How to Love Your 9-5 Job (when you’re obsessed with your side hustle)

Scenario A – I love my job. It’s exciting. It’s creative. It’s community driven. It challenges me in all the right ways. I get to help people. It makes me happy just to think about it. In fact, I’m almost always thinking about it- in the best way possible.

Scenario B- I feel very meh about my job. It’s sometimes monotonous. It can feel pretty stagnant. It’s data driven. It helps the community, but sometimes I feel like I’m a one-woman show. It challenges me in ways that are only frustrating. It makes me anxious just to think about it. In fact, I’m almost always thinking about it – in the worst way possible.

For some people, Scenario A is their life. They love all aspects of their job(s). Their 9-5 is just as exciting as their side hustle. They find value, success, and happiness from both.

Unfortunately, I am not that person. And if you’re reading this, I’m assuming that you’re not either.

If you’re anything like me, your side hustle is your A+ game, and your 9-5 is barely passing with a C-. And girlfriend. You deserve much more than a C. (C’s do get degrees, but we’re striving for success here, ok?).

So my friend, let’s up the anti on your daily grind, shall we?

How to Love Your Job


Make it fun, make it festive

This one’s pretty simple, so let’s start off with a story to jazz things up.

One day a couple weeks ago I had to work from home in the morning. And it was freaking fabulous. My apartment is fully decked out for the holidays, so it feels warm, cozy, and inviting. I’m talking twinkle lights and candles kind of comfort. I was in my own personal version of heaven, and I was SO productive.

So what did I do when I got to work the next day? I made it similarly cozy! I put up a Christmas tree. I added string lights to my desk. I brought in some of my favorite candles. I started to play more soothing music.

And while it’s definitely not as fun and comforting as my own living room, it went a long way in making me feel like my 9-5 life could be cozy and not cold.

Related post // Quick and Easy Positivity Hacks


Change your scenery

Similarly to making your workspace cozy, try totally changing where you work. That’s one thing I love about digital side hustlin – it can be done anywhere. So I’ve adapted some of that to my 9-5. I try to work from home a couple mornings a month. We have a co-working space in my office building that I love to use. I even work in my coworker’s office sometimes.

Whatever you need to do to get something different – from going to a coffee shop to answering emails in a conference room – do it.


Don’t take breaks

You thought I was going to say take breaks didn’t you? Well sometimes I like to give unconventional advice. Here’s my reasoning: I went through a stage where I was taking too many breaks. I was so unhappy and frustrated by my work, that I started to walk away (which is healthy). But then I started walking away more often…and then I kept walking away (which is not healthy).

For me, when I power through my 9-5 – when I stay working and stay focused – I’m actually more productive. I don’t hate it as much, because I don’t give myself time to hate it. Should you still take breaks? Absolutely. Don’t run yourself dry. But also don’t let yourself walk away too often.

Don't take breaks (sometimes I like to give unconventional advice) >>> How to Love… Click To Tweet


Find or bring in people you love

I’m lucky to have a few coworkers that I can always count on to brighten my day. We have a lot of the same struggles, sense of humor, and outlook on life, and it’s great to have peeps who just get you.

But if you’re not lucky in that regard, bring in people who do care.

Set up an SOS system with your friends. When you text them a certain word or phrase, they know to send you a funny gif or some motivational words.

Bring in pictures of your family or loved ones.

Or set up a weekly call with your mom. I try to call my mom at least once a week on my way home from work, and just having that moment of connection goes helps me not want to scream at my co-workers.


Find success

Sometimes we’re lucky enough to find success at our jobs. But those of us who work jobs on the lower end of the totem pole, or define achievement in ways that are different from how our job defines achievement, we might need to create our own success.

How you might ask? Well by setting goals for yourself, and totally owning them! For instance, I feel the most successful when I get a lot of tasks done. The more I can check off my to-do list in a day, the better.

So I create multiple to-do lists in a week. One might be all the tasks I want to get done in the next 5 days. Another might be tasks for a specific project. And another might be my daily task list with 5 small items to get done that day. This might seem like a lot, but it 1) keeps me organized and 2) gives me multiple ways in a day to find success!

