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Freelancing moms often burn the candle at both ends. Their to-do lists are miles long, and there are only so many hours in a day. As a result, sleep is often the first thing to get cut.
Trying to do it all without enough sleep isn’t a sustainable business practice. The human body can only be pushed for so long before it will shut down and force you to get the rest you need! I learned this lesson the hard way.
My oldest son, Owen, has a severe sleep disability. Despite being on sleep medication, he rarely sleeps through the night. I’m often up with him.
When I was first growing my business, I kept getting my computer out and trying to work in the wee hours of the night while Owen watched movies.It didn’t work so well.
Here’s what happened:
-I got grumpy.
-My work didn’t have the same quality
-I suffered from a major case of brain fog
-I didn’t have enough energy the next day to tackle what really needed to get done
-I felt behind in life and stopped putting as much effort into my business
-My business didn’t grow
In short, nothing good came as a result of me trying to work in the middle of the night. Any progress I made came at a cost. A cost that I’m not willing to pay.
Now, even if I’m up with Owen, I try to rest as much as possible. I don’t check my email, write, or do much of anything.
I give my brain time to rest. To not always be in
Writing in the middle of the night, or staying up too late to write, is just not sustainable for long-term success. It’s also not healthy.
Don’t just take my word for it. Check out this article by the National Institutes of Health. Sleep plays an amazing role in the human body!
So busy mama, as you’re busy growing your business, please don’t do it at the expense of sleep. At least not all the time.
Here are three ideas for getting more writing done during the day:
-Keep a pad of paper and a pen in the kitchen. While you’re waiting on meat to brown or water to boil when cooking, make it a point to have a brain dump. Write down all of your ideas.
-Set the older kids up with a box of Legos and a list of objects to build. Give them an inexpensive digital camera to take a picture of each item they make. Once they’ve built everything, have them come show all the amazing pictures to you. While they’re building–you write!
–Carve 10-15 minute work times into your day. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you’re focusing for just a short burst of time. If you can squeeze just two fifteen minute work sessions into your day (perhaps while your kids are doing chores, working on independent school work, or playing), you’ve just added two and a half hours of work every five days!
What’s your status with sleep–do you get enough? What tips can you add for sustainable growth for your business without working in the middle of the night?
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.