If you’re a business, big or small, you have office hours to some degree. Being a creative solopreneur, one who often works while others rest and vice versa, I had to create a work schedule that was unique to me. Even though it’s just me and the Lord running this thing, having set business hours is vital not only to my productivity, but it also keeps the “creator’s guilt” at bay. Ya know, the insane drive that pushes you to clock in 40 hours a week while being a stay at home mom. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it is crazy difficult. If you have or are currently doing this – Mad kudos to you, my friend.
When I first started doing photography full time, I was hyper-aware of how much time I spent working each day and week, even while taking care of a newborn. I seldom came close to the 40 hour mark and it took some time before I realized that I didn’t have to. Being your own boss comes with perks and I’m going to take advantage of them. I didn’t leave my 9-5 desk job to be chained to another desk in my own home.
I needed hours that would allow me to be productive, leave me feeling confident that I was moving the needle forward, and still leave me with plenty of time to take care of my family and myself. After reading a ton of blogs and even more trial and error, I found that the best time for me to devote to my business is when Layla is sleeping. That means afternoon naps and bedtime are my most productive hours.
No, I don’t try to wake up before Layla does in the morning. I don’t work well (or even function well, honestly) early in the morning so the most beneficial thing I can do is to get some rest for the day. I also make it a point to not work later than 9:45, with the rare exception of when I have a big deadline. Sundays and Mondays are my family and personal Sabbath days, respectively, but I do work Saturdays because Chris is able to spend more time with L. I also have someone watch her for a couple hours one day during the week so I can get a little extra work done.
This has me at an average of 20 hours a week and it’s perfect. I’m able to meet my deadlines, slowly grow my business, actually look forward to the start of each week after a couple days of intentional rest, and most importantly, I have enough time to be with my family. There was a time where I couldn’t fathom being a stay at home mom, but not having to send Layla to daycare was the final selling point in leaving my 9-5 to go full time with my business.
Having found a schedule that works this well for me is huge, y’all. This was one of the most difficult things I had to figure out and adjust to once I began working for myself. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I was ever going to figure it out!
The takeaway here – For all my friends who are making a big adjustment in their career – is that you can, and will, find something that works for you. It may just take some time, but don’t be discouraged! Above all, don’t let the rush and busy-ness of the world lure you in. You were made for so much more than go, go, go.