One of the best things of working on a home-based business is that you can be with your family. One of the worst things is that you are with your family.
If you are like me with two very young children, the toughest part of working at home is finding time to actually do any work. Taking care of a toddler and a baby are full-time jobs by itself; add to that mix a home business and you need to have A+ skills in time management. Others even have it worse – a full time career, a home business, and family.
It’s the cliche of every working person trying to balance various responsibilities: finding time to do everything you need to do. Anyone who’s been in this type of situation will say that 24-hours is not enough to do everything.
So how can you work on your home business when you have family or a full time career? One thing I learned is that is it NOT easy. Coupled with the fact that I work my best when deadlines are hanging over my head, balancing various responsibilities is really hard. But here’s what I do:
1. Planning. The night before, I plan out a list of what I need to do both at work and for the business. If I don’t I’m hopelessly lost and often fail to do what I need to accomplish that day (I get easily distracted and have the tendency to spend too much time on things that are not important, like reading gossip sites such as EOnline or participating in forums such as WebmasterWorld or Yahoo Answers). I also keep a notebook every where I go that I use to jot down any ideas that come to me.
2. Finding time to work. I have mastered the art of not sleeping (or sleeping very little). I work for the business when the kids are asleep – so that starts at around 9 pm. I’m often up until 1 or 2 am. There are days when I feel like a walking zombie, but hey, that’s called sacrifice (argh!).
3. Working around the family schedule. I work during the kids’ naptime. For 1-2 hours in the afternoons, I need to cram as many work as I could do because when they wake up, it will be very difficult to get any work done.
4. Hiring a babysitter. If you have kids, babysitters are lifesavers. They keep me sane and happy. Having a babysitter allows me the luxury of work. When my husband asked me what I wanted for my last birthday, I told him I only want one thing: a babysitter.
5. Taking care of yourself. This is extremely important. Sometimes if you push yourself too hard, it is counterproductive. Take a rest sometimes, take a breater. One thing I realized is that work never ends – even if you do not sleep now, there will still be work waiting for you tomorrow.