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Thinking About Moonlighting? Our Tips for Balancing Multiple Jobs

Many people balance two (and even three) jobs ­- and there are numerous reasons you may decide to be one of them. Perhaps you want extra money to pay off student loans, build up your savings account or buy a house. If the one job you have now is only part-time, a second job may be necessary to help you make ends meet. There are also the opportunities a second job might bring, such as increasing your experience, adding skills or the chance to explore work in another industry. If you’re thinking of starting a business, you may initially keep your current job and use your off-time to get the business off the ground, creating a second job for yourself.

Regardless of the reason, committing to multiple jobs and extending your work day from nine-to-five to morning-to-night can have a major impact on both your personal and professional lives. It’s important that you devise strategies to minimize that impact.

Below are our tips for maintaining a work-life balance, managing your time and keeping your sanity when working multiple jobs.

Watch Your Health

You already know that you need to be active and eat and sleep well to maintain good health. When working multiple jobs, your physical well-being becomes even more important, as you need to have the energy and mental sharpness to perform at optimum levels throughout your long work day. Try to focus on these important behaviors:

Get Exercise Whenever Possible
You need to be in good physical shape to maintain stamina and keep up with the demands of working multiple jobs. If you can’t fit in a regular workout routine, find ways to get in some exercise each day, even if it’s just walking to lunch, parking your car at the farthest end of a parking lot or taking the stairs. There are also quick, 15-minute exercise routines you can find online. Getting your heart pumping and breathing in fresh oxygen will do wonders for your mental health, too.

Get Your Beauty Sleep
If you’re working a full shift for one job during the day and then going to a second job in the evening, you are probably getting to bed late at night, then getting up early the next morning to do it all over again. With multiple jobs, it’s even more important to be rested and get at least 6-8 hours of sleep each day. If there is a break between your jobs, try taking a power nap, if possible. Going to bed soon after you arrive home at night and avoiding the TV and your devices will be key to being able to fall asleep right away. Help yourself wind down by meditating, enjoying some warm milk or decaffeinated tea and creating a relaxing environment that includes soothing music. 

Eat Nourishing Foods
It’s easy to resort to eating fast (typically unhealthy) foods when you’re working non-stop and don’t have time to prepare meals. Make crock pot dinners that you assemble in the morning and are ready when you go home between your jobs or at the end of the day. You can also make casseroles or large batches of your favorite dishes on the weekend so you have leftovers to eat on the run during the week. When packing up meals for the workday, include healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts and yogurt.

Watch Your Stress Level

When you take on multiple jobs, there is going to be a certain amount of added stress. You may want to explore stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, yoga and, of course, exercise. It’s also important that you strive to keep a positive attitude and embrace the new busy pace as your new normal. Try to make the most of the situation by viewing it as a learning and character-building experience, but most of all, keep the stress under control by setting schedule expectations with your employers, managing your time closely and getting plenty of rest, nourishment and exercise.

Keep Your Jobs Close to Home

With all the time your multiple jobs will be taking up, you don’t want to be spending even more time commuting to, from and between the jobs. If possible, try to keep the jobs close enough to each other and to your home that you aren’t losing even more personal time to dealing with the frustrations that can come with a long commute. This will also help to keep your stress level down.

Be Transparent and Set Boundaries With Your Employers

To manage expectations, you want to let each of your bosses know about your other job(s) and what your schedule is with the other employer(s). By being upfront, you increase your chances they will try to accommodate you. With your second job, you want to be clear about your availability and what time your shift can start and must end. It’s important to set boundaries so that if possible, you have at least a 1-2 hour break between jobs and don’t overwork yourself to the point of burnout.

Keep Yourself Organized

Taking care of personal matters as well as professional obligations can be a challenge when you are working most of the time. That’s why you want to organize your time by keeping a planner, calendar or task management app in which you can outline tasks, errands and appointments. Begin each week by taking a look at your to-do lists for both home and work, then prioritizing and determining where each item fits into your calendar that week. Some clever maneuvering may be required, but hopefully you can fit in your personal to-dos before work, on your way to and from work, between your jobs or on your lunch break. When you have the full schedule of activities that come with juggling two or more jobs, plus your personal life, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of everything you have on your plate.

Take at Least One Full Day Off Each Week

When working two or more jobs, it can be easy to forget to take time for yourself and stay connected to the people in your life. For your mental well-being and life balance, you need a full day off occasionally, so make sure to arrange your work schedules to accommodate that. Take that day to totally disengage from your jobs and relax, have some fun, see family and friends, and have some general “Me” time.

Treat Yourself On Occasion

You are working hard and making money, so why not treat yourself to something special once in a while? Go out to a nice restaurant, buy that outfit you’ve had your eye on, or get a much-needed spa treatment. It will go a long toward boosting your morale and encouraging you to keep up the hard work.

In conclusion, to further avoid burnout from working multiple jobs, try to make sure the jobs are doing more than helping you improve your financial status. You want them to be professionally and personally rewarding as well, either by providing you a way to build skills or experience, explore an interest or build your network. Whatever you are hoping to accomplish, remember that the extra job(s) are a means to an end. Having the knowledge that you’re getting closer to that end goal and won’t have to continue the extra work forever should help to keep you going.

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