If you recall, recently I have a reader that wrote to me regarding balancing my time between freelancing and motherhood. Although I might have address that during my email to her, I felt it might not be detailed enough. So here it is, a more detailed list on how I manage to spend quality time with my daughter and produce quality work every day.
Either write down a plan or have a plan in your head on what you want to do today. Babies love routine so it will go well with them. I planned everything into 3 different categories: need to do, want to do, love to do.
The ‘need to do’ items are those tasks I have to complete before the end of the day. The ‘want to do’ items belongs to the tasks I hope I can squeeze in if I have the time and if I don’t have time today, the tasks on ‘want to do’ list may turn into ‘need to do’ items tomorrow.
And lastly, those ‘love to do’ items are stuff I will love to do if suddenly find myself free of a task and with time to spare. For example, if someone offers to babysit my daughter or when my client informs me the deadline of the project has been extended.
Set A Routine
As mentioned in the first point, babies love routine and by having a routine, your actions (and your baby’s) are predictable. Whether it is the waking hour or your lunch time, try not to deviate it too much day to day. Keep it within the same hour. That way your body will instinctively wind down towards lunch time or nap time (yes I have nap time too! That is the benefit of being a freelancer. Siesta!) or your mind will be alert towards work time.
Get Your Clients Onboard
Never hide your situation from your clients. They might not appear to care but they are humans too! All of my clients know that I am a work-from-home mommy to a screaming little diva. This makes it easier when I tell them I will not be available next Tuesday for a Skype call because I’m hauling the little one to the paediatrician. Or when I can’t take up a new portion of their project because she is running a fever. However, I never use her as an excuse to stall or miss a deadline ever.
That lead to overpromising. I am extremely careful with my deadlines. Even though I know I am able to rush through producing articles in lighting speed, I’ll never advertise that to my clients. Instead, I purposely insist on a week’s deadline. This might put me at a disadvantage when it comes to competing with other freelancers but I rather not take an urgent job (no matter how much it pays) than to not able to deliver and ruin my reputation.
Don’t Take On More Than You Can Chew
Oh… so tempted to take on so many interesting projects! I have been offered many tempting and well-paying jobs by reputable and famous companies. Some of the tasks are really simple due to my experience in it. However, if I have my hands full with my existing clients, I will have to (painfully) turn it down. I won’t let work eat into my precious time with my family. That’s the whole point being a freelancer in the first place – to have the flexibility to choose.
Work Between Feedings And Naps
When my little diva is feeding or napping, the iPhone is out and I’m furiously offloading my thoughts into Notes to be transferred to my laptop in the evening to be worked on when she is down for the night. I truly love my iPhone and how this little gadget helps me save time and allow me to write even with one hand so my other hand can be freed to pat the butt of my little one luring her to sleep.
Don’t Multitask When You’re Playing
I don’t look at my phone except when I’m taking photos of her. When it’s playtime, it is her time. Like I give my full attention to my clients when it is work time, I give my full attention to my daughter when it is her time.
Anticipation & Preparation
I always anticipate changes, ready to swap one task for another. For example, if it is a rainy day and I am supposed to do groceries and lunch out, I’ll stay in and lunch in, order in the groceries and work on my projects instead. I don’t mull over what I should or should not, can or cannot do on that day. Another example, if I am stuck outside in the rain with no means of transport, I’ll go to a nearby cafe, grab a cup of hot chocolate and work on my articles on my phone. Your life will be a lot easier if you are flexible in your schedule.
Ready To Drop One Or Another
Don’t worry, I’m not going to drop my daughter. But the subheader means I must be ready to reduce my workload if and when my daughter needs more time with me than usual. I’m ready and have backups should I need to stop work due to major events in my family that will take me away from my laptop. It always pays to be ready.
Are you ready to balance the uneven in your life? Share with us the details in the comments below.
MiddleMe is now on Instagram! Come and enjoy weekly wisdom @kallymiddleme right now!
Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.