Freelancing and parenting on their own are two extremely challenging activities. But when you’ve got to combine both freelancing and parenting this challenge can turn into an uphill battle.
With running my own business, I am having the time of my life doing my own thing from home and making money. But I must admit that juggling both working from home and parenting 2 under 5 has its fair share of challenges especially when it came to managing my time.
As always, I’m here to share my tips with you. For all the parents who are freelancers out there, if you’re finding it difficult to create time for freelancing because you’re swamped with parenting, here are some tips for you.
Steer clear of anything that will distract you
Scrolling through social media, watching TV or flipping through magazines may be harmless at first glance. However they can take away your precious time. Time is limited and so you need to clear away anything that has the potential of eating up your time.
Limit the time you spend on social media. Commit to using it only three times a day for a short period of time. Keep your phone away while you’re working.
Getting rid of distractions also involves you informing your family members of your working hours. During these times you should not be disturbed unless there is an emergency. Setting such boundaries will ensure you have uninterrupted time to work.
Build your schedule around your children
Although it may seem from the outside that taking care of children could take up all of your time, it will interest you to know that there are little pockets of time you can leverage on to have some work done. A good example is nap time. Nap times are ideal for you to finish a freelance project or two. You can also work when your child falls asleep at night. Since my kids started reception, I now do 85% of my work while they are at school and 15% at night when they are asleep. I hardly work weekends these days and when I do, I make sure to do my work when they are in bed.
Do your kids have activities that keep them busy? Use that time to work as well. On school days, when the kids are not at home, you can focus on your freelance work.
Locate short batches of time
Most freelancers feel that it is practically impossible to have work done in less than an hour. Some even think that they have no time to work unless they have long stretches of time to work on their freelance projects.
The truth is that you can get work done when it’s broken down into smaller batches of time. For example the 10 minutes you spend reading the newspaper at the breakfast table could be used to do some research for an article that you have to submit to a client. The 20 minutes you spend waiting for your kids at the parking lot for them to close from school could be used to send emails to prospective clients.
When you look hard enough you will find a few minutes here and there to get some work done.
Set your priorities
Having time to balance work and parenting requires you to set your priorities right. Sometimes we engage in activities that only take our minds from our work and parenting.
When you set aside time to work or spend time with your kids you need to make sure that it’s non-negotiable. Don’t allow anything or anyone to steal into the time you allocated. This may be a little challenging but with practice you’ll get it right. All it requires is for you to remain focused.
Do you freelance and parent? How does it work for you? Please share your tried and tested tips in the comments section below.