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Finding the Time to Freelance and Parent

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.

 

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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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

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Working from home with the kiddies this summer holiday

The kiddies had their graduation ceremony from pre school last week, and are finally off to Big School this September. We are looking forward to the exciting changes, and we can’t wait but for now, it is the summer holidays. I work from home, so working during the day with the kiddies are around is always very tricky. I do most of my work when they are in school and when they are asleep. But with the 6 weeks summer holidays, I have to be able to do some work during the day.

I love the flexibility of my work and being able to care for my kids while making living. So since I am unable to take 6 weeks off work, I have to make this working from home thing work for the next 6 weeks. My business grows and grows every year. Which means I am a lot more busy this year, than I was last year, which means more work.

 

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So how do I plan to work from home this summer holiday, here are some ways –

 

Focus on what needs to be done

I am going to be focus on what needs to be done and make sure it is done. There won’t be any room for goofing around online when I am supposed to be working. Not that I do much of that, but with time being so precious these next few weeks, I will be focusing 100% on work while I work. There will be no room for distractions.

 

Plan my schedule

I will need to plan my schedule for the next few weeks in order to get work done quicker. Knowing what needs to be done well in advance helps me stay focused, which is why planning a schedule works extremely well. I don’t have to spend minutes/hours going through emails to decide on what needs to be done urgently.

 

Plan my outgoings

If you work for yourself, you have to keep an eye on your money. Keeping a watchful eye on my outgoings is very important especially in the next few weeks, as I can’t predict how much work I will be able to get done. Knowing where my money goes and having my money work hard for me is crucial. So no unnecessary spending this period. Like most families, we have important bills that need to be paid every month, like the mortgage, council tax, and other utility bills. Which means we have to watch every penny.

We own our home and that comes with a responsibility. Money needs to be set aside for unforeseen circumstances with regards to our home maintaimace. We have spent quite a few hundreds of pounds on home repairs already this year, which can be frustrating when money is tight. The only thing keeping me going is the fact that I know our home is definitely an investment, and every penny we spend on it goes towards our investment. Sunlife has a great calculator for home owners to check how much their property has increased in value.  I like to check the value of our home from time to time, just so I know money spent on home repairs and improvements are not in vain.

 

Do you work from home? Do you have kids? How will you be getting work done this summer holidays?

 

*Collaborative post.

 

 

 

How To Manage Time When Working From Home

Working from home can be very tricky if you suck at time management. Thanks to the social media, mobile phones, TVs and all the other distractions, which can make working from home a blessing or a curse, if you don’t know how to manage time. I have worked at home steady for over 3 years now. And I have learnt a few tricks on how to successfully work from home. It takes a lot of work to get it right but it is very possible to work from home, making good money.

 

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How To Manage Time When Working From Home

 

Have the right equipments

Working with the right equipment would save you time and money in the long run. I bought my Apple MacBook Pro last year and it has completely changed my working life. I don’t have to deal with the many issues I dealt with while using my old HP laptop. The old laptop was forever going off by itself, and I was forever putting it back on. It made my working life miserable. So I was happy to get rid of it for a better laptop. If you can afford to go Mac, I promise you will never go back!

I also got an iPad Pro with the keyboard some months ago, which has been very handy for when I need to work outside the house, without my MacBook Pro. Having the keyboard with the iPad means I can type faster. It has completely changed my life. My good old iPhone is also another smart gadget I use for work. It was like a breath of fresh air when I replaced my old Blackberry with the iPhone.

Having the right gadgets have changed my working life for the better. It makes working from home easier and faster.

 

Ignore the distractions

Ignoring the distractions is easy for me, which is why working from home works for me. But I know it can be tricky for others. So switch off your phone if you have to, and work in a room without any sort of distraction, so you get your work done. My kids are in school for only a few hours, so I have to make the most of the free time I get during the day. I also work most nights, with the TV off, and I never feel like I am missing out. So this tip would only work if you let it.

 

Multi-task

I am good at getting a couple of things done at the same time and I think it helps me stay on top of my to-do lists. Multi-tasking only works if what I need to do does not need 100% of my attention. If it does, then I do it when I don’t have to multi-task.

 

Have a to-do list

Having a daily to-do list helps me stay on top of my day. I wake up in the morning, and I already know what needs doing. It saves the time I would have spent on trying to figure what needs to be done on that day.

 

Have daily goals

Having daily goals helps because you have set targets and you know what you are working towards. I like to have goals for morning, afternoon and sometimes evenings. That way, I can break up day, and work to clearly defined targets. It works great for me.

 

 

How do you manage time? Please sound off in the comments section. Thank you!

 

 

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