So some of you know that we’ve been searching for a house to buy (our first!) since last summer. Well, we FINALLY found one that we love, and will hopefully be moving in about a week. While I’m totally excited (can’t wait to set up a nice office that ISN’T packed with various storage items due to the lack of space in our apartment and shared with the cat’s litterbox), I’ve also been realizing that it will be taking up a LOT of my time. Already there have been a few things we’ve had to go fix on the house, like yesterday, when we had to sand off the chipped paint on the siding of the house and prime it. And then there’s the massive job of packing everything up and moving it to the new place. Then I’ll have to unpack. And all this while continuing to run a freelance business and completing school assignments. Eek!

There are some wonderful benefits to being a freelancer (like not having to ask for time off to move), but what happens when “LIFE” begins to interfere?

Adrien Luc-Sanders has some good suggestions, on an article he wrote for About.com, “Tips for the Freelance Animator: balancing your work and home life.”He talks about ways to keep the two separate, and points out that if you blend the two too much, you might feel like you’re never leaving the office. One of the points he stresses is remembering to keep a dedicated office or work space if you work from home. I’m totally guilty of that…though I have a nice desk with nice computer monitors, I tend to work on my laptop on the couch instead. This can be a problem, as sometimes I can work way past the hours I should, or be on my computer when I should be spending time with my husband or pets. I think it is better if I can close off my office and not have the computer to distract me once “work hours” end!

Luc-Sanders also talks about how as freelancers, we tend to feel like we alone are responsible for the success or failure of the business, (because we are!) so we can tend to become workaholics. He reminds us to set aside at least one day a week that’s “no freelance” time. This is a good thing to remember!

I still haven’t figured out how to balance the two all the time; sometimes things that I have to do during the week for my personal life eat into my freelance time, requiring me to catch up on the weekends. For now, since I know that moving will take a lot of my time and focus, I’ve stopped advertising and taking on new clients for the next 2 weeks, and letting the ones I have now know that I will be preoccupied that particular week. I’ll still take email and answer any questions they have, but I won’t be available 24/7 to do big project changes. I think that’s fair.

Now I just have to remember that once I’m in the new house, I can’t revert to my old “laptop on the computer” ways! Well, at least not ALL the time. 🙂

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