Today, RebeccaLynn Bologna shares how you can build a successful freelance business WHILE working full-time and taking care of your kids. And all within the comforts of your own home. She offers four, easy to implement tips to help you build a realistic schedule that makes sense for you and your family. Thanks for joining us RebeccaLynn!
Can you really build a successful freelance business with kids (especially small ones) at home?
Many say no, but I would argue it can be done. I’m offering myself up as proof.
As I’ve entered into the freelance world full-time, I’ve had to plan and re-plan my days. I am constantly trying to juggle this new work-from-home lifestyle and it likely will always be a work in progress.
Of course, some days are better than others. Keeping a schedule for the family really helps! Here are four suggestions that have really helped me in this journey.
1. Set Up a Routine for the Kids
We have a set routine that we rarely deviate from. This can be difficult and sometimes has its disadvantages, but it really helps when trying to set up a schedule for your writing.
The kids wake up at 7 AM every morning and go down for a nap everyday at noon. We keep this same schedule everyday unless we absolutely have to break it.
The challenges start appearing when we fall off of schedule, such as when we go on vacation, and the kids become extra cranky since they are no longer in their normal routine. On these days you want to make sure you build in some extra flexibility in your schedule – or have extra hair you can pull out!
2. Schedule Appointments Carefully
Make sure you are scheduling any appointments that you have for the family during the times that you cannot work.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I have made speech appointments for my kids during times that I would normally work. This just ends up causing me a lot of unnecessary stress! It sets me back and completely disrupts my work day.
3. Find the Time to Write
Now that you have a schedule for the kids and any doctor appointments are planned during your non-work time, you can find time to dedicate strictly to writing. It’s important to be realistic.
Don’t think you can sit down to write for six hours without interruption, unless you have help. I actually work nine hour days as often as I can. My husband has the kids from 8-11 AM and I head upstairs into my office to work.
I still get interrupted, but he does his best to limit them. I also work during nap time, which in my house, is 12-3 PM, and I work after the kids are asleep at night for a minimum of three hours. By breaking up my days I can give my kids the attention they need during the times they are awake and I am not trying to sit and focus for long periods of time.
4. Make a Proper Work Space
I limit interruptions by having an office space where the kids know they are not allowed to play. When the kids decide they cannot wait, I treat the interruption like I would at the office and just split my focus until I can get them taken care of and then I head back to work.
Having a separate space gives me and the kids the “I am at work” sense. When I am at that desk, they know it is business time.
At work, and in life, you have to prepare for the unexpected. Give yourself extra time and make sure that you do not take on too much at once.
Give your kids, and yourself, a routine and stick to it. Make sure to schedule appointments outside of your work hours. Search your schedule and find time that you can work on your business. Lastly, dedicate a work space in your home that is off limits to your children.
If you find something is not working, then you need to adjust it until it does. It’s not perfect, it never will be. But if I can find nine hours per day to work with three kids, one whom is still an infant, then I bet you can find a bit of time too. (Gina made me write this part.)
Even with a strict schedule, make sure you are taking breaks. At the office some days were better than others and you can expect the same at home. It may take some time but be consistent and do not give up.
Other work-from-home mamas, what’s your best tip to getting stuff done?
RebeccaLynn Bologna is a freelance writer for hire with a background in accounting. For a change of pace, you can find her helping others and writing about productivity, lifestyle topics and parenting. Most of the time she feels blessed to be a wife and mom of three girls all under the age of four!