This morning started crazy – which goes along perfectly with the post that Jodee has on Freelance Writing Jobs about maintaining balance. She suggests that it’s not possible to keep things balanced all the time because unexpected things happen. I actually posted that my goal was to stay ahead of schedule so that the unexpected couldn’t knock things off.
Man oh man was I wrong.
Life is NOT perfectly balanced – and anyone who tells you otherwise is having a really good day. Wait and catch them on a bad one and see what they think. Finding perfect all the time is never going to happen. What I need to do is to find some ways to help me manage to stay on the rope without falling off. Here are some ideas I am contemplating to help me keep from falling on my face.
1. Deal with the problem. I’ve tried ignoring situations in the house, but they don’t seem to go away no matter how many long, hot baths I choose to take. The kids will not stop fussing until I intervene – especially if my hubby is also choosing to ignore the situation. It is better to take several minutes to sit them down and talk to them than it is to let the trouble escalate.
2. Know my down times. I personally function better in the morning (I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that the rest of my house is asleep). It is better for me to jump into my writing projects when I am fresh and my brain isn’t cluttered with chaos. Working with the boys running through the house is possible, but it takes more concentration and way more editing! I have a friend over at I Can Write for You that chooses to work in the dark of night after everyone else has gone to sleep. Learning when you are at your best – or your worst – and scheduling around that will help you create a balance in your work and in your life.
3. Give it a rest. Juggling life in the home with the family ALL day can be tough. We get under each other’s skin. It’s a good idea to separate for a few days each month. Schedule time for you to be alone and for each of your family members (especially any older kids) to have time away with friends or grandparents. It may not alleviate all of the frustration but at least you will feel refreshed.
4. Mix it up. Too much of anything is a bad thing – and that goes for work. Have you noticed that if you try to pack in the same type of work into one day it becomes painful? Spread out those short articles through out the week. Mix up your writing to keep it fresh. You may find that writing one article gives you a fresh idea for a complete different project.
5. Clock in to work. Working at home often means working at odd hours or in small bits and pieces. Keep a record of the time that you actually spend working and then adjust your schedule when you notice a waste or lag. Surfing the internet may be an important part of your job but maybe you should keep a record of just how much time you spend in work that pays and work that prepares. Think of it as your time budget. Once you know how much time you actually need for work you can better schedule that time.
There is no easy answer to life. The best thought I have is to “always be prepared” – my kids have joined scouts. This means you need to know how you are spending your time and spend it in the wisest ways possible. Then you can schedule your days in such a way that the unexpected doesn’t knock you to the ground and maybe it only causes you to totter a little instead.