How to balance freelancing and family life
Freelancing can be the most rewarding way to work, which is of course why so many of us choose to be an entrepreneur and build a business. However, it can also seem like we are continually chasing ourselves and finding it hard to create a happy medium between family and work. So just how do we balance freelancing and family life.
Build a Schedule
If you want to make sure that you have the right balance you need to do some planning. Decide what hours you can realistically work and block those out, the rest of the time is family time, and you need to try and stick to the separation between the two. For some people one block of work a day is the best solution, for others work gets scattered into chunks that fit neatly between things like school runs, bedtimes and meal times. It is all about assessing your day and deciding what you can fit where.
Have a Back-up
So, while a schedule seems fine in principle, we all know how easy it is for things to change. A child off school sick, an appointment with the doctor, there is any number of things that can upset the balance. The way many people overcome this is to have a contingency plan. Whether that means giving up a night off to catch up or having to message clients to ask for more time, having a plan in place means you will be less stressed if the worst happens.
There is no point cramming your schedule so full you become a screaming wreck in the corner. It is essential that you set realistic targets when it comes to working. Many clients will happily wait for work as long as you keep them in the loop. Asking for a realistic deadline, not enforcing your own ideas makes more sense. Naturally, clients will want their work doing promptly, but if you have set a 24-hour goal when a client would be happy to wait three days, you will be able to better plan and prioritise work. Sometimes you will have to say no, but that is ok.
Ditch the Small Stuff
Hands up who has a cleaner? Domestic tasks are something that many parent entrepreneurs end up outsourcing. The simple fact is work and kids are your priority, and you can earn more in an hour than you would pay the lovely lady who pops in three times a week to help with the housework.
She does a better job than you do and you can rest easy knowing that it will all be done. Consider creating carpools with other parents if after-school activities are taking up chunks of time each week. That way you can do one a month rather than one a week and save yourself some time. Anything that you want to get rid of to free your time is a consideration. Far from feeling guilty, you should feel proud of yourself for finding a more efficient and effective way to get these things done.