For some people the motivation for becoming self-employed is due to either starting a family or to have flexible time so you can spend time with loved ones. For me, the motivation was the excitement of creating a business whilst bringing up 5 children. However, it can sometimes be a test of will power to keep your business momentum up and ensure that your work doesn’t suffer when you are a mum. Here are 5 tips to help you get the most out of your working day whilst still being able to spend quality time with your family and friends.
Friends and family
For some reason family and friends (and in some cases clients) think that it is ok to call you up or visit you at any point during the day just because you work from home thinking you must be free to chat?! This can be a nice surprise on the rare occasion but when it becomes a daily occurrence it can be a big distraction, which ultimately takes your time away from your family and friends because you will need to catch up on work in your “free” time.
To help reduce these little distractions and prevent the embarrassment of asking people to leave so you can work, you can designate a time each day that is available for people to pop in or call you or tell them when your working hours are and ask to be visited around these times.
It has been proven that people work best in the morning and then the work rate and productivity is greatly decreased in the afternoon after lunch. Therefore, it is best to plan your working hours to be around 6 hours long where the main bulk is first thing in the morning so you essentially have a free afternoon. For example, if you aim to start work at 7am and work non-stop without distractions until 1pm you would have done a full day’s work in the morning giving you time to spend with loved ones and do those pesky chores etc. Equally, if you start first thing you can then do the school run both in the morning and afternoon in the knowledge that you have done your work for the day to spend the evening work-free. This way if the sun is shining outside you can still get a decent chunk of sun on your skin without skipping your work because you would have worked during the morning.
Try to work away from the normal family or home hubbub by trying to avoid working at the kitchen table, unless you are disciplined or you will end up cleaning the whole house before sitting down to your business.
Emails and social media
Dedicate allotted times throughout the day that you can read your emails and go on social media. Don’t check emails when it is meant to be family time or when you are meant to be working. You will always get an email when you are supposed to focus on something unrelated but you will feel inclined to answer the email straight away because you have just read it – don’t open and read it until you have finished you task. It will only distract you and turn your attention from what you were currently working on!
Pencil in family activities in the same way as a business meeting.
By making family time a non-negotiable meeting in your business schedule means that you won’t miss out on spending time with your family or that important social activity – that is one of the points that you have become self-employed so you can have more free time to spend with loved ones.
Article written by Sally Hurst from The Old Bag Company – mum of five who designs award-winning, stylish and practical bags, such as oilcloth handbags and canvas beach bags, for busy women and mums.Sally loves all things business and has a passion for encouraging women to be more confident in their businesses!