Sunday, 15 January 2012

Being my own boss: Setting boundaries

I've always thought of myself as a "self-starter". I've never had a problem focusing on work from home - if anything the problem used to be stopping at the end of the day...

Working for myself has been an eye opener. With so much to do, and so little time, it's unbelievably hard to keep sight of my priorities. My "work" to do list and "home" to do list overlap constantly and the time I have to build and grow my business seems to get smaller and smaller as I battle to get the washing and cleaning done, spend time with my daughter and partner, and still earn some money which is apparently something I should be managing in my "spare" time.

As someone who is accidentally self employed, I am still unsure whether it is the best route for me. I love the idea of being my own boss, and I have always wanted to run my own business, but I don't understand how I am going to manage to make it work if I don't have working hours.

Small one goes to nursery 2 days a week and my mum helps out once a week. In my mind, 2 full days and bits of the third with the odd hour during naptime should be enough to keep things ticking over even when I can't find any extra time, but the reality is that  a full nursery days is only 6 hours by the time I've dropped off and picked up, and I need to get some housework and home paperwork done in that time too, as well as Mr MilkChic's invoicing. Even if I skip lunch, I am unlikely to get more than 4 hours work on a good day.

My mum is wonderful, but I really don't think she should have to be my childminder. The day she helps out is often the only time I see her too, so I really want to be able to spend time with her. Small one is home too, and it's hard to ignore her and work. I might manage another 4 hours, but it's unlikely.

Is 12 hours a week really enough to run a business without any outside help? And do I really want to spend every spare moment working?

My New Year's resolution is to set firmer boundaries for my working time - not letting home issues encroach on my website time, and not letting the websites take too much of our family time. If I can't make the websites pay in the hours I have, then self employment isn't the answer.

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