Managing Your Time as a Freelancer and a Full Time Mother
As a freelancer and full time mother with 2 kids, life can get very overwhelming sometimes. I’m a stay at home mom with 2 boys; a 2 year old and a three month old and believe me it’s very hectic most of the time. The house chores have to be done, I have to feed and take care of the kids and I also have to attend to my clients. How do you balance all that? How do you manage your time effectively and efficiently? These questions are being asked every day. Well today I’m going to let you guys know how I do it because time management is a critical issue for moms who work from home.
Making it Work
First of all, I didn’t really have a choice about becoming a freelancer and a full time mother, the economic climate left me with no choice, and I have to make it work. Every morning I get up and I say to myself, how am I going to make this work today Lord?
The first thing I did to improve my time management was to come up with a schedule and a priority list for my clients. On that priority list I have the dates and times of when every project is due, which ones are urgent and which ones are not. It can sometimes be very difficult to stick to that schedule because not everything will go as you plan. Sometimes I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day, but then don’t we all? I want to impress my clients but I also want to be there to raise my kids.
Planning is essential, especially as a freelancer and a full time mother. One of the things I do is to plan my weekly meals, that way I don’t waste time every day figuring out what I’m going to cook, going back and forth to the grocery store. I also refrigerate meals so I don’t spend much time cooking.
Multitasking, I love to multitask. Sometimes I will be transcribing a document for a client whilst feeding my three month old at the same time. Yes at the same time. I know it’s not the ideal circumstance but my three month old needs to be fed and the transcription document also has a turnaround time, so multitasking is part of my everyday life now. It really saves me a lot of time. You just need to know how to employ it effectively.
I don’t have a workstation at home; I work from the living room with my kids next to me so that I can spend time with them and keep an eye on what they’re doing. Especially my 2 year old, I have to be very vigilant because he is very active!
Further, you need to identify time wasters and minimize them. For instance, Facebook, twitter and IMs really waste a lot of time. When working, if my work does not involve social media, I turn off all social networks.
Most importantly, you need to have “me time”. In order for life to work as a freelancer and a full time mother, you need to take care of yourself. Get someone to take care of the kids for a day, it could be a family member or a close friend and go to the spa, gym, shopping or to the movies. You can’t be a machine and work 24/7. Remember the old saying, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy? Well if I don’t do this once in a while it will make me a dull girl. I love to watch ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ one of my favorite shows on Bravo TV, but I never have the time to watch it, so I download it to my laptop and watch it in my spare time. No matter how packed my schedule is, I have to take some time off to do the things I love.
Prioritizing your time is crucial. Time management has become critical for me as a single parent, freelancer and a full time mother. I have to cook meals for my kids, do laundry, shop for groceries, spend time with my kids, doctor’s appointments, pay bills, complete projects and socialize. But at the end of the day, I have to make it work. Once you learn to stick to your time management schedule, you can overcome every obstacle.