Hi friends! A question I get a lot is how do you find time to do your art while working an 8-5 and maintaining a household? Finding a balance and a system that really works has been a constant challenge and a developing story, but totally worth all of the effort.
Now that I know how to best manage my time and devote undivided attention to all areas of my life, I’m truly happy! I’m seeing REAL results from efforts I make to grow my business. I feel at peace now that I have scheduled time to spend enjoying life at home. My expectations of myself and my goals are restructured to promote achievement, instead of burn-out and frustration.
The steps and path I took towards these things was challenging, yes, but extremely simple. So without further ado, here are 7 Ways to Balance your Side Hustle and Home Life!
Having priorities in life are key. If no one prioritized, absolutely nothing would get accomplished. That being said, everyone’s priorities are different. I am extremely family/relationship oriented. Therefor, I decided that it will always be my priority to tend to family and my relationship first and foremost. After I identified this, it became a lot easier to make decisions, like, when I was going to work on my business or how much time I was going to spend on social media growing my following. In order to be completely committed to running a successful side hustle or small business, you HAVE to sit down and determine how you want it to fit into your life. If you want it to literally BE your life, that’s fine! Just commit to that.
If you grind as hard as you can during the time that you promise yourself, you WILL be successful. You WILL see results that reflect the work you are doing to get them. If you stick to the expectations you set for yourself, there will be no time to be “wishy-washy” and do everything halfway.
Reasonable and Agreed-Upon Expectations
This is so simple but often tough to maintain! Every person in your life needs to be on the same page when it comes to expectations surrounding work and home-life balance. If you spell out exactly how much time you want to spend working, it’s a lot easier to discuss any reservations those important people may have. This gives you a chance to talk about your goals, individually and as a unit. Having many different kinds of goals is so so important when it comes to being happy. It makes you more productive and allows you to enjoy the process of accomplishing something much more. Throughout this process of speaking about goals and time management, you are bound to learn new things about these people that you cherish as well!
I’ll give you a real life example… Back in college, I hadn’t quite figured out the whole balance thing. I often felt like I was failing in many different parts of my life, not quite able to give my all when the time was appropriate. I felt behind in terms of developing my artwork and brand, never knowing when to make time for different tasks. It was extremely frustrating! Now, I wouldn’t say I have it all figured out… because trust me, there are always times when I feel like I’m drowning in stuff that needs to be done… BUT, I do have a much more developed ability to know what I am capable of accomplishing and have worked really hard to develop a plan/wishlist that I can use to schedule my time most efficiently. I am (honestly, without the constant tidal wave of school work) am to listen to my mind and body to determine when I can grind it out and when I need to take a break. It’s completely FINE that, sometimes, I go a week without painting because I simply don’t feel like it. That’s OKAY! Because I have set expectations for myself that I will work on other things to benefit my business or my home during those “dry spells.” If I don’t feel like painting, I will answer emails or brainstorm for social media. I’ll sit down and order the supplies I need for a home diy project or organize my tupperware cabinet. The point is, when you decide on expectations, that you can reasonably hold yourself accountable for, it’s impossible to be lazy and fall behind. You will always be doing something that benefits your life in some way, and that’s what’s important. Staying productive and staying happy.
Ah, the age old piece of advice… “You’ve got to get organized!” And guess what! It’s still true! Scheduling time, both personal and professional, has been one of THE most important factors in keeping both side hustle and home life in order.
If it’s written in your planner that you have to answer emails from 6:30-7:30pm, you are going to feel much more accountable to do so (and not to mention happier knowing that you can call it quits at 7:31 to catch your show on tv) than if your were to think to yourself in passing, “oh yeah, I need to answer some emails” and then forget until you’ve got your teeth brushed and are laying in bed… That’s when the “I’ll do it tomorrows” stack up until you can’t even remember what you had to do in the first place. It can be as specific or loosey-goosey as you want. But blocking off time is how you’ll learn how to be MOST productive. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done and still have time to watch your show. As a matter of fact, schedule time to watch your show if it is of importance to you. When you MAKE time to accomplish tasks, your brain is happy. This also keeps those around you happy. If you are scheduling time for work, you’re automatically making time for spending quality time together. You can COMMIT to each, without “contamination.” You can be fully immersed without guilt or distractions.
