The Artful Balance

I will not lie. Starting or maintaining any home based business with a house full of kids is hard. REALLY hard. But it can be done. In this article I will show you how to do it without sacrificing anything (including your sanity!).

 1. Plan

First, think about when you can do everything you need to do then make a rough schedule. Your schedule can be very detailed or loose but trust me, you need a plan to stay focused. Some structure is necessary to fit everything in or you may find yourself spending too much time on one aspect of your life and neglecting another (especially if you are an all-or nothing type of person like me!). Really think about balancing all of the important aspects of your life when you make your schedule. Everyone's will obviously be different but this is what my week looks like:

Mon-Fri: 

6am- Wake up an hour early to do some business tasks such as accounting or marketing. No sleeping in!

7am-5:30pm- Focus on kids, housework, menial tasks such as paying utility bills, etc. Spend some time outside with the kids. Fit in half an hour work out. Involve the kids in everything you can. If they can't do it with you, give them a fun activity to do. Be creative! Multitask when you can- put in a load of laundry then take the kids out for a walk to get your exercise, outside time and some housework done all at once. Spend nap time doing more work on your business. Cook a double supper and freeze one to save yourself time another night.

5:30pm- Have supper on the table (get your kids to help or at least sit with you coloring at the counter so you can spend time with them while you cook). Enjoy a family supper together and try to make the most of it by really engaging with your family! Finish cleaning up by 7 (again get your kids and partner involved any way you can). Have the kids in bed by 8. If you're lucky enough to have your spouse home, delegate this task to them. If your bedtime routine involves laying down and reading with your kids, do not fall asleep! I can't count the times I woke up hours later with a kids book in my face! Now I set the alarm on my phone :)

7 or 8-10pm- Studio time- get creative and make some art!

10-11pm- Spend more time on business tasks or keep painting if you're all caught up.

11pm-6am- Get your 7 hours of sleep (very important!).

Saturday:

8am-5pm- Invest this time in your business. Whether it's studio time, tasks that need doing or showing your work at an art show etc. Now is the time to enlist the help of your best supporters. Have your spouse, sibling, parents or close friend spend the day with the kids. Point out what a great opportunity it is for them to deepen their relationship with the children. 

5-11pm- Family time! Enjoy!

Sunday:

Catch up on anything that didn't get done during the week. Really think about balance here. Spend this day wisely.

Pick one evening/week and have a date night, friends night or night to yourself. Mix it up to get the balance you need. Whether it's going out with friends, a romantic night out, a special night with the kids, a night in with a movie or a night alone with a glass of wine and relaxing bubble bath or book. Trust me on this- you don't want your marriage, kids, friendships or sanity to fail because you don't have time to invest in them.

This schedule gives me 6-7 work hours/day for 4 weekdays, 3 hrs 1 weekday and a 9 hr workday Saturday which adds up to a 38hr work week (not including any work I decide to do on Sundays) and I still have time for everything and everyone important in my life.

2. Dedication

Ok you are stretched thin and dead tired by the end of the day (the next point really helps with this!) but think of what you are accomplishing and be proud of yourself! Be 100% dedicated to what you're doing at the time. Whether you're creating art, doing business tasks or spending time with your family, give it your ALL. This is key to being successful in life. Effort=Rewards.

3. Self Preservation

This is one thing that is sooo important yet often overlooked. It's really easy to get so involved in everything you're tyring to do that you forget to take care of yourself. Think about it- how can you be productive if you're physically, mentally or emotionally run down? Here are some easy ways to make sure that doesn't happen:

  • Take care of yourself mentally and emotionally. 
Recognize when you need to take a break. Kids driving you crazy? Seriously we've all been there. Put on the T.V. or give them an activity to do while you take a break. Obviously you can't leave the house if your kids are little but you can make a cup of tea and put your feet up. Meditate. Read a book. Whatever you need to do to center yourself. You don't want to get to the point where you feel like locking yourself in the bathroom to get some peace! (Yes I've been there!) The same idea applies to all aspects of life- if anything is stressing you out too much, find a positive way to center yourself again and know the time you spend doing this is not wasted.
  • Get rid of negative self-talk.
Do not allow it to exist in your brain. If you find yourself thinking negative things like, "I'm such an idiot!" or, "I can't do this!" catch yourself and replace those thoughts with positive things like, "I made a mistake but now I can learn from it." or, "I just need to learn how to do this is all." It may seem kind of silly but really, we are only as awesome as we allow ourselves to be. Don't hold yourself back! If you practice this, before you know it the negativity will be gone and you will amaze yourself with all you can accomplish! Here is a quote I live by:
"Your mind is a garden,
your thoughts are the seeds,
the harvest can either be flowers or weeds."
-William Wordsworth
 
  • Take care of yourself physically

This will give you more energy to do everything else! Carve out a little time every day to exercise, get outside, try your very best to eat healthy and be sure to get your sleep.

That's it! I hope this article helps you to find the balance you need to be successful in your career and home life!

If you have any other ideas or thoughts on this please leave a comment below! :)

 

 

 

 

April 27, 2018 by Nicole Brucks

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