,” Lorz affirms.
Successfully Managing The Load
Moreover, guidance from medical experts and psychologists consistently underscores the significance of maintaining a balanced diet and practicing good sleep hygiene. These measures serve as preventative strategies to curb the accumulation of stress and anxiety before they escalate into overwhelming states.
An integral aspect of managing workload involves establishing realistic goals that foster a sense of control and accomplishment and safeguard against becoming swamped. This approach ensures that your side hustle remains a source of satisfaction rather than a draining endeavor.
By delineating attainable milestones and breaking tasks into manageable increments, individuals can effectively diminish feeling overwhelmed and sustain a tangible sense of advancement. Embracing the ability to decline commitments when necessary and acknowledging the equitable value of rest compared to productivity contribute significantly to cultivating a more harmonized and gratifying entrepreneurial journey.
As side hustles continue to intertwine with the demands of full-time employment, striking a balance becomes paramount. Understanding the toll that extended work commitments can take on mental and physical well-being and adopting proactive measures to counteract burnout is crucial for maintaining a healthy and sustainable path toward financial prosperity.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Amaka Chukwuma is a freelance content writer with a BA in linguistics. As a result of her insatiable curiosity, she writes in various B2C and B2B niches. Her favorite subject matter, however, is in the financial, health, and technological niches. She has contributed to publications like Buttonwood Tree and FinanceBuzz in the past and currently writes for Wealth of Geeks.