How To… balance a freelance schedule.

As most of you already know, I am a freelance worker and self-employed in my own tutoring business. Which is kind of cool, as it means I can sit around on my butt all day and somehow get housework done and make a full time income. But it also means the schedule is insane. My everyday life has changed a lot since I went from being “the rural housewife” to actually becoming “the second earner”, and the schedule is the weakest point of the day.

So, when you have this work here and that work there, deadlines all over the place and have to work from your own home, how do you balance a freelance schedule? Here are my tips.

1: Set hours.

If any of your work has set times, build the rest of the day around them. Don’t worry about other aspects of the day, just prioritize set hours and deadlines and let everything else work itself out.

2: Think about time.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Think of how much time you have to complete a project, look at the time you have available and make realistic decisions.

On the other hand, you can always cancel something halfway. Don’t fall for the fallacy of sunk costs. Sometimes it’s better to end a business agreement or a task halfway through in order to focus on something you would rather be doing.

3: Reviews versus money.

When starting up, sweat the reviews but keep an eye on the money. Reviews mean more money, even if you have to do some underpaid work to get there. But make sure you’re not out of pocket, either!

When you’re established, sweat the money but keep an eye on the reviews. You need to look out for yourself and your business. But make sure the buyers think they are getting their money’s worth, or you will have bad reviews.

You cannot prioritize both unless you plan on letting this become a full time job.

4: Home office.

Try and contain all your work in an area of the house. This way you will always know where it is and you will save insane amounts of time.

5: Powering down.

When you set foot outside your home office, the working day ends. Check emails, by all means, but don’t try and keep going day and night. Set aside some time to keep your house in order, enjoy your family and be yourself.

6: Write a list.

Write up a complete list of your daily tasks every morning. Write in timed ones first, then fit everything else in around the times. Include work tasks and home tasks. Push important tasks nearer the start of the day and leave less important ones as a footnote for if you have time. This should help keep you focused and make sure everything gets done.

OTOH, I’m pretty sure I need a break soon. I’m forgetting to power down.

How do you balance your schedule?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.
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How To… track your ovulation…

…if you’re not good at maths.

I am really, really, really focusing on this “having a baby” thing. I am surprising even myself with how much I am throwing into it and how badly I want to be pregnant ASAP. I know it may take longer than a month, but I really want to give it my all.

So, naturally, however much sex we’re having, I still want to track my ovulation and make sure we have even more on those few days.

My problem? I am rubbish at maths, and monitoring, and I’m not the most regular girl anyway. So, here are some top tips to tracking ovulation if you haven’t the time, the inclination, the obedient ovaries or the brains to work it out mathematically.

Warning for frank discussion of the nasty bits.

1: Body temperature.

You will be a bit warmer on average when you are ovulating. Not a lot, and of course being warmer could mean many things, but this could be a good secondary sign to look out for.

2: Fluids.

Don’t be afraid to just check how your natural lubricant is behaving. Egg-white-looking (translucent, jelly, stretchy) and abundant fluid means your body is trying to be nice and hospitable to any sperm that may pay a visit.

3: Count down.

Have around two weeks passed since the start of your last period? Chances are you will ovulate some time in the third week.

4: Approximate.

Was your last period on the 18th? Count back six days. Then your last ovulation was around the 12th. You will likely be ovulating around the 12th (10th-14th) this month.

5: Horny?

Finding hubby absolutely irresistible? Your mind is off all work and difficult to focus? Picking up the romance books at the library? That’s your body telling you it wants a baby.

6: Tight tummy.

In preparation for the possible zygote, your body will plump up the cushions (womb walls), get some refreshments (womb lining) and make a little space (womb filling). If your abdomen feels tight and expanded under the belly button but you don’t really, really need to pee, then your womb is ripe and ready.

7: Toilet breaks.

OTOH, if you really, really need to pee a lot, all day, there might be some swelling that is pushing on your bladder. It could be the womb swelling up, even if you can’t directly feel it yet.

8: Ask a girl in the know.

Have a close friend or coworker who religiously tracks her cycle? Know you are more or less in sync with her? Then ask away, chances are you match up there too!

9: Sticks.

And if you really despair, get yourself a little box of ovulation sticks and call it a day. All this calendar watching isn’t for everyone. :p

And that is how I am keeping an eye out for ovulation. Hopefully it’s helpful to someone.

How did/do you track your cycle? Did I miss anything?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!