Let’s start with your side hustle—or hustles—what do you put time into after hours?

I’m a graphic designer, painter, illustrator, and creator. Outside of my full-time design job and side-projects that I do for friends and small businesses, I recently realized how much creative work I have floating around on my computer desktop (and literal desktop). I’ve started an Instagram page to publish some of my favorites, and turned a few into prints and merchandise that people can buy online. It has been so much fun, but a lot of work in addition to producing the art itself!

How do you make sure you stay motivated after you’ve had a long day, or if you just don’t feel like you have any energy left in the tank?

Even when I have particularly exhausting days, it brings me so much joy when I put in the extra time to further my passions. It could be a quick twenty minutes or two hours–either way, I treat it as a form of self-care.

Are there any habits or practices that have been crucial to you finding time and energy for your passion projects?

I think it stems from my mindset. I don’t just “make time” for my hobbies and side projects–they are absolutely essential to who I am. I also make sure not to fall into the trap of measuring my success by followers or likes online. Staying away from that is the best thing I can do.

Turning your dreams into a side business is often romanticized. What’s the biggest misconception you’ve encountered about following your passions on the side?

I think “Instagram vs. Reality” really captures some of the misconceptions well. On Instagram, I draw cute plants, write cheeky phrases, and swirl around watercolors. In reality, I am helping start-ups and nonprofits establish their brands, strategizing on how to design around specific themes for events, and building design identities. It’s hard work, and it isn’t always pretty.

The other misconception I’ve discovered is the divide between having a “real job” or “career” and a side hustle. It doesn’t have to be one versus the other. The more I create during time outside of work, the sharper my skills become.

What about the biggest hidden gem? Or benefit that you didn’t see coming?

Confidence! I feel so much more in my element, and without that, I don’t think I could have taken the next step into bringing my work to life in an online store and through social media.

Could you run through a typical day (or at a high-level, week) to give us a sense of how you schedule out your time?

During the week, I squeeze in time early in the morning or after work for more of the groundwork-type tasks that I need to tackle. That’s when I’ll set up how the project will be managed, expectations, inspirations, etc. Then, during the weekend, I can make it happen!

What are your essential tools, apps, or practices (i.e. keeping a gratitude journal), for getting the most out of your day?

Staying connected to people is definitely the best way for me to feel productive. Some of the best ideas come out of the most unexpected conversations, and I am so thankful for those I have met and the support they have given me throughout this experience. I am excited for what the future brings!

Read what Lauren carries in her bag to stay energized and productive; hint: caffeine pills


After Hours: #200mg of Throttle with Meghan

See how Meghan makes it all happen in After Hours, our showcase of creators whose hustle mentality takes them from profession to passion. Got a side hustle? Share it with us on social media (@nodoz_200mg). Wanna see how NoDoz stacks up to other forms of caffeine? Check out our caffeine comparison tool!


After Hours: #200mgof Grit with Joe DeFranco

“While most people live for the weekend, I live for every day.” See how Joe’s passion and gratitude fuel his positivity in After Hours, our showcase of creators whose hustle mentality takes them from profession to passion.

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