We’ve all had those days where trying to do it all is nearly impossible. Balancing a full-time day job with your (often equally full time) side business, all while trying to be a good spouse, loyal friend, and doting mom/dog mom can be daunting. There literally are just not enough hours in the day. If anyone figures out how to invent a Time-Turner a la Harry Potter, consider this my down payment.
If you find yourself in the same situation, here are three tips to help manage your balancing act:
1. Schedule your hustle time.
It’s easy to say to yourself, “I’ll work on that tonight”. But after a full day of work, you find yourself on the couch watching The Bachelorette, wondering if Jordan is really as nice as he seems, and that quickly goes out the window! For me, scheduling blocks of time on my calendar to focus solely on my photography business helps me accomplish more work in a shorter period of time. If you’re someone who has to commute to your job, try bringing your laptop to answer e-mails on the train. Or if you are a morning person, set your clock an hour early to finish that recent design. Knowing you have set amounts of time will help you get as much done in that block as possible and avoid distractions (I’m looking at you, Instagram).
2. Set limitations.
As self-starters, many of us are also “yes” people. You know, the kind who wants to be able to take every opportunity at all times. Let me tell you from experience, that is a quick way to burn yourself out! Before your next season begins, decide upfront what you want it to look like. For me, I need one weekend off per month to recharge and double headers are almost always a no-go. And don’t just limit this to client work, apply it to all facets of your business from conferences and workshops to social events and networking opportunities.
3. Take a break.
I’d be lying if I said there weren’t going to be hard days. Really, really hard days during busy season when it feels like you haven’t slept in weeks and there isn’t an end in sight. The only thing that gets me through this is taking a break to catch a movie with my husband or have dinner with friends. It may seem counterintuitive, but you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle that seemingly endless to-do list after stepping away.
While many of us are anxious to leave our day jobs behind to chase our dream (trust me, I’m right there with you!), I want to remind you to slow down and breathe. Juggling both can certainly be a struggle, but it also affords you the ability grow your business and offset start up costs. The hustle may be hard, but the reward is oh so sweet!