Balancing between full-time job and side projects

If you may have already noticed, my favourite word and my state of mind is definitely “balance”. I like to put that word everywhere – in my life, in my relationships and also in my work. And I’m simply lost without it. Not only is this the thing that keeps me in the structure of my life, but it helps me to find my centre every time I lose it. It is not very different from my work itself. Actually we spend so much time working (and sometimes overworking) so it is totally necessary to search for our inner balance or call it work balance if you want. That’s why I would like to share with you my experience (which is not big) and my recipe “how (maybe) not to burn out”.

I mentioned in my last blog post that I already started a full-time job in a studio for branding.

Before this position I was a full-time freelancer for almost two years. It’s amazing that back then I worked more than now, even though I always had and still have my side projects. If you wonder why I separate them, well it’s easy – because they have different purposes and (for me) have to be separated from each other. All my side projects help me to grow more as a person than a professionalist and for them I invest my free time quite consciously. A lot of people are saying that time is money and has to be paid. Well on the one hand yes, but when you have to earn it by yourself, you have to invest time first and then at some point to earn the reward.

But let’s break the stigma – not everything has to do with money. So are social projects for example. If you’ve ever been socially active, you know how much you gained from it and I’m not talking about money at all. This is what side projects mean to me and this is why they help me with my personal development. This is also the reason I will continue to invest in them. I’m glad to have one side project which is connected with citizenship and helps me be a social activist somehow.

Something I know for sure about how not to burn out while working on more (side) arrangements and I would share with you is not to work on too many projects and not to take every project on 100%.

To keep my balance I currently work full time in Brandly Collective, on the side only on two permanent projects and when I have the time I take some small freelance work. It probably sounds like a lot of effort and work, but it’s very individual and depends on the project itself (and time management). I’m very happy to work in the team of Tsarski Pishtovi, because I really feel understood there. My main work on the project is to prepare social media posts with the topics we researched and worked on in a nice and friendly design carousel. It doesn’t take that much time, but sometimes the arrangements are more than that. As part of the main team, we have meetings for brainstorming how to continue with the project.

All this helped me pay more attention to my other project – The Nosense brand. Unfortunately the project is about to end soon, so make sure to save some of our last pieces for yourself. It was such an amazing time working on it and observing how this little baby grows. I did more than design there and the project required a lot of time, effort and desire. I will tell more about the decision in a next blog post.

Second rule of keeping your balance between a full time job and side projects is to have a good plan and be organised.

Nothing new, nothing special, simple and yet very helpful. Whatever you do – designing instagram posts, social media managing, copywriting, video creating, photo shooting, blogging etc. just plan everything in advance (and add it to your calendar!). I know that time management could be a pain for some people, but once you dive into it, you will see that it actually works FOR you. We all have the same time and the same 24 hours. Just try not to waste them.

Third thing that I suggest is to use templates and presets

(and also design guidelines)  – for design, social media, content plan, file organiser or something else. Do it now, thank me later. That will save you a lot of time and will also make your work easier. Creating something from scratch every time you start could be a bit frustrating especially after work (if you are an early bird like me). Using all those templates helps me to still have time for myself and do some extra work after I come home from the office.

Fourth very important rule – surround yourself with people who help you to grow and to develop in your life

(and also who support you in your journey). We all heard the cliché  “your circle of 5 people represent you as a person”, but it’s true and better make sure those people are worth it. Also make sure that they are ambitious about their personal growth and are not afraid of taking risks and trying new inspiring things. 

Last but not least – just listen to your body.

I know it looks cool to hustle 24/7, but in reality it’s not. If you need a break and one or two days to rest – just do it. There is nothing better than recharging, having time for yourself and finding new positive energy for all that life has to offer.

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