How do you have enough time to grow your creative business and still eat, sleep, take care of your family, and, ya know, live life?
Every week I talk to Starship Captains with four kids and Captains with full-time jobs and Captains (like me) with only a pet to disturb us…and everything in between. And every single one of us struggles with this having enough time thing (at least occasionally).
Like almost everything we talk about around here, there’s not an easy answer. But there is one way to make this a whole lot easier and less hectic:
Set boundaries around your working time, and stick with them.
Set boundaries around your not-working time, and stick with them.
What the boundaries are don’t matter. (You could work for one hour a day or one day a week or 120 hours a month. You can work in the mornings, evenings, weekends, full moons. Whatever works for you and your family.)
What matters is that you consciously choose boundaries and that you communicate them (more on how to communicate in tomorrow’s podcast).
You don’t know when to start, so you struggle to get started. (Oh, I’ll just do this first).
If you don’t know when you are going to be working, you may feel guilty every moment that you’re not working. (I could be working now!)
And when you do work, if you don’t know when you’re going to stop, the work can just drag on forever. (I don’t know when I’ll get back to this! I should do it now!)
When they don’t know when you’re going to stop, your family (anyone around you who wants to spend time with you) is going to be less understanding, because they want to know when they can go back to hassling you. (She’s always working!)
(If you feel like I’m describing your life, trust me, you are not alone. This is informed by many other makers who have the same experience).
So you see, knowing when you’re going to work and for how long, allows you to know:
- When to start (no procrastinating!)
- When to stop (no dragging it out!)
- When others can engage with you (with no guilt!)
- That you’re going to get your stuff done at a specific time, so you can stop obsessing about it right now. (In theory. I’ve yet to meet a maker who can stop obsessing full stop, but this certainly helps.)
Remember: The boundaries can be WHATEVER. They don’t have to be a specific time, they could simply be: One hour today, and I quit at the end of the hour. No blogs/social media/phone in that hour.
I’ve found that most people do best setting up their plan for the upcoming week (instead of waiting to figure out when you’re going to work each day), and the more ritualized you make it (I always start writing after my first cup of coffee or I sew for one hour after the kids go to bed), the less of an internal struggle it is.
What are your boundaries?
Do you need to set new ones?