Staying motivated when you work 9 to 5, and 5 to 9

motivate yourself keep working

Let’s be real for a moment, working a full time job can be completely exhausting. Regardless of what you do or how much you love your job, we all have those days that we crave 5pm to hit and welcome happy hour with open arms. After 8 (or often more) hours of nonstop focus, working and mental strain, 5pm is usually the signal that it’s time to stop, relax and unwind.

Unless, of course, you’re also working on a side hustle, like a blog or small business.

When I know I have comments to go through, social media to schedule or posts and photos to revise and edit, 5pm seems more like the start to another work day instead of the end of one. I know I’m not the only one balancing this!

Staying motivate to use those last evening hours to get work done can be difficult. Curling into bed and binge watching your favorite show likely seems more appealing than emails or scheduling after a full days work.

Here are some small things that keep me motivated to keep working while balancing my 9 to 5 and my 5 to 9.

Reflect on your goals often

We all get tired and burnt out at time. It’s so important to constantly be reminded of why we started, and what we’re working so hard for. Whether you plan to take your side hustle full time or if it just adds a little extra light to your days, remind yourself of your why as often as possible.

I tend to write it out in my planner each week as a reminder.

Give yourself after hours, hours

Going home and knowing that you just have tons to do can be overwhelming to the point that you do nothing at all. Instead, try giving yourself after hours, hours. Meaning, you set in advance the times that you’ll be working after your full time gig to help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s always easier for me to sit down and focus when I know I only have two or three scheduled hours of work until I can enjoy some free time.

Talk about what you’re working on

I know it can be nerve wracking to share our passion projects with the world, but it does wonders for our motivation! Find a friend or a few friends who will be excited to watch you light up as you talk about this thing you love so much. Being able to share what you do helps ensure that your spark doesn’t burn out, and will make you excited to get to work each day.

Get enough sleep

Sleep impacts so many things that we want to do. When you’re exhausted, coming home after a long day at work to focus on your side hustle just isn’t going to happen. Make sure you’re giving your body time to reset and recover at the end of the day so that you have the energy you need to keep working.

Take time off

Absence makes the heart grow fonder in everything we do. If you’re constantly working on your side hustle, eventually it just becomes more work and less of a joy. Be sure to take time to enjoy the other elements of what you do: like reading other blogs or supporting other small and creative businesses.

It’s all about replenishment!

If you’re working a 9 to 5 and a 5 to 9 right now, what do you do to keep yourself motivated to keep working, when it’s easier to just slack or give up? I’d love to hear how we’re all working through the struggle!

Oh – and a reminder that I’ll be answering all of your questions in an upcoming q +a post, so ask away!

image credit // the everygirl

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  1. I love what you said about reflecting on goals, especially the mantra of remembering why you started. It reminds me of Laura Simms’ blog post in which she talks about how purpose fuels us in a way that passion can’t. I’m working a 9-5 this summer for 10 weeks, and afterwards I usually go to a coffee shop and catch up with the blogosphere and also do stuff for my blog. It’s more of a hobby than a side-job though, and it’s a lot of fun for me, so I haven’t needed to worry about staying motivated (yet); blogging is my down-time! This will probably change when school starts again though. Usually I’m able to stay motivated with blogging because it is a public thing and I have readers and friends who I feel like keep me accountable. I often talk about what I’m working on with my friends, and that definitely helps 🙂 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • The best part about having your after work activities be just a hobby is that there’s no pressure to it. It’s great that blogging helps you relax after work!

  2. Love this post! Especially the point about reflecting on goals, I think that’ll be such a beneficial thing to do, great way to motivate in any aspect of life to be honest.

    • Reflection definitely keeps me motivated!

  3. This post… I needed it desperately. After hours, hours. Yes!

    • So glad it was helpful!

  4. See, I think my biggest problem is not getting enough sleep. Which is why I’m up right now at 1AM when I need to be sleeping so I’ll have a good day at work tomorrow. Another problem of mine is when I get home, all I want to do is relax instead of working on something else. I know this is something I need to improve, especially since I’m in the process of setting a new set of goals. I just can’t seem to keep my energy levels up when I clock out for the day.

    I’m working on it though.

    • It’s a hard balance to strike. I definitely don’t get it right every day, but once you find a flow that works for you it definitely gets a little easier. Maybe try giving yourself an hour or so to relax before diving back into more work? And definitely allow time for sleep, so important!

  5. i love ur messages. they really do motivate me. am an entrepreneur..but my problem is that i do procrastinate . i always do things at d last minute and is not healthy for business.

    • That is so awesome and sweet of you to say! I’m glad to be helpful however I can 🙂

  6. I wish I read this post when I was working. It can be so hard. Several times I caught myself taking a nap woke up and it’s time to go to work lol.