When you’re working at home with kids, your foot can’t always be on the gas pedal. There will be times when you must yield, purposefully slowing down for a time.
In the final quarter of 2016, I chose to yield. To keep my teaching credentials valid, I had to obtain 15 quarter credits. After comparing the price of taking one class a quarter versus taking them all at once, I decided to only pay the fees once.
So I signed up for three college courses during the fall quarter. Though the classes only lasted for 10 weeks, I knew I was close to having too much on my plate.
Deciding What to Yield
Knowing overload was very possible, I took a look at my responsibilities. I made a list of tasks I could delegate, minimize, or cut.
Some changes were made around the home, and I cut a few of my other responsibilities. I also made decisions about my business.
I decided to stop pitching for new work during this time, focusing my business efforts on clients I was already working for.
Benefits of Deciding to Yield
Some of the benefits I discovered from purposefully cutting back included:
- Saving time, since I was no longer researching companies to pitch
- Not having to learn new clients’ systems and processes
- Being able to accurately predict how long my business tasks would take
- Feeling less stressed about an already busy schedule
- Having the energy to complete tasks well instead of just doing the bare minimum on everything
- Not jeopardizing my work reputation by taking on too many tasks I couldn’t complete
Downsides of Yielding
Of course, yielding came with some downfalls. Since I wasn’t pitching, I wasn’t getting additional work. My income definitely took a hit during this time.
I also wasn’t generating as many samples for my portfolio, or making new connections with editors.
When I cut back, I knew it was short term. I was picking where to focus my energy.
I’ve also cut back on my business at other times, such as when:
- My due date approached, and right after delivery
- Injury or illness at home required more attention
- I was trying to refocus my brand and gain clarity
Each of these times required taking my foot off the gas pedal, and really look both ways, analyzing which direction to take going forward.
Slowing down helped me to ensure I was doing what I loved, had time to focus on quality, and get processes in place to do more when I stepped back on the gas.
Are You In a Season Where You Need to Yield?
Take some time to slow down and refocus. Spend more of your energy elsewhere, and come back energized and ready to roll.
Z is for…
My A-Z series on working at home with kids wraps up tomorrow. I’ll be back in the morning with my final tip.
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