You know the scene - working at home is a picnic. We do it because we love it. We love challenges. We love listening to the sound of laughter while the kids play behind us. Working in our jammies. Getting up when we feel like it. It’s all paradise. (Right? :D) Yeah, right. Seems to be what the world thinks, though, isn’t it?
But the fact is...
Working At Home Is Hard
Very hard - whether you have kids or not. There are family interruptions, friends calling, noises, and endless distractions from social media and the internet.
Client emails, cold calling, generating content for yourself and for others is demanding. And it takes concentration, will power and focus.
As a freelancer, you’ve got to maximize those abilities so you can be productive and create content that your clients and readers need. You have to manage your time around those you love, those that need you, and yourself.
Scheduling Around Everyone Else Is Challenging
But you don’t know how to do that. You work crazy hours - up before the rest of the house. Sleeping long after everyone else is snoring. Even locking yourself away from the rest of the world doesn’t help sometimes.
Your family and friends don’t understand the depth of what you do. To them, you’re just playing online and not really an entrepreneur trying to build a successful business.
And juggling their time, your time, and all that you have on your plate requires something that you’ve been putting off because you hate it:
You know you should do it, but you haven’t found a way that works yet - so you throw it all to the wind and wing it everyday. Or maybe you’re that creative that avoids scheduling because you feel it will squash the essence of your free spirit.
The result: You get work done, but you’re exhausted from it. The constant back and forth of working between your job and your other responsibilities is mentally taxing.
But planning is only the first step to finding time to get it all done each day.
Planning isn’t an option it’s a survival technique.
Taking the time to plan everything that needs to be done is a necessary evil all freelancers have to take on.
Planning keeps you from dropping the ball and having to send an email that says, “Oh, sorry! I totally forgot your launch was tomorrow and I haven’t gotten your blog posts ready!” and losing clients because you can’t produce on time and with quality.
So choose a day to be your planning day and stick to it. Which day is the slowest day for you? Use that as your planning day. It's still a work day, but it can be short and sweet. You just need general guidelines for the week.
I call Sunday Planday. That’s the day that I plan my menu, my workouts for the week, check the schedule for upcoming appointments, plan what parts of the house I’ll attack, and, of course, what projects I need to finish for myself and my clients.
This keeps everything in my face at once. For me, too many papers to keep up with means I’ll never look at them all and something’ll be forgotten.
That’s why I made the Fit Freelancer Focus Book. It's what I use to keep everything in one place. Now you can plan it all and keep it together. But the second step in optimizing your freelance life is up to you.
Step 2: Execute Your Plans
Planning is only half the game. You need to THRIVE.
And to do that, you need to EXECUTE what you plan.
Once my planning is done for the week, this is a rough idea of what I do each day when school is in session:
Morning: Fix breakfast Clean up Get kids off to school Set up third for learning while I work WORK! (8:30 -11:30) - 2 Focus Sessions
Afternoon: Lunch/Playtime with 3rd Back to work/focused play time for 3rd - 3rd Focus Session Pick up kids Playtime with all Get dinner ready Put laundry on Hit the day’s cleaning tasks
Evening: Eat Dinner Clean up Get ready for the next day (Cook for the next day, get clothes out for the family, etc) Bathe kids Get the kids in bed Put the laundry away 4th Focus session Bed
Workouts are either done prior to or following Focus Sessions. And summer days are a little less rigorously planned, but they still follow the same format, and we even add in lesson time at night before bed.
So I plan. Then I execute. And life is on autopilot.
Execution of the plans I made means I don’t have to spend all my time “nexting” about what needs to be done in the house when I have assignments to throw my creative self into.
Without these two steps, my house of five would be in constant chaos and I would be a wreck -- mentally and physically.
Note: Even if you don't have kids at home, you have a home or apartment and yourself to take care of. Planning will help you master it all so you can love what you do.
So take this schedule and tweak it to make it work for you. Tweak it to optimize your freelance business and your home so they can coexist- happily.
And to help you do that, I’ve got the "Fit Freelancer Focus Book" for you! It’s full of charts and schedules to help you find a time to do everything that needs to be done so you can be successful and love your freelancing life!
(If you’re already on the email list, it’s on its way to you. And if you’re not, sign up in the box at the top of the site today and I’ll ship yours, too!)
Thanks for reading, commenting and being a part of the Fit Freelancer community!
Have an awesome and productive week!
PS Please use the share buttons to share this post so all freelancers can benefit from it and develop the life they deserve, too:)! Thanks so much!