Why is sideline getting in the way of the full time job?


As OFWs, we thought of our sideline as a transition job when we finally return home. It could be the next full time job. It could be a test of the water for the eventual startup or even a freelancing job. It may not pay that much (at first) but is also another source of additional income.


More often than not, these side gigs are our “other passion” or “if money is not an issue, this is the thing that I’ll do”. We all need a channel for our creative streak, and sideline could well be its platform.


The thing is, it is a commitment. You may have made a head way, made progress in this line of job and it proved to be worth-pursuing. It is just that somewhere along the way, a conflict in the schedule or that the side gig starts to take more time than you have initially thought it would.


We said from the start that the full time job will always be the priority. Sidelines will only be after office hours. After all, the full time job pays the bill. But in the real world, that’s not how it always is. Somewhere along the way, the full time job gets in the way of the other job or the other way around.


What work-life balance?


Here’s how to make the best of both worlds.


Respect work hours.



With all the stress and demands of the full time job, by the time you are off from work, you are already exhausted and do not have the energy to do more tasks. It takes mind conditioning and compartmentalization of thoughts to be able to perform well in both. Do the eight-to-five work at its place. It could be in the office, at the construction site or at the ward, depending on your occupation. Focus on what you do. Do not think about the side gig while at it. Do not worry about the ingredients for the cupcake that you will need in the next catering event or the revision that your client wants you to do on the architectural plan you showed him. You think about those things after work when you are in sideline mode. Put your mind where your body is. It will save you more energy fidgeting on something that you cannot take action at the moment.


In the same breath, do not think about your (full time) work when doing your personal project.


Keep a notebook or a list handy.



The palest ink is better than our memory. When something crosses your mind, like a brilliant idea on what your next article would be for your blog, jot it down in your notebook and keep it out of your mind. Go back to what you are doing. The moment you wrote it down, it ceases to occupy a mental space in your brain. You will be confident knowing that you can go back to it, when you are in your creative/sideline mode. The Notes in your Android phone may also do the function.


Respect designated work places.



Places dictate the work to be done as well as the level of mental alertness required. You cannot be sluggish and listless if you are assigned at the ER or at the construction site.  While at work, you give what is required of you. Designate also a place to do your side gig. If it’s your kitchen, keep it equipped with the necessary tools. Do not edit your photos from your photography side project in the office. Do it in your personal PC or laptop at home which has the required software. Even your laptop used for personal projects should be in a place where you regularly do your projects. It helps set the mode.  You will be more efficient, relax and creative, knowing that you are at the right place. More important, you will not be caught doing something not related to your tasks at work, which as we all know, is a violation of our contract as OFWs.


Take a day off.



Since our body cannot be in two places at the same time, then something has to give. Call in sick. Or take a day off from work. It will do you good. Give your colleague a chance to appreciate the things that you do. Or better yet, let your boss realize your importance and contribution at work. It happens when you are not around. Don’t feel sorry. It will be deducted from your leave credits (if call sick is already exhausted). Equally important, don’t squander the day either. Do what needs to be done.


Warning: Do this only do this when needed.


In the end, it is all about time management and prioritizing the tasks at hand. Remember to keep them separated, both the time and resources.


Contributor: Daniel Presnilla

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