There are a handful of reasons why someone might have multiple jobs, with the need for extra cash or an outlet to express themselves through a side project high up on the list.
Either way, running back and forth between part-time positions and events can be a huge stressor. If this is your lifestyle, here’s what to do to stay on top all your commitments.
1. Know what’s on the books this week
It’s best to be crystal clear on what’s in store so you can plan accordingly.
In an article for The Muse, Avery Augustine writes that if you don’t pay attention to when you have to work, “as well as your social calendar,” things you didn’t see coming can sabotage “your productivity.”
To help keep your priorities straight (and your sanity intact), take a few moments over the weekend to think through your schedule for the week. For example, maybe there’s a meeting or happy hour you want to attend on Wednesday night, so you’ll need to shift the majority of your evening work to Monday and Tuesday.
Augustine adds that planning things out will help you decide about last-minute obligations and say “no” if you have to, and that you will have the capacity to work “more efficiently” and squeeze in fun.
2. Get a handle on your money
Keeping up with what you’re making in more than one job takes attention to detail, but you can take specific measures to work toward fiscal stability.
A Monster article mentions how “financial discipline” is extremely important when you work for yourself. The article then continues, featuring advice from Sara Horowitz, founder and executive director of the Freelancers Union.
“A rule of thumb is for every dollar you take in, 60 cents goes into your checking and 40 cents goes into savings to pay your taxes,” she told Monster. “You should also look into low-cost group health insurance plans in your state.”
3. Remember, different jobs = different skills
Take comfort in the idea that having multiple jobs means more opportunities to hone your various crafts.
In a Huffington Post article, John Rampton writes that having positions of different natures “is great.” Since you aren’t repeating the same task at each one, you will “have more energy,” he writes.
One job will use a certain skill set and another job will use another. Even if you work both jobs in the same day, you’ll likely have much more energy than if you only did one job. Sometimes a mix of a physical job and a desk job is just the mix people need in order to work many hours in the day.
4. Be clear on when you’re free and when you’re not
Only you know how much time you have, so if you don’t want to give it all away, be strategic about your availability. In other words, you work hard, and don’t let people gobble up all your time.
In a Lifehacker article, Eric Ravenscraft replies to a reader who says that he’s just graduated college and is working 60 to 70 hours weekly at various part-time positions. The reader asks how to avoid “getting burned out” and crushing his potential for “a steady job” in the future.
One of Ravenscraft’s tips is to “set boundaries and stick to them,” writing about how both supervisors could “want all of your time,” so he has to choose how much to dedicate to each.
He later continues:
Wherever possible, decide your availability for one job and adapt the other around that schedule. Work one during a normal 9-5 shift and fill in the gaps with the other, or only do one on weekdays and save the other for weekends. If you’re more of a freelancer, make sure each of your managers know your boundaries and stick to them. If you can, you should also set aside at least one day a week where you work neither job.
Ravenscraft adds that setting aside time is crucial because it creates a middle of the week and an opportunity to tend to what “you need to at home.”
Staying focused on your schedule, thinking about what you’re gaining from each job, and taking ownership of your time and money are key to thriving under the pressure of working multiple positions.