My 9 Hour Work Week – Running an Online Business and Still Being Available
I’ve been asked quite a few times to show what my work week looks like.
What does it look like to be present and available and still run an online business? It’s a challenge – I think it would be easier to have a job with consistent work hours and be told what projects to work on rather than having to figure that out on my own.
When things come up like they did this week (sick child, neighbor issues, parents need groceries), I’m forced to only work on the essentials, which means editing videos, publishing blog posts, and sending emails.
There are so many other things that *could* be done, but because my time is limited, I have to be picky and prioritize.
I would “succeed” in business more if I dedicated more time to it. If I had a nanny or after-school care for my kids I could get so much more done!
But I would rather be available to take care of them when they’re sick and be a present mom when they come home from school.
This week, I spent about 9 hours actually working. 9 hours isn’t much to run a business, but I’m thankful it’s enough to earn an income and still be available for things that come up in our family.
Mondays are always flexible. Stephen has the day off and does laundry at our house. When he comes by he normally visits so I don’t plan to get much work done. This is a day I can catch up on house stuff when he’s visiting – cook, tidy, fold laundry, etc.
This particular Monday, