As a freelancer, you have the flexibility to plan your own schedule and be your own boss. There is no need to go to the office. You can work anywhere. You can always be there for your family when they need you.
But how do you balance your time and energy between earning an income, social activities, self-improvement, and leisure? How can you fit in the time needed to care for your children and family as a freelancer? You will have to plan your freelancing career around mealtimes and bedtimes, chores, time with your spouse, taking the kids to and from school, doctor’s appointments, and other parenting responsibilities.
How do you retain both your sanity and your professionalism in the face of all these challenges?
Here are three ways you can start with:
Ask for help
Being your own boss doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. If you are making enough money through freelancing, it’s time to think about hiring others to do certain jobs for you. Outsource some of the tasks if you can. This will free up your time for the tasks you prioritize the most. This applies to your freelancing career as well as your family life, such as child care, housework, and other chores. You might enlist the help of a relative, hire extra help, or plan a schedule adjustment with your partner when you are trying to beat deadlines.
Have a fixed work space
To reinforce work-life separateion, it’s important to claim a space as your home office. Beyond that, it’s also important to train everyone in your house not to bother you while you are working.
Your space doesn’t have to be a separate room, if you don’t have it. It could be a corner of your bedroom, an area in the dinner table, or a partitioned area of the living room. This will make your home a more conducive place to work. Although having one’s own work space is a basic idea for all freelancers, it becomes essential when you are a freelancer with kids. Just as children need to have a play area, you will do better to have a work area.
Schedule your time
Full-time freelancing can give you too much freedom with your time. But, if you schedule it accordingly, you can better balance your roles as parent and freelancer.
To plan a day around your family’s activities, use a daily planner. List down appointments and errands, deadlines and goals and target dates. This is important, because most freelancers have a hard time separating work and home life as it is. Remember to compensate for interruptions during the day and for missed time at work.
Although freelancing when you have children is sometimes seen as the ideal situation when compared with a 9-to-5 office job, this very flexibility requires a delicate balancing act. By starting with the 3 tips above, you can better manage your time, energy, and efforts to give you a satisfactory balance between your freelance career and your family.