For 9-5'ers

Turning Your Lunch Break Into A Productive Side Hustle Power Hour

November 16, 2022

Discover how to make your 9-5 lunch break the best working hour for your side hustle. Swipe my free To-Do Planning Sheets to get started!

I'm AMY!

Hello! I’m Amy and I love helping ambitious people turn their big ideas into sustainable and enriching side hustles. I'm also a blogger, podcaster, food photographer, niche strategist, and business coach.

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Learn How To Make Your Lunch Break Productive For Your Business

There are only so many hours in a day and for a side hustler, this can add a lot of stress for when thinking about how to move the needle. You work 9-5 (let’s be real, 8 or even 7-5) and growing a side hustle while doing so is challenging. Especially when you’re just trying to find the time. However, this doesn’t need to be the case. Your lunch break can actually serve as a productive (and enjoyable) working hour for your side hustle.

What Working On Your Side Hustle During Your Lunch Break Can Actually Look Like

Using your lunch break to work on your side hustle doesn’t need to look intense or stressful. You can actually reserve this hour to work on fun and enjoyable tasks that you know you can knock out in 60-minutes. Ask yourself what mindset you’re usually in at work and what side hustle tasks can more easily be incorporated into your day when you sneak off at lunch time.

By working on your side hustle during your lunch break, you can not only make more progress but perhaps feel more excited and rewarded. Breaking your 9-5 days up with working on your business can help remind you of your goals and add a bit more joy to the workday.

To get you started on making your lunch break your most exciting and productive side hustle power hours, I have a few tips listed below. You can also use my free To-Do Planning sheets here to help organize these side hustle power hours even more. Let’s dive in!

Find A Remote Area

The first thing you want to be when converting your 9-5 lunch break into a side hustle working hour is to find a remote space. Be sure this is somewhere that won’t feel distracting or disruptive. Find an area your body is comfortable in and where your mind can open up.

I recommend testing a few areas before committing to one. Keep in mind your area may change over time with the seasons, work schedules, or your personal workflow. Consider places like your career, break rooms, nearby parks or libraries, or in an outside break area on the work site.

Turn Off Distractions

The next tip for turning your lunch break into a productive working hour for your side hustle is to turn off and eliminate distractions. This is key. One of the most common reasons you struggle to finish tasks at hand is distractions. Mostly from your cell phone. As scary as it may feel, turn on Do No Disturb mode on your phone while you work during lunch. Trust me, your side hustle will thank you later.

For more tips on turning off distractions or balancing side hustle work around your 9-5, check out these posts.

Have Your To-Do List Prepared

When working on your side hustling during your lunch break, be sure to have your to-do list prepared beforehand. You can do this the night before, the morning of, or at the end of your last working session. Knowing what you’re working on before you start will save you time. Plus, this helps to make you more efficient while working.

Organize your to-do lists with completion dates and how long it may take you to complete each task. This will help you choose which side hustle tasks are perfect for working on during your lunch break. Download my free To-Do Planning Sheets here to print out and use daily. These will help you prioritize projects and start having more organized days.

Set A Timer

Next, set a timer. Timers are a great way to stay on task. For me, they honestly hold fire under my feet in a way that makes me more productive without adding pressure to my workflow. You can set a timer on your phone. However, I recommend using a separate timer so you can put your phone away altogether. Out of sight, out of mind!

If you are serious about turning your 9-5 lunch break into a side hustle working hour, I recommend this $9 cube timer from Amazon. It’s small, easy to throw in your bag, and has various pre-set timers for 15, 20, 30, and 60 minutes that activate as soon as you flip it. These shorter pre-set timers are perfect for side hustlers, fitting in work where we can.

Packing Your Lunch

This tip may be oversimplified. However, it’s worth mentioning. When you use your lunch break to work on your side hustle, do not skip lunch. Never prioritize work over nutrition. In fact, you should only use your lunch breaks as working hours if you feel like you have the mental space for it. Otherwise, remember taking an hour of rest and eating is just as value-added.

However, if working lunches are conducive to your current lifestyle, don’t forget the actual lunch. Bring yourself back to grade school days and start packing your lunch. That’s right, lunch box and all. Packing your lunch can actually save you a lot of time when you sit down to work on your business. Explore a grown-up lunch box like this or a Bento Box to get really organized.

Ending Your Power Hour

Be sure not to overlook how to end your side hustle lunch break power hour. Ending your working session is just as important as beginning your work session. After all, you want to return to work feeling accomplished and satisfied. To do this, you need a clean cut-off point. The last thing you want to do is to return to work late, frustrated or leave your side hustle business in a bad place.

The timer is key here. Perhaps set a 5-minute warning timer as well. This will allow you to begin shutting work down and getting to stopping points. You want to avoid shutting the laptop mid-sentence.

If you can, take the last few minutes of your side hustle work session and write out a new to-do list or revisit your working list. Cross off what you accomplished and gain clarity about what is outstanding, how much time outstanding tasks take, and when to pick them up.

Small organization details like this can pay off big-time for your side hustle. Check out more business organization tips here if you’re into it.

Getting Started

Are you ready to make your lunch break the new power hour? I hear ya! And you can do it! Use this time that you have to devote to your side hustle business. You may even surprise yourself by how much you get done in one hour and what these working lunches really add up to by the end of the week.

Here are some tangible takeaways for how you can get started today:

  • Find the perfect working spot
  • Create your schedule for what days are side hustle working lunches
  • Go on Do Not Disturb mode (but actually)
  • Have your to-do list prepared ahead of time (download my free to-do lists here)
  • Set a timer
  • Pack your lunch
  • End your work session well

It would be amazing if we could work on your side hustle businesses anytime we wanted. However, we wouldn’t be true side hustlers. Side hustling can be tough. However, it makes you flexible, thrifty with time, and highly aware of efficiency. So explore lunch break working hours for yourself and see how they can pay off for your side hustle.


Download my Free To-Do Planning Sheets here >

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