At the beginning of 2013 I started out on a freelance career – attempting to balance caring for my daughter, setting up my new business Wordsby Communications and writing the first of three books with my mum, ‘The New Arrival’.
Well what do you know – come June I felt wrung out. I’d get the balance right for a week or two but then before you knew it I was working till midnight every night and weekends, barely seeing my husband, feeling like a bad mother but you know what I was managing my twitter account, regularly updating my blog, meeting all my deadlines and making all those really important meetings.
But what’s the point of being good at your job if you feel like you are failing elsewhere I asked myself – isn’t that why I gave up my secure job and started working for myself – so I could have greater control over my life? I was fortunate enough to be doing something I’d always dreamed of but I felt swamped. So I thought just STOP.
I’ve now got five new rules and I’m back to enjoying my work and the rest of my life.
1. Only do one thing at a time.
Emailing clients from the sandpit is not effectively multi-tasking – it is switching from one thing to the other frenetically and doing neither particularly well.
2. Take some time for yourself.
Once your child is past the newborn stage we all need a little more time to look after ourselves other than washing our hair and brushing our teeth – having a shower is not time out. I swear that after I’ve had an hour off for a swim or to read a book even if it’s just once a week I’m a more fun, less snappy person and my writing is definitely smarter and sharper.
3, I am not perfect – and I like it that way.
I just can’t manage to write brilliantly, have a sparkling house, a contented child, a gourmet dinner on the table, all the laundry washed, folded and put away and be well groomed all on the same day. I might be able to manage two of these things on any given day – and I think that’s pretty darn good.
4. Don’t work all hours unless you absolutely you have to.
OK, we all have times when you’ve just got to knuckle down and get something big done, but working long hours all the time is just not sustainable or healthy.
5. Have more fun.
I am a creative because I love writing and coming up with new ideas. If I’m not getting satisfaction from what I’m doing I now ask myself why is that? Often it just means a tweak here and there and I’m back to feeling in control and most importantly happy.
*Amy Beeson is a Freelance Writer and the Director of Communications working with many women running a small business on a limited budget who need affordable solutions for their communications needs. Amy’s currently busy working away on three new books with baby expert Sarah Beeson MBE (Amy’s mum) for HarperCollins, the first of which – ‘The New Arrival’ – is now available for pre-order on amazon. You can also read Amy’s other blogs and Diary Of A New Mummy on amyibeeson.wordpress.com. Twitter @ amyibeeson @wordsbycomms. Read more in Workingmums’ recent interview with Amy.