Speaking of distractions… Multitasking is ineffective in terms of fostering quality and authenticity… At least in terms of growing and developing both a side hustle and a happy home life. You can’t possibly be fully immersed in listening to your partner’s story of a tough day at work while you are typing out an email to a client. BOTH deserve your undivided attention… for a few reasons… First, your partner’s bad day is really fricken important. You NEED to be there for them. The saying “you get what you give” applies to pretty much anything in life, especially relationships. This goes along with having and maintaining reasonable and mutual expectations. If you expect your partner to listen to you, you better listen to them. And second, if you don’t pay close attention to that client email, you could seriously hurt your reputation and brand image by accidentally sending some NSFW autocorrections…
It’s simple, if you focus on one thing, you won’t have to waste time doing two things twice.
Use your Strengths
Another simple one, that ANYONE can do! Maximize your peace of mind and productivity by using your strengths while developing new ones. Let’s face it, we all know what we are and are not good at. I am NOT good at verbal communication. I’m an introvert and loveeee my comfort zone. Some could say “well, how are you going to sell your brand and your artwork if you aren’t good at talking?” Well, this blog is an example of some of the solutions I have found to my problem, by using my strengths while developing new ones… I love to write. I enjoy it and I know that it’s something I am good at. So, I sat down and thought about how I could use writing to pull some of the weight while I develop my speaking skills. A super developed website, as well as materials that allow my viewers to get to know me, does a lot of the legwork when it comes to my customer service and experience. After all, 90% of my clients come from online. Pushing online presence and quality, genuine, and authentic virtual relationships has allowed me to craft a vision of what I want customers to experience when they come across Fur Mama Studio. It has allowed me to mold myself and create expectations and a plan (introverts LOVE plans!) to utilize when the time for more face to face interaction comes.
People are not meant to be all alike. We are supposed to have our own talents and strengths. That’s what makes it possible for so many amazing trades, practices, and developments to exist in the world. You’ll be able to create success so much faster if you commit yourself to what you are best at and what you want to learn. Before you know it, you will know how to use those honed strengths to tackle new challenges, each time thinking less and less about how scary or difficult it will be.
Every Once in a While, Cancel Your Plans
Now and again, it’s okay to say, “you know what, this can wait. Let’s go to the movies.” Or, “I’m only going to work for an hour and then I’m going to bed. I had a rough shift and my drive home was super stressful.” Your mental health, happiness, AND sleep schedule should take priority. Sleeping regularly is the secret to my sauce, without it I feel foggy and lazy… Two things that do not lend themselves to productivity. When you start to deprive yourself of mental health, happiness, and sleep, your routine will start to unravel faster than you can correct it. You can’t take care of responsibilities without first taking care of YOU! Don’t skimp on this, seriously!
Having a well-rounded and honest perspective of your life is essential. Balance will be achieved ONLY when you allow it to and are willing to make necessary adjustments. If I had to choose one word to describe the attitude you should aim for in order to reach equilibrium in your life, it would be: honesty. Once you are able to be straight with yourself and recognize when you are selling yourself short, not using your time wisely, neglecting a spouse or partner, compensating to make up for lost opportunities, or simply being lazy and not working towards reasonable goals you set for yourself… THAT is when you’ll be able to accomplish the most. Nobody else knows what your hustle and home life means to you. Define your hierarchy and commit to it. THAT is when your balance will come. THAT is your recipe to thrive, grow and prosper.
For a peek into my own hustle/home life balance, check out my Meet the Artist vlog!