Bloggers, social media managers, and other small business owners. When you work from home and raising children, you know how tight the balance can sometimes be. Most people choose to be freelancers because they want to spend more time at home with their children.
So that you’re available if the school calls and needs you to pick your child up or so that someone can take them to school or to after school activities.
However, there can be a slight disconnect for many people about the dream that is projected online and reality.
While it is possible for you to take your family on a fantastic trip and work from that location – sometimes you just don’t have the time!
So then, how can you create a work-life balance? One that works for you, your business, and your children? It takes work, discipline, and a lot of flexibility. Let’s look at what it might look like.
One of the most beautiful things about blogging, freelancing, or running a small business (or all of them, is the flexibility. You can, in most cases, create a working schedule that makes sense for you and your family. But, you are going to have to make sure that you build it each week. If you are winging it most of the time, then that will become exhausting for you. Planning out when you are working and when you are relaxing, it will be beneficial.
One of the most critical things you can do is to look at your chronotype and circadian rhythm. This will give you the best time for you to do your best work. You can then build that into your schedule.
Remember that one of the reasons that you are freelancing is to give yourself that flexibility. Keep essentials in your diary, written ahead by a month: dentist appointments, when you can reorder your contraceptive online, school plays, and other necessities.
The feast and famine cycle isn’t uncommon in freelancing. Having too little and then too much can really throw the balance of what you do off. There might be months where you have more than you can handle. In those cases, you need to have some tools in place to help you manage both. As you grow your business or blog, you will need to accept some work over your usual load. Here are some of the most common things that can help:
- Virtual assistant – to manage admin, research, emails, calls, bookings, and more
- PM – if you have substantial projects and you need help managing them, freelance project managers are exceptional, or you can check out Asana, Monday, or Trello
- Social Media – if you don’t have time to set up campaigns and respond to comments and engagement, then hire someone to do it or work with software like Buffer, SproutSocial, or others.
Many smaller businesses will put off getting outside help, but this is usually an opportunity to help you grow and will bring in more income than it will cost. Repetitive tasks are prime for automatic tools and for assistants to help with.
Your workspace should be somewhere that you feel good and have for yourself. This will enable you to get in the zone to work. Working from your bed or your kitchen is only feasible for so long.
A co-working space is an excellent idea if you wish to work out of the house. If you prefer to work in your home, then looking for a small area that can accommodate a desk can be ideal. Even the smallest space, with minimal foot traffic, can make a huge difference in how you work.
An area of your home that is work only will enable you to get into the frame of mind to work once you sit at the desk—leaving you free to enjoy the rest of your home for relaxation.
There can be feelings of guilt when a parent who usually spends time with the children has to work, which is essential that your work is respected and supported. Of course, from time to time, you will feel torn. Your freelancing, blogging, and/or business can give you a sense of purpose and somewhere to put all of your creativity.
Try to understand why you are feeling guilty and how you can accept that your work is essential and should be respected.
A work-life balance can take some time to take a while to manage, but once you find it, you will thrive in all areas.