Juggling your freelance job, full time job, and family

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Do you have a hard time juggling your freelance job / full-time job / family balance?

It never used to be this way.

I have the itch.

It causes me to never settle down when it comes to doing things. I struggle with it every week. I love talking to new people, engaging in new sales, and most of all, I love my son.

The juggle is real and persists today

This isn’t one of those blog posts preaching that I’ve got it all figured out. I have a lot to learn still. But I have some tips for your fellow work/freelance/life jugglers.

Open communication is important

I do not recommend maintaining a secret freelance job from your full-time employer. If you’re like me, your primary income is from your full-time job. No matter how much I like doing, I still have a family to care for, and money is important to that end. So first, let your full-time employer that you have a freelancing side hustle. (Don’t use those words!)

Now that your employer is aware, you can set clear boundaries between your full-time job and your freelance job. This should help with the juggling act.

Set clear boundaries with your full-time job and your freelance job

Second, communicate with your spouse or partner. You have commitments with family just like you do with your full-time job and freelance job; communicate your intentions to maintain those commitments.

This was a big struggle for me in the first year of freelancing. I kept it from my wife. This left her wondering what I was doing on the computer all the time. It was fine until I started missing family commitments.

Your partner can be your biggest cheerleader, if you communicate your struggle

Now, I communicate openly about the work that I do with freelancing, the amount of effort it will take, and the amount of income to expect. This was a game-changer. Not only do I feel better about my work, but I also receive encouragement from my best friend!

Lastly, communicate with your freelancing clients. This may appear as a turn off to your clients, but it’s reverse psychology. It tells your client that you manage your time effectively, and when working on their project, you focus on them. I started communicating this to my freelance clients 1 year into working, and it helped me land many more sales pitches.

Building client trust starts with being honest about your time commitment

It’s more than just communication; how you manage your time is a great indicator of how successful you will be with juggling your freelance job, a full-time job, and your family.

Time management may be one of the best things for you

Did you know that you only have 1,440 minutes per day and that the average person is unconscious for 360 minutes? That’s a lot of math. The point is, if you don’t manage your time, your time will manage you.

In my early days, I would be up until 1 am freelancing and then awake at 6 am for my full-time job. It was not sustainable. I was making mistakes in both jobs, not to mention being snippy to my wife. So what’s the secret? How did I get out of this slump?

The Pomodoro Technique

This not only helped me succeed in my full-time job, but it also helped in my freelance job. The concept is straightforward, focus on one work task for 25 minutes with zero distractions, and then take a 5-minute break. Repeat until you get to your third 25-minute cycle and take a 15-minute break.

You are sure to see results in productivity and efficiency with your work. It no longer becomes about juggling your freelance job and other responsibilities. It’s about focus time.

Tools to help you

  • Pomodoro timer app – I use this process to keep me focused on one task at a time.
  • Toggl time tracking – use this tool to track your time spent and prepare for your weekly review.
  • Google Calendar – I use this to block focus time and family time.

 

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