Finding balance in your home and work life as a virtual assistant can seem impossible at times. Unfortunately, there really is no secret or ‘quick fix’ to share. You’ll need to experiment and find what works best for you and your family. Generally speaking, there are some things you can do to get a little closer to finding balance. I use the word balance loosely because, in a way, it is a bit of a myth especially when we are solopreneurs working from home. For me, the lines are definitely blurry, but the tips below can help.
It may be hard to do at first if you are used to ‘doing it all’, but you will have to learn how to say no to some things. You really can’t do it all at home and at work and expect to feel balanced and peaceful.
You may have to stop volunteering for the PTA for a few months if you’re working on a big project for a client. Or, you may have to say no to a client project if you’re going on vacation at the time they’d want you to work. Or, it might be limiting your children’s activities, so you’re not in the car all day, picking up and dropping off kids at 65 different places. Another option is to try and find other parents in the same predicament as you that you can ride-share with to eliminate some of the running.
If you have older children who can help out around the house, let them know they will need to start pitching in. The same goes with your spouse/partner. You all live in the same house, and it’s only fair that everyone does their share of the chores. Now that it’s Summer, I have enlisted my older daughters to help out with their little brother when I’m busy with client work. That has been a huge help and it gives them some responsibility as well.
If your children are young, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Do you have a family member who could come over and watch the children one or two days a week while you work on your business tasks? If not, consider hiring a high school or college student. You’ll still be there if your children need you for something important, but you can also rest assured that they are being taken care of, and you can focus on your business.
What about outsourcing some of that work you are buried in? It’s perfectly acceptable for a virtual assistant to hire another virtual assistant to help. They can help you with client work, your own social media or even your own blog if you just aren’t finding the time to get enough work done. Again, it’s okay to ask for help.
Also be sure to take some time for yourself. You’ll be surprised at how relaxed and renewed you can feel, just by leaving the house for a bit and treating yourself to a mani pedi. If you can’t leave or can’t budget in a trip to the salon, don’t worry! Take a little “me time” and enjoy a hot bath, while letting someone else clean up the kitchen after dinner. The more you take care of yourself, the more relaxed and balanced you will feel. I know this one can be tough when you’re used to working whenever you can, but we all need a breather.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your family and let them know you’d like to achieve a more balanced life, where you have work time and plenty of time to spend with them. Once they know how you feel, they may be more than willing to help out.