This post was originally written on Facebook and includes some additional commentary.
I love this super inspirational piece from Peter Shankman. Other people I’ve met who want to pursue a passion outside of work say to me often, “I don’t know how you do it. I don’t have the time.” Over and over, this seems to come up when I talk about the things I like doing. “I don’t have time.”
Do you think I do? I work full-time outside of editing. I have a family. I decide to make the time, whether that means taking a few hours at night to work on a project or sacrificing sleep to edit. I could choose to spend my nights binge watching a show…OR I could choose it planning out my week, writing back to clients, and editing or writing.
As much as I wish I had a Time Turner, that’s not the case. We all have the same amount of time here; how you use it matters, and changing the way I use my time has benefited my clients, my family, and myself.
How do I balance it all?
- Insane planning – I used to just plan as I go, and sometimes it’s still necessary, but for the most part, schedules for what gets worked on when and where are determined at least a week in advance. I also leave room for some social time and family time.
- Essential tools – Between Gmail, Google Calendar, Trello, and Google Drive, technology somehow allows me to balance everything I do. There are contingencies in place for when plans change, but for the most part, what I plan out is what I stick with.
- Communication – It eats at me when I don’t return an email in a timely manner, whether it’s from a prospect or a current client. Giving regular updates and notification when timelines change is essential when you’re balancing it all. Customer service is at the heart of the services I provide, and so giving updates and answering questions is just as important as doing the actual work.
What I like about Shankman’s piece also is he doesn’t even talk about pursuing a passion, but on improving his health. I’m working on that, too. I’ve joined a women’s self defense class. Three days a week, for an hour or two, I’m working on improving my health.
Is it easy? Absolutely not. Do I have the time? Nope. But it’s necessary. It’s been something I put off much too long, and everything else in my life has suffered as a result. While my attendance only began in January, being in the community and taking care of myself has paid off.
It is my hope sharing my experience about balancing all of the things I enjoy with a calling that is unavoidable inspires other people to pursue their own dreams and goals. While running a business may not be for everyone, it’s possible you can devote time to the things you are passionate about when you feel as though you are stretched thin.