Thriving freelancers rarely have free time. They use their time well to juggle one project to another. Sometimes having sleepless nights just to finish one deadline. But what happens if you're suddenly given a new role? A new role that entails... another human being.
Yes! Congratulations on being a parent! Suddenly, your schedules are out of whack. Little junior demands time whenever he wants to. And it's not even a "distraction" you can avoid (horrible human!) How can you finish tasks at this rate?
How do you effectively freelance when you are a parent?
Planning can go a long way. Similar to any business, we all have challenges in place and prioritizing what should be done is a must.
Get a planner and check out the pockets of time that are available to you. At the start of every week, list down what you want to accomplish in that specific period. And mark the top three most important tasks that should be finished by then.
You know yourself. Are you a morning person or a night owl? It's best to incorporate this into your plans as well.
Set a Working Structure: Talk to Your Children and Set Ground Rules
If you haven't already, you need to set structure in your own working environment. By now, you should have a set a separate pseudo office area. This will set a psychological "in the zone" moment when you work in it.
Alongside this, you should talk to your children about respecting your time. It depends on their age. For children who are schooling already, just talk to them and let them know when you can be disturbed.
If you have small children, it's best to prepare them emotionally. They actually don't know what you are doing, and they can demand a lot of time at every whim. You don't want this instance to happen in your conference calls:
It's best to be creative. An idea is making them a separate play area to buy you hours for working time. Also, you can put a color-coded sign in your home office like a red stoplight to signal that you are working.
Moreover, you have to set a schedule as to when they will eat or play at the same hours. So that if it becomes a routine already, you can time your work responsibilities well.
But even if we schedule our tasks, emergencies will happen. Do not expect everything to pan out perfectly to the dot. You should be flexible enough to change and adjust your plans.
Just be guided with your priorities to know what to do.
Our minds constantly battle with distractions. Certainly, we have activities in our timetable that wastes our time. One is social media and how it's turning us into zombies (insert link when article gets posted). Check out this list of freelancer distractions (insert link when article gets posted) and unchain yourself from it.
Also, you can use this extra time to work ahead. You will never know when an emergency happens. Being ahead of the deadline can give you the peace of minds just in case.
Ultimately, the freed up time will be useful in being a better freelancer to your clients and parent to your kids.
Image Credit: Pexels
You Are Not Alone: Get Help From Your Spouse, Family, and Friends. Worst case, Hire People
Remember, you are not alone. You can enlist help from people to ease some of your scheduling woes. Keep constant communication with your spouse. You can take turns with the parental responsibilities.
If you really need the time for a certain deadline, you can ask your own parents or maybe your friends to help you babysit. More likely, they are willing to help you. If they aren't available, try paying a babysitter. You can also subcontract some of your work to ease your load.
There are numerous ways to get help. So don't ever think that you are alone in this. With that, I hope your freelancing and parenting prosper into new heights. Good luck!
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