September 22, 2014

On This Episode of Freelance Fear Factor — Freelance Writing from Home

freelance writer mom at home office

Welcome to Freelance Fear Factor!

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

juggling freelance mom

Wage full scale war on balance-breaking habits.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

Images credit: momaroo dot com, fitnessmagazine dot com

About Magda Papas

Magda Papas worked in the finance industry for 12 years in London and Milan before making a foray into the world of freelance translating. This multi-lingual creative powerhouse can work with the English, Italian, and Greek languages. In addition to translating, she revels in writing. Her core interests include mosaic art, work life balance tips, culture and accessories. She authors Mosaicology blog where you can learn more about the craft of creating mosaic masterpieces and how mosaic art can relate to fashion, travel, history, interiors. Connect with her on Twitter or contact her via email.

Comments

  1. Magda the magnificent! Thanks for sharing your sparkle with FWD and our readers. Balancing the various aspects of life presents unique challenges to each individual and each situation. I love how you laid it all out there in simple terms and offered tid bits of insight from your own personal experience.

    XO and keep sparklin’!

    Samantha
    Samantha Gluck recently posted..Successful Writers Always Write About LoveMy Profile

  2. Thank you for posting this! I know I am not alone! I would add that I am taking things as they come and try always to be optimistic.
    Magda recently posted..Freelance Writing Dreams Wins Best Copywriting Blog at World Media AwardsMy Profile

  3. Good article, many of us know this, but when we read it from another source it drives the point home. I particularly like the “permission” to let go some social media activity. Often feel guilty for letting it slide, like now-Spring Break -_-

    • Thanks, Stella, and yes, I need the “permission” to give my social media activities a rest too. In fact, I need to be reminded repeatedly that everything won’t fall apart because I took a day (or even a half day) off. Social media is the fuel of my business, so it’s scary, but worth it. I come back refreshed and ready to give it my all. Thanks for sharing. xo

  4. Excellent post. Slightly easier for me now the kids are at school, but switching off at 3.30 is never easy. Just need to work out how to juggle freelancing and my social media addiction now. Thanks for sharing.

    • Claire, I know what you mean. When school’s in session, I’m golden, until 3:00, but I try to have everything finished by then (ask me how many times I’ve done that). It’s during spring break (like now) and other school holidays that it once again becomes a challenge. I took two and a half days off to go on crazy-adventurous excursions with the kids this time. It was hard to pull aways and disengage, initially, but once I was out the door, it was easy and totally worth it! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment on Magda’s awesome post. XO

  5. I wrote a long comment before my daughter deleted it with her magic touch on the keyboard. Now, I really don’t know if I can write the same thing again!!! At least, she is quiet. I am sure it won’t last so I better hurry up.
    I was thanking Stella and Claire for sharing their thoughts. It’s a rewarding feeling to listen to the voice of other women going through similar life patterns and disasters but hey that’s the beauty of our lives. We can never actually feel bored!
    I was kind of reluctant at the beginning to write this post because any potential clients could be put off but I am not sure I want to work with people who do not understand that BALANCE is possible and QUALITY of work is not compromised.
    I also want to thank Sam for believing in me. Again.

    • LOLs! I hate when that happens. Sometimes when I comment on someone else’s site, I write this sparkling, inspired lengthy prose only to hit the submit button and have it fail, losing the entire thing. You’re right, it’s very difficult to satisfactorily recreate those types of comments. Thanks for giving it another go despite the frustration!

      XO
      Samantha Gluck recently posted..Be The Wasabi: Write Words That Add Real ValueMy Profile

  6. I found very interesting content on this site and would love to go through more articles on my next visit.
    Shahzad Bashir recently posted..How to Prevent CyberbullingMy Profile

  7. Awesome post, Samantha on a very critical balancing act we have to do in our lives. I believe that once this balance is struck, there is smooth sailing from here on out. Is that to say no more trials and tribulations? NO! but when one is organized, priorities are kept in check and time is being managed, there is less of a burden on one’s mind.

    First time stopping by, glad to meet you.
    Jacob Yount recently posted..Working With China: To-Do List MindedMy Profile

    • Jacob,

      Thank you for dropping by and very nice to meet you as well. Yes, I think Magda did a wonderful job illustrating the challenges faced by people trying to properly prioritize and balance a career with the very important personal aspects of their lives You’re correct in saying that once you’ve got that initial organization and schedule laid out, a great burden lifts off of your life. There will always be adjustments to make and slip-ups in prioritization, but it’s much easier to return to your laid out plan than it is to find peace in the midst of utter chaos.

      I’m so glad you visited and shared your thoughts. We’ll definitely check out your site and hope to see you around here often.

      XO
      Samantha

    • Thank you so much Jacob for reading the post and leaving such an encouraging comment. I am so glad you discovered this site. Samantha is a pro when it comes to freelancing and inspiration. She has a lot to say and to give so make sure you “stick around”… :) Looking forward to finding out more about what you do. China is very intriguing!
      Magda recently posted..Solemnity and beauty in a modern mosaic made with nailsMy Profile

  8. Awesome article, I always wanted to be a good writer, this tips will help me a lot. Thanks for sharing.

    How to Build A Business Using Freelancers

    • Thanks for stopping by, Minhag, and for letting us know that you enjoyed the article.

    • Thank you Minhag! Always such a pleasure to see people reading this post. We all have so many challenges to face. Some have the kids, some have the noise, some have financial issues. I mean, the list is endless. We have to be flexible and always stay focused. Leave the extra activities for later when there is calm around the house.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] home" spots are around you; in this way, you can go to them whenever it becomes difficult to focus.For many people, it can be a dream come true to have a way to work from home – that is, until they a…to remain disciplined to work. After all, you might find yourself working far into the evening – [...]

  2. […] Fooled By These 6 Client Lies Quick-start Guide to Finding Clients Freelancing Makes You…Cocky? Freelance Writing from Home Writerly […]

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge