Tuesday, May 10, 2011

it's a balancing act, 1

Working at home {Part 1}

{{First of all, isn't this little banner so cute?? I snapped this picture of a bumble bee in my garden on Easter morning, and I loved it so much that I had to think up something to do with it. And thus was born "busy bee," my working title for business-related blog posts.}}

Just after the idea to take a stab at writing about balancing working at home with family time first occurred to me, I immediately thought, "What am I crazy?! I need someone else to tell me how to balance work and family!" So, I settled on making a few observations on the subject. It felt less preachy, because heaven knows, I haven't figured any of this out yet. So here goes.

Observation #1 :: It's really hard for me to ever switch out of work mode. I try really hard to keep work separate, I do. I have a separate (well, not separate, but distinct) studio workspace, and I make an attempt to keep work notes, invoices, etc. in that area, but inevitably things end up strewn about the house. So I find that I'm often reminded of work even when I'm not actually working, and on top of that I'm constantly thinking about new blog ideas, or a new necklace idea that I just want to try out, or the fact that my order fulfillment is falling behind, and I really ought to go get caught up... It all makes it incredibly hard to disengage from work, and fully engage with my family.

So I've made this rule: from supper time until I put the girls to bed around 9 pm, I don't work. That is family time. If I remember something I need to do or have a great idea to try, I've started keeping a thick spiral notebook where I write all those things down. That way I'm sure the ideas won't be forgotten, and I can work on them later. Some days I do better at this and some days not, but at least it's a guideline, and on days when I completely fall short, I wipe the slate clean and try to do better tomorrow.

A note about making notes: I used to make notes on loose paper or in any one of a variety of tablets or notebooks all over the house, and most of them would get lost in the shuffle of household life. So now I keep one thicker notebook for business only. I carry it around with me when I'm not working, so I can jot things down as they occur to me. It's a simple idea, but it has helped sooo much to have all those thoughts in one place!

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