What time do you work on your side project?

Trust me, I get it.

Making time for your side project can be extremely difficult. We all have so many important activities competing for our limited amount of time outside of work each week.

Full-time job, family, socializing, commute, exercise, meal prep, hobbies, relaxation, having fun, the list goes on.

Here’s where I need your help…

I’m one of those crazy ass morning people.

Not afraid to wake up at 4:30am to get started on my side projects (like this blog).

However, in the years I’ve been running this blog, speaking with readers like you and working with students in my courses, I’ve learned that 4:30am isn’t for everyone. Not like that took a rocket scientist to figure out.

Some of us are just wired differently. So the time of day that’s best for me to work on my side hustle, may not be as great for you.

On the other hand, many people simply lack proper motivation—and therefore come up with excuses for why they don’t have time instead of being a force of change that has the power to create the time.

That’s why I’m doing a little experiment…

I want to know, what time of day do you work on your side project?

Over on Twitter, the consensus looks like evenings and nights after work…

Is that true?

Last week, I heard from several of you.

Like Michael, one of my course students who prefers working on his blog after work during the evenings—why? He’s not a morning person. Outside of the hours he spends at his full-time gig, the evenings are when he works best, so he embraces that.

How to Make Time for Your Side Hustle Michael

Paula gets her side hustle time in during the mornings before work.

How to Make Time for Side Hustle Paula 2

And Ian manages to (somehow) squeeze in time for his side hustle in the mornings, during lunch AND evenings after work. What!

How to Make Time for Your Side Hustle Ian

I’ve heard back from dozens of readers, but I need more data for this experiment.

I want to hear from you.

Share with me in the comments below answering these two questions.

1. What time of day do you work on your side project? 

  • Mornings before work?
  • Evenings after work?
  • Late nights?
  • During lunchtime?
  • Weekends only?

(Bonus points for listing specific hour ranges, like 8pm—10pm or 6am—9am).

And

2. Why?

Is it out of necessity from your work schedule?

Because of family commitments?

Is that the time of day you’re mentally at your best?

Comment below telling me what time of day you work on your side projects and why.

I’ll include you in my upcoming study and you’ll be the first to get updates on our findings!

Finding-Time-To-Work-on-Your-Side-Project

Hi I'm Ryan Robinson

Blogger, podcaster and recovering side project addict. Head of Content at Close. Join me here, on ryrob.com to learn how to start a blog, make money blogging and grow a profitable side business. I also write for publications like Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, Business Insider and more. Let’s chat on Twitter about our feelings (and blogging, I guess).

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93 replies to “What time do you work on your side project?”

  1. From M-F it’s evenings after work from 7pm until 9 or 10pm. On weekends it’s typically in the mid or early afternoon and then again in the evening when nothing’s going on. Sometimes I work on it on Sundays because I’m relaxed but I try not to so I don’t form that habit.

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  2. M-F 9-11 once kids have gone to bed, weekends whenever free time is available

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  3. Hello Ryan.

    When I was at the ad agency I rarely had as side project, professionally anyway. However, I did make time for my fine art projects after work, say about 3 to 5 hours, sometimes more, all depended on my mood or what I was doing.

    I also had a personal brand I was building at the time which I dedicated time to, now that I have my own business it’s hard to say what my side projects are, as everything sort of became products of the business once it was done under the business name, separated from my clients or accounts.

    I try not to separate my projects since I went on my own, everything is as important to me as the next and everything requires time to dedicated to it.

    That being said, I would say i dedicate about 3 to 4 hours on average for my personal work and that all depends on how busy I ma with other clients as I like to get rid of my tasks before I tackle my own ideas, i am very passionate about my own ideas so I guess i look at it as work before play sort of thing, I don’t have a specific time of day.

    I should add that I get up at 6am and work all day, with moments of thinking time I call it, and I go to bed at 11:30 or 12 pm. I usually try not to do any work on weekends I use that time to reboot, so Friday maybe around midday or 3 pm I stop working and have a drink.

    Rest on the weekends, not sitting around dong nothing of course…just doing other things or relaxing my mind thinking about a lot of ideas or processing new information.

    So considering all that time, I usually take a break and do something different to keep the mind active and fresh, which could be my own projects or an entirely different idea.

    My apologies for the length, but I hope it helps, we all have different routines or approaches after all.

