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Do you want to spend more time with your kids while also working your business? Give family writing time a try.
You see, years ago, families worked together on the family business. They all had tasks to accomplish, and spent time all working towards a common goal.
That’s the attitude that allows you to work on your business without sacrificing time with your kids. You might not be playing dolls or cars during family writing time, but you are teaching your kids to sit and focus on a task for a set amount of time.
You’ll be giving them a head start to the attitudes that are essential for working. That’s a good thing!
While you may not be ready to hand your freelancing tasks over to your kids yet, family writing time is an easy starting point. Your kids will learn to quietly work while you do.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
Decide on a Time Limit
I’ve learned that not having a set end time to family writing time doesn’t work well. I want it to end on a positive note, not disintegrate when my kids all of a sudden lose interest in what they’ve been working on.
So we set the timer and everyone knows how long writing time will be.
I started with 15 minutes, and we’ve worked our way up to 30. I’d love to go to an hour, but thirty minutes seems to work best with our family dynamics. So we’ll be sticking here for a while.
Get the Kids Settled
What writing or drawing tasks do your kids enjoy? If you need ideas, here are some posts for you to check out:
10 Family Writing Time Activities for Fall (you can use these seasonal ideas for starting points…)
You can also have your child:
- Write a creative story
- Write a play
- Create character drawings
- Write code for a project
- Play with an alphabet mat
- Look at board books
- Create puppets to tell a story with
- Use playdough and alphabet cookie cutters to create words
- Use a white board and dry erase marker
- Play with ABC blocks
- Use an iPad app
And dozens of other activities based on their age, skills, and abilities.
Set the Ground Rules
These might vary a bit based on your family. Here are our ground rules:
- It’s quiet work time, no talking!
- Gather your supplies
- Stay in your space
- Do your best without help
- Be ready to clean and share when the timer rings
Basically, my kids are free to work quietly on their own projects. They are responsible for gathering what they need and cleaning up their space.
Set the Timer
If you don’t get your kids settled before you set the timer, you won’t actually get any work done. I learned that lesson the hard way!
Remember to gather what you need as well.
I don’t usually use this time to work on writing for clients, because distractions do happen with my littles and disabled child. Instead I use family writing time to:
- Tackle emails
- Write posts for my three blogs
- Create content for courses or ebooks
- Schedule social media (well I used to do this–I need to get back in the groove!)
- Outline client posts
- Get pictures in order
This has been the biggest key to a successful family writing time with my kids. They love sharing what they’ve been working on. So once everything is cleaned up, we have a quick sharing time.
The kids show or tell what they worked on (good communication skill to practice!), and I do as well. I’ve found it’s especially important to share how what I worked on will directly impact my business.
My kids know why I’m working and what our big goals are (getting out of debt is number one right now so we can move on with the application process to become missionaries!).
They like to know that what they’re doing (working quietly) helps. That gives them more buy-in. When kids feel included, they’ll help. It’s amazing!
Even if your first attempt doesn’t go well, try it again. Keep repeating and your kids will learn the routine. They’ll soon be asking for this time if you forget.
Then you’ll have an extra thirty minutes to work each day!
Want More Information on Family Writing Time?
Pick up your copy of my new book, The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Family Writing Time today. For only $4.99, I’ll show you how to:
- Troubleshoot Family Writing Time
- Create buy-in from the family
- Use Family Writing Time to gain 2.5 hours a week to put towards your business
- Engage your kids (of any age) with dozens of kid-approved activities.
Have you tried family writing time yet?
I’d love to hear how it went for you.
If not, is it something you’ll try this year?