Tip to love your 9-5: remember that success doesn't have to be numbers driven! Click To Tweet

And remember: success doesn’t have to be numbers driven! Struggle with positivity at work? Then maybe make it a goal to smile at everyone you see in the office that day! Have issues with doing monotonous tasks? Make it your mission to spend 1 hour on the less than desirable activities.

Whatever goal you need to set to motivate you, do it girl!

Related post // How to Find Balance When You Feel Overwhelmed


Professionally + Personally Develop

So usually you do professional and personal development separately. Because let’s be real – your girl boss books or the most recent episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions Podcast probably aren’t helping you answer work emails. But what if you could combine them?

For instance, I work at a nonprofit in the fundraising department. Part of fundraising is knowing how to do some sales and marketing, which is also helpful for my side hustle. So while I might be on a webinar about sales in nonprofits, I’m probably also learning some basic skills that will help me sell an ebook or course!

Take a look at your work tasks. Are there any that relate (even remotely relate) to something you do for your side hustle? Capitalize on that and get two lessons for the price of one!

Get two lessons for the price of one by doing professional AND personal development! Click To Tweet


Side Hustle Bursts

If you just can’t go a work day without scratching the side hustle itch, then give yourself a few side hustle bursts throughout the day. Catch up on social media during your breaks. Check emails. Respond to comments on your recent post, or comment on some of your fav bloggers’ posts! Pop into your analytics and brush up on your stats.

Giving yourself these little bursts allows you to breaks up monotony in my 9-5 and gives you something to look forward to. It also keeps you feeling productive throughout the day, and helps maintain a work mindset without taking too much time away from your actual job tasks!

Related post // Girl Boss Gift Guide


Work the 9-5

If you don’t have a laptop, don’t have the ability to change your scenery, can’t do anything but the work you’re assigned…then girl I’m so sorry. But here’s my advice: go to your 9-5 and work for your side hustle. I’m not talking just go in and do your job. I’m talking *work* it like a catwalk. Remember the perks it does bring, even if they are small.

Put in the work so that you have some financial stability. Because then you can take those risks with your side hustle and know that if they don’t work out, you still have a stable income.

Work your 9-5 and know that it’s building character – perseverance, determination, and the uncanny ability to suck it up and do the damn thing. Those things will come in handy in that side hustle game.

Work the 9-5 and know that in a few hours, when the day is over, you can go do the job that you love – being the blogger, entrepreneur, writer, freelancer that you are.

Until next time,

P.S. Is your side hustle getting you down too? Then maybe you need a little inspo. Check out these these posts:

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  • Awesome post, girl! I don’t have a 9-5, but some of this even applies when you work from home! Some days I get so tired of sitting at my office desk, so I’ll grab a blanket and go work on the couch. I don’t do this often because sometimes it’s TOO comfy, but switching things up honestly makes all the difference!

    Good luck at your new job. I hope it brings you more joy 🙂

    Andrea |

    • Couch working is such a blessing and a curse haha! And thank you for the well wishes! I’m already loving it! 🙂

  • Michelle Williams

    Love these tips, this is some really good advice!

  • Sepideh

    So much good advice in this post Asha!!

    As someone who does NOT adore her 9-5 it’s been a mental exercise to not get discouraged and frustrated because I feel like I waste so much time at work when I’d rather be working on my side hustle. But changing that perspective has helped because I’m just wasting energy on being frustrated.

    Seppy |

  • Great post. I don’t have a full time job, but I am in college which I could argue is a part time job b/c I’m working on homework 15-20 hrs a week + classes. I’m glad that I’m on break now just as I’m about to launch my blog but I am a bit nervous for when I go back to school and have to juggle both HW + blog stuff. B/c honestly I love blogging over school. But obviously I have to keep school my higher priority, so HW will have to come first 🙁

    • I use the things I love as motivation! So if since you love blogging, use getting to write a post or working on your social media as your motivation to do your schoolwork. That’s how I get myself to the gym or finishing up those dreaded work emails – once I’m done I can blog haha!