How to Make Time for Your Side Project (Without Waking Up at 5 am)

Run your side project and work full-time without reducing your sleeping hours

Adrien Lemaire
4 min readOct 2, 2020


Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

A side project is a nice way to experiment with new things and to bring your ideas to life. Running a side project has several benefits and a study even shows that it makes people more helpful, collaborative, and creative. Some successful companies such as Instagram, Unsplash and GitHub started as side projects.

But after the initial excitement, finding the time and being consistent are major obstacles. Sure, you could wake up at 5 am (or even stop sleeping) like many articles suggest, but there are easier ways. You mainly need to be motivated by your project and ready to change a few habits.

I share 5 key points that allowed me to run my music blog for 8 years while working full-time.

1 — Find a purpose in what you do

Finding a purpose is the first condition to make time for a side project. If your project feels like a constraint, you won’t make time for it and procrastinate.

If you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll be looking forward to working on your project. And finding time for it will be easier.

This quote by David Hieartt is a perfect illustration of this point:

This is a Labour of Love. You provide the ‘Labour’. And you provide the ‘Love’. So when you spend time on it, it is because you really want to. That keeps you coming back and pushing it on. That’s important. This thing will require you to keep plugging away at it, maybe, for years. — David Hieartt — “Why side projects matter

2 — Use your time differently

Changing default habits is an efficient way to free up time. An example that everyone can relate to: how much time do you spend on social media every day? According to Hootsuite, the global average is 2 hours 22 minutes. By reducing this amount of time, especially the one spent browsing feeds randomly, you can find time for your side project.



Adrien Lemaire

Content Marketer — Music Blogger @DYLTS