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  4. Hello Ryan

    I do my side business 2 hrs after work weekends and holidays

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  5. Evenings!I’m not a morning person and I get a lot of traffic jam in the morning commuting if I leave to work at normal hours. So I’d rather go to work early and leave earlier. I have more time in the evenings, when I’m more creative, and fell less time constraint.

    Reply
  6. I split up my time like Ian. In the morning from 7:30 to 8:15 am I check my business email before I leave for work. If I get through the email, I review my schedule and what I need to do on my projects.

    During my lunch hour at work, I try to get one thing done like schedule social media posts or work on a proposal.

    In the evenings from about 8:00 to 11:00 pm, I work on my projects. Weekends are for updating financials and administrative tasks and developing new business development.

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  7. I work on side gigs during my lunch hour from 11:30-12:30 and sometimes in the early morning hours.

    I pick this time because mornings for me are mostly dedicated to exercise, planning, journaling, meditation, and getting five kids out the door for school. I work a full time job and spend family time and volunteer hours in the evenings and weekends.

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  8. I work 5:30-5:30 3-4 days per week so I have 1-2 entire days to work on my own projects. I ‘sleep in’ on these days, waking up at 6 and putting in a solid 10 hours or more.

    I’m a morning person but can work anytime I have a few hours free.

    Weekends are for family, but I’ll sometimes do testing or admin work if my fiance is busy with something else too.

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  9. I am a full time working mum of three so by the time my motherly duties are done side-hustling starts at 10pmish for me and normally ends between 1-2am. And also on the weekends when a good number of my orders come in. I bake and decorate cakes as a sideline business kind of thing which started as a hobby and is now practically getting me by when my salary just cant cut it. I live in the Solomon Islands and the standard of living is drastically high but the incentives dont really match up to it so a mum just gotta do what she can do. I really find your emails and surveys such an inspiring read. Although i dont participate in all your surveys I do enjoy receiving your updates.

    Sharon
    From the happy isles

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  10. I don’t have a fixed schedule, which is something I’m thinking I should do.
    When I work, it’s usually in the afternoons or nights, after my day job, of course.

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  11. I start anywhere from 8-9.30pm, sometimes later. Mostly i only work on it for an hour or so. I find my brain, for some weird reason, is in the perfect strategic mode at that time of night – trust me, it isnt always a good thing!

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  12. When do I work? Usually about 2.5 hours total on weekdays 7-9pm and 5 hours total between Saturday and Sunday (Sundays are my most consistent couple of hours I get a week).

    When would I like to work? An hour a day before work (6-7am). Much less distracted time and then it’s done for the day. The problem is being on eastern time if there’s a sports game or anything I want to watch the night before, it can easily go until 11pm or midnight. That throws me off my schedule of getting up early. I go with evenings because I can be more consistent on fitting it in without getting thrown off the habit.

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  13. Like others, my options are limited due to kids, wife, and fulltime job. I’ll typically do short tasks like responding to customer emails in the evening/night, say after 9pm. If I need to really get some good work done, early morning, like you said, works best for me. If I plan out what I’m going to work on the night before, then get up at 3 or 4am, I can be super productive at that time. If the task at hand requires creativity, then I’ve found that a late night started off with a coffee and a beer seems to work well ☕️??.

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  14. I work on my side gigs after work nearly every day. A lot of times I schedule meetings with clients or leads over lunch, so technically I am working then as well. If I am able to, I will work on my side gig in the morning before work…but I don’t always have the mental determination to get out of the bed every morning. Weekends also are a great time for me to get a lot of work done. My weekends do fill up quickly with life, but I try to get at minimum a couple of hours every weekend with a goal of 10 to 12 hours on the weekend.

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  15. I pretty much spend all my time that I am not working my real job…working on my business. I had to set some boundaries because I was living at my lap top…..now I force myself to go for walks and take breaks.

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  16. I work on my side business/brainstorming in the early evening hours or early mornings and part of the weekend.

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  17. Side work is done in the evenings. Any direct work with customers is in the evening between about 6 and 8pm, and other work after my son is in bed, after 8:30 pm or so. Weekends can also be catch up time.

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  18. I work on my projects between 4am to 7am,that’s when am sharp mentally, then commute to work to grab the day

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