For most people, when the clock strikes 5pm it’s quitting time. When you work a second job, it’s time to refocus and prepare for working for the rest of the night. The truth is, working one job doesn’t always cut it. Some households rely on a second income to make ends meet. When you have a part-time work from home job and a nine to five, it can be difficult to keep up with your responsibilities and find the right balance between fulfilling your commitment to both jobs without losing your mind.

Check out these simple tips for successfully balancing your regular job and your work from home gig:

1. Be Sure to Plan Your Week Ahead of Time

One of the best things you can do for yourself when you have a lot of commitments is to keep a close eye on your schedule. Unexpected events can easily pop up and ruin your productivity. What’s the solution? Try taking some time each weekend to focus on the things you must do in the upcoming week.

Perhaps there’s a company event or happy hour you want to attend on Friday night, and you’ll need to shift some of your work at home gigs to a weekend night or another day of the week. Also, once you’ve figured out how you are going to tackle your workload, you’ll be able to decline any invitations that pop out during the week that you didn’t plan for.

2. Determine Your Earning Goals

Whether you work as a remote customer service agent or you’re a freelance writer, the great thing about working from home is that most gigs offer great flexibility. Figure out how much extra money you need a month to run your household or pay off your debt and only work the hours you need to reach your goals. This will help free up more time for relaxing and spending time with family and friends.

3. Ditch the All Work And No Play Attitude

It’s easy to get stuck in grind mode especially when you’re fortunate enough to be able to earn money right from the comfort of your home. But you’ll need at least one full day off during the week to rest and recharge. When you have a work at home job, it’s easy to get caught up in working on a project when you have the day off.  Whether it’s watching a Friends marathon or baking cookies, it’s important to find time to do the things that you love. It’s the only way you’ll keep your sanity.

4. Don’t Think About Work on Your Day Off

When you are juggling two jobs, your mind is most likely always centered around working, whether it’s worrying about expense reports or how much time it’s going to take you to finish a freelance project before you can start the next one. It’s easy to let your mind take over on your day off and there’s no magic cure to stop it from happening. 

If you find that you’re really anxious about what you have to do and what you’ve actually managed to get done, consider making a list of all the tasks you have to do and check off the ones you’ve successfully completed. This reinforces in your mind that you’ve actually taken care of your responsibilities. Once you are assured that you have taken care of what needs to be done, try to relax your mind by doing something you love to do. Turn off your work phone and shut down your computer so that you don’t have constant access to work.

5. Come Up with Quick Fixes for Normal Life Tasks

When work takes over, it’s easy to forget about the normal things that help you lead a healthy and balanced life, like working out regularly or cooking dinner. When you’re working a second or third shift, doing such normality’s can become increasingly difficult.  What should you do? Since staying active is important, you can find ways to get in a quick workout throughout your working day.

For instance, instead of taking the elevator to your floor at work, consider using the staircase or taking a walk during your lunch hour. Maybe you can squeeze in a quick workout with a thirty-minute workout video.

There’s also a number of ways you can simplify your cooking routine. You can meal prep on the weekends when you have some extra time. Preparing and freezing your meals for the entire week can make things much more efficient because all you have to do is pop your meals into the microwave when you get home from work.

Crock-pot meals are also fast and easy to make. All you have to do is throw a bunch of ingredients into the pot and it’ll be ready to eat by the time you make it home from your first job. Making triple batches of your family meals is also another great option because you eat off leftovers for days.

6. Learn to Say No to Time Wasters

When your second job is at home, it’s relatively easy to take on other unimportant tasks or veer from the weekly schedule you’ve created for yourself. A one-hour detour from your schedule may not seem like a big deal but when you realize how much work you’ve missed during that chunk of time, you’ll be angry at yourself. Also, detours can throw off your entire schedule and before you know it you haven’t tackled any of your projects. What’s the solution? Be committed to sticking to the things you have to prioritize and say no to time wasters who eat into your important tasks.

When you have your end goal in clear sight, you’ll be motivated to see both of your jobs through. Whether you’re working a work from home job to pay off a debt, save for a car and help start your own business, when you know what you’re doing it for, you’ll look at your jobs as a means to an end.