The big question for WAHM freelance writers.
One of the best things about being a WAHM is you get to choose HOW much you work. You set your own hours, you decide how much work to take on and you get to pick who you work for. This is what attracts many people to the business of freelance writing in the first place. It gives you the flexibility and freedom to work around your family.
Regardless of whether you are running your business as a side gig or a full-time business, you need to decide HOW many hours you will dedicate to your business per week.
Calculate how many hours you can work per week as a WAHM.
As a WAHM you wear many different hats. Chef. Chauffeur. Cleaner. Laundromat. Banker. Entertainer. The list is endless. Then you need to balance that with your freelance writing business.
The first step to working out how much you can focus on your freelance writing business is to calculate the number of hours per week you actually have free.
The hours you are not feeding children, picking up dirty laundry, washing dishes or cooking food no one will eat. Through the course of your day amongst those never-ending chores, when can you actually sit down in front of your computer?
Are you lucky enough to still have children who nap during the day?
Can you distract them with a quiet activity for an hour or so?
Do you have family or friends who can babysit or can you use childcare, family day care, kindergarten or school?
Have you worked out your hours?
Great! Now that is the number of hours you have FREE. Do you want to use every single one of these hours for your business? Or is there something else you would like to balance these hours with? Perhaps (like me) you want to write a novel. Or relax with a good book.
Once you have your final number of hours you can dedicate to your business than you are done! You have worked out how many hours per week you can work on your freelance writing.
Break that number of hours down.
That number of hours needs to be broken down further. It is not as simple as saying “I have 20 hours per week to freelance write”. You need to divide it into categories of:
- Social Media.
- Working on your website (including a blog if you are going to have one).
- Actual client work.
So your weekly hours broken down may look something like:
- Planning 1 hour
- Marketing 3 hours
- Pitching 2 hours
- Social Media 2 hours
- Working on your website 4 hours
- Actual Client work 8 hours
You do not need to do it all at once. For example, if you have allocated 2 hours for pitching for the week, you don’t have to fit it into a 2-hour window. That could be spread over 3 or 4 days.
The trick is to find what works for you and your children.
This brings me to the next point! Scheduling.
The biggest part of finding how many hours you can work per week is time management. If you have set aside those 20 hours for work (and this may sound a lot, you may only be able to spend 5 or 10 hours a week on your business and that is more than fine) then you need to create a schedule around those hours to ensure you get the work done.
I love to use batching tasks for time management. Batching for time management is super simple! You group like tasks together to be completed in one “task window”.
I find that by using task windows I can be more flexible and change my schedule when things don’t go quite as planned. Such as a sick child or a family emergency.
On the days that I am home with the children, I create two task windows (usually post-it notes in my diary so they can be moved around). The first window is during my daughters’ day nap and the second in the evening when they are down for a nap. It would look something like:
- Task Window #1: Outline and research blog posts for the month and client blog posts.
- Task Window #2: Write Client 1 blog posts and if time, start writing my blog posts.
Creating these task windows and a schedule is essential to running your home-based business as a WAHM. It keeps you on track and organized.
Just remember to use that base amount of hours you have worked out and divided into categories to create your task windows. This way you can be sure to focus on all aspects to create a successful freelance writing business.
And don’t forget the number one most important task to schedule in….having fun! Whether that is alone time or family time, you need that downtime so you do not burn out.