As a freelancer trying to build a business on the side while still working a full-time job is tough. Don’t forget my loving wife, my two young, boisterous boys, maintaining a social life, as well as personal development.
It’s quite a juggling act.
How does one do it?
That’s a difficult one to answer. All I can tell you is how I’m currently dealing with it and hope it benefits you in some way.
Distracted attention and focused madness
This is what it feels like sometimes. I need to switch from freelance copywriter to IT Support Team Leader to Father to caring husband in a matter of minutes. A whirlwind of emotions and thoughts at any given time.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m loving it. It’s just that the act of juggling can get exhausting after a long week. Juggling my mindset, juggling communication, juggling family.
At some point, I’m going to have to stop juggling, but in order for me to build the future I want, this is a necessary part of the plan.
How I switch and shift between life’s lanes
Seriously, though, I find that meticulously keeping a record of thoughts and tasks really helps. Anything that can go in a list, I jot it down – either in my notebook or digitally in Google Keep. I can’t remember how many times Google Keep has saved my ass, simply because I’d made a note at the time I needed to.
For bigger pieces of work, more planning is required, this is where something like Asana comes in. I’m not going to go into great detail in this post (maybe a future one). It’s great for forming projects and organising them as such.
Placing appointments in my calendar right after they are agreed takes away the stress of remembering a date and time (just remember to review your day every once in awhile).
When I take these thoughts and plans out my head and into something real, this frees up extra space in my mind for other areas of my life – mostly for the unplanned ones (like kids, traffic, and lazy Sunday afternoons).
By using these tools to compartmentalise any part of my life that can be organised, I feel more in control, and therefore more capable of maintaining this juggling act for a little while longer.
Quick recap (the short version)
I use the following tools to free up my thoughts that, in turn, allow me to juggle multiple life streams.
Google Keep – Quick notes of important thoughts or tasks as they happen
Asana – Larger organised pieces of work
Calendar – Schedule any future appointment
Notebook (yep, old skool) – Sometimes writing a thought down is needed and more effective.
Why juggle at all?
I know this way of life is not sustainable. It takes its toll on me physically and mentally, it completely screws my work/life balance, it takes precious time away from my family.
So why do it?
Because, in order to achieve mine and my wife’s success (we’re in this together), this juggling act is a necessary step. A hard and tumultuous one, but a necessary one.
If you’re finding your life way too complicated, with too many streams happening, try simplifying. Use the simple tools I mention in this post and see if it helps – even a little.
Let me know how you get on in the comments below. I’m always looking to improve, so if you have any recommendations, feel free to comment on that too.