Working from home as a freelance writer and translator, while raising a 2-year-old, presents far more than just a challenge for me as a freelancer mom. It provides a real-life psychological and emotional test of my abilities to balance work and life.
When you make certain life choices, you also make implied promises to yourself and to the ones you love — promises you want and must work hard to keep. But what happens when the s… hits the fan things get really messy and you lose the balance between your work and personal life, or do not even know what that balance really is?
Caution: Juggler Ahead – Watch Out for Dropping Balls
All people who strive to live a full life do so while juggling time spent nurturing family, friends, spirit, health, and work. No need to feel guilty, or hurt, when things don’t progressing as we wished and planned. Instead, we ought to take a good, deep look into our lifestyles and ourselves. Everyone develops bad habits here and there — things we accept as part of our nature and things that have become second nature.
Take ownership of your missteps and loss of vision. All jugglers drop a ball eventually.
You may ask yourself, “Am I personally responsible for these chinks in my plan? Are these blocks in my path bad habits I’ve developed?” It’ll probably feel uncomfortable acknowledging that you’ve played a starring role in failing maintain proper balance of your priorities, but it’s imperative that you do. Once you call out these mistakes, you’ll despise them for the turmoil they cause.
And if you despise them, you’ll work diligently toward getting rid of them. No Fear.
Chipping Away at the Overwhelm
Common elements that unbalance the scales of life and the counterweights to bring them back into balance:
- SOCIAL MEDIA: Consider letting go of your normal social networking activities for at least 25 minutes per day to take a nap instead or just rest in a quiet space. Your followers won’t mind. With a fresh and relaxed mind, you’ll think of innovative and more engaging things to tweet and share in updates on other social media platforms.
- BLOGGING: Plan your blogging schedule so that you can spend some quality time with your partner and family, while still maintaining your content quality and post frequency goals. Give value to what is truly valuable – your family and partner. You can ask people to submit guest posts for your site. For my own work-life balance, I stopped blogging on my personal site, so I can focus on developing and launching a site for my freelance writing and translation services. Instead I’m writing the occasional guest post for others and this works perfectly for me. Reflect on solutions that will work for your own writing and blogging activities and goals.
- CHORES (for you organized types): Try doing your chores as quickly and accurately as you can without obsessing. Don’t stall to perfect every detail. Plan what needs to get done the day before and then do it. If you pay someone else to do housework, then this tip applies for other miscellaneous obligations in the household or garden area.
- CHORES (for chaotic types): If you live and thrive in a messy home, that’s o.k. If you live with others who like a tidier home, allow them to neaten any spaces other than your workspace. Then try to respect their efforts by keeping it in order. Keep your office in the state where you work best. Do not plan. Be creative and spontaneous but stay focused.
- RISE AND SHINE: Work in the mornings before everybody gets up. Use this precious time to work on tasks that require complete focus and attention. Save the less intensive work for the times when your household buzzes with activity. Numerous studies indicate that people do their best work with highest productivity outcomes in the morning hours – even for those non-morning types out there. Make your coffee and get to work; do not open your emails, unless you expect an email regarding a project at hand. I usually prepare my coffee the night before so it’s ready in the morning.
Nobody has the secret recipe to a perfectly balanced life, but sometimes it just means having the courage to challenge yourself about whether you’ve settled into a daily routine that harms your life or one that helps and fulfills it. You’ll need to periodically adjust and fine-tune even the best routine to keep it optimized for the dynamic nature of life. Make immediate adjustments the moment you sense a twinge of anxiety over the way you’ve weighted various aspects of your day. Me? Oh, I definitely need to work on some fine-tuning in numerous areas of my life. In fact, I think I’ve just started — by writing this post.
Time to Sparkle on FWD: Tell us your juggling stories. Let us learn from your experiences, both good and bad, by sharing your sparkle with the Dream Team and our fabulous readers.
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