How technology can help your side hustle

Side hustles without the hassle: how tech can work for you


Read our tips on how to get the most out of your side hustle by using technology

For most people, fish tanks are just part of the furniture. For Max Robinson, they’re a second income: as he explained to the Side Hustle School podcast, writing fish-tank reviews now makes him hundreds of pounds a month.

Max is just one of the growing number of Brits taking on a ‘side hustle’ outside their main jobs. More than 30% of full-time employees in the UK had some form of second job in 2022, and it’s 47% for 18-24 year-olds.

Side hustles can be passion projects, but also important extra income to help with the cost of living. A recent GoDaddy study claimed that the average British side hustler earns £18,200 a year, but 5% of them are making more than £100,000.

Land your idea


Fish tanks might be taken, but there are plenty of other potential hustles out there, and a few easy ways to help you find them.

Side Hustle School is one of the podcasts aiming to provide inspiration, with The Side Hustle Show another. There are also communities of side hustlers on YouTube and TikTok—in fact, videos using the #sidehustle hashtag on TikTok have gained billions of views.

You could even check out sites where people post jobs and find work like Taskrabbit, Upwork and Fiverr. They can also spark ideas for your side hustle with categories ranging from gardening and painting to blogging and assembling flat-pack furniture. Yes, even IKEA mastery can be a money-spinner.

Bolster your team with AI


Artificial Intelligence is one of the most talked-about technologies today, and conversational tools like ChatGPT can get more done in seconds than many offices manage to even think about on a Friday afternoon. You can use it to help you write email templates to customers, draft text for your website, and even analyse your sales data. A big caveat though: human input is still required. Don’t forget to review the output it generates for any inaccuracies or misinformation.

One side-hustler, Nicole Cueto, told CNBC how she taps ChatGPT to make money from planning tourists’ holidays. “I’ll type in, ‘Give me a budget-conscious guide to Paris that incorporates historical neighbourhoods where politicians lived in the 1880s’,” she said.

That’s a very specific use, but that’s the point: whatever your side hustle is, there’ll almost certainly be a way to use ChatGPT for help with it.

Create time for your side hustle


Side hustle success can be tricky to attain if you’re squeezing your new project around the demands of your day job, home life and a pressing need to binge the entirety of a Netflix series before someone posts a spoiler. But being smart about your time can actually free up hours you never knew you had.

A survey by training firm STL found that 68% of employees in the UK don’t use any kind of time management system to get organised. It’s not difficult to put yourself in the 32% who do, though.

Time blocking is a great technique to learn, dividing your day (alright, your evenings and weekends, given this is a side hustle) into blocks of time and then assigning tasks to each block so you know what you’re doing and when. And if you’re with EE, the reliable connection and coverage means you don’t have to be restricted to where you work either. Those in-between times can suddenly become your most valued.

Office 365 Calendar can make it even easier, as well as working with your to-do list. You can create new tasks from your Outlook inbox, by selecting ‘Task’ from the ‘New Items’ dropdown menu. Set the timeframe, and mark the status, priority level, and percentage completion of your task—which will then appear in your to-do list.

If time blocking doesn’t work for you, try time management strategies like the Pareto Principle (known as the 80/20 rule), which helps you to prioritise tasks and put your energy into focusing on those which are most productive.


Grow your side hustle with focus


Memes in the group chat. Urgent messages from your day-job boss who’s forgotten what ‘day’ means. An irresistible urge to dive down a YouTube rabbit hole of 1990s wrestling, giant dogs or spaghetti ASMR. The modern working world is full of potential distractions for a side hustler trying to keep their focus.

So streamline your workflow. Become a spreadsheet pro in Excel—it’ll help with everything from data entry to budgeting. Master design templates and keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft PowerPoint to save time, then practice pitching your services.

Silence notifications on your phone and use its ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature to clamp down on external distractions. Use Outlook’s Focused Inbox to help you to deal with your most important emails first, rather than get distracted by less pressing messages. The reality is, you’ll still need some hustle to make your side project a success, but get tech doing most of the hard work and you’ll have it ticking along nicely in no time.

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