I’m learning quickly that as a small businessperson, finding a certain amount of balance between running my business, providing services to clients and maintaining a personal life is one of the most difficult aspects of being my own boss. And it’s a lot harder than it sounds. My 22 year old is preparing to leave the nest, so my personal life is in transition. Add flat tires, birthdays, doctor’s appointments and the like into the mix and the personal aspect alone can be overwhelming. Yesterday’s tax deadline has been hanging over my head for a few weeks on the business side of things, and trying to actually find the time to do my estimated quarterly has been difficult because of the time I needed to commit to my client and their business. To be honest, I’ve felt like a juggler who keeps dropping the balls.
Yesterday, in the midst of a minor crisis, I stepped back, took a deep breath and decided it was high time for me to examine the situation a bit closer. When I really looked at the way I was dividing up my time I came to the realization that I was spending much more time on client work than I was actually being paid for. And just how does one do that when they run a time tracking software and schedule just the 15 hours a week? Apparently quite easily. Unexpected phone calls were going unlogged as well as follow up work relating to them. And the same thing with e-mail. Not to mention the ‘non-related’ items like “Can you throw that info into a spreadsheet for us?” that somehow didn’t get logged either. I was appalled at the amount of time I was giving away for free.
This situation called for action. I pinned up a reminder on my bulletin board that states “Unlogged time is wasted time” to help me remember to log those unexpected calls, e-mails and unrelated projects. Then I went over my schedule and added time each day for working on my own business. And even though I doubt that I’ll ever be able to abide by the ‘9 to 5’ rule as far as separating work from home life, I’ve made a concerted effort to set aside time with my family in the evenings even if I end up doing a little bit of work late at night.
With a bit of planning and a lot of determination I think I might be able to get the hang of this juggling thing.