Key tactics that have kept my daddy freelancer ball rolling

Key tactics that have kept my daddy freelancer ball rolling

Many people go into freelancing because they want to spend more time with their children at home – and that’s a wonderful thing. Making a living and taking care of your children at the same time hasn’t really been possible for the masses until now.

But if you think it’s going to be easy, here’s your wake-up call: It’s not. Children are one of the biggest responsibilities you can have in life. And freelancing by itself isn’t a breeze either. Combining the two will require some planning and adjusting. Here are four pieces of advice to help you along the way:

1. Be honest to yourself when setting priorities

Honesty is the first thing you’ll have to bring that to the table if you want to combine freelancing and children. There isn’t a 50/50 here. Your children are more important and you know it. If you have to decide between nursing your sick kid and finish a project on time, you’re picking your child. And that’s not something you should feel guilty about.

What you should do, is be transparent, at least with yourself. Know where your priorities are and be willing to take some punches on the other front. So what if a client is unhappy once? You can live with it. Taking transparency a step further and communicating your situation to your clients is something you can also do, but that depends on a lot of things and should be your decision.

2. Organize your work in chunks

Ok, now that we’ve gotten into a good mindset, let’s talk about the practical sides of combining work and kids. Learn how to work in chunks – it’s going to save your life. The Pomodoro technique, essentially a way to work in short bursts (e.g. 30 minutes) and fully concentrate, can be great for freelancers with kids.

Whether you have a baby that naps often, a kid who goes to kindergarten, or a teenager who needs their time alone, that’s time you can use. And if you’re able to do it efficiently, you’ll get more done in less time.

3. Have a dedicated workspace

One of the most important things to keep distractions away is having a space in your home that is only for working. In our past article, we already mentioned the importance of having a separate workspace but this is even more important when freelancing while parenting. It helps both you and your kid. For you, stepping into the workplace means you’re there to do your job. Not looking through the news, Facebook, or Twitter.

And your child will learn that, too. You will be surprised how quickly children learn to differentiate between the different “modes” of their parents. If you clearly communicate that they should disturb you as little as possible when in work mode, they’ll understand. But, at the end of the day, don’t forget that you’ve set priorities and even the workplace can’t be sacred if your children need you.

4. Look for support from family, friends, and other freelancers

Both being a parent and a freelancer are full-time jobs, if not beyond that. You’re probably going to need some help if you’re doing both. As freelancing gets increasingly more popular, there are also more possibilities to combine it with your kids. Co-working places offer daycare, freelancing parents form communities, both online and offline are there to help each other out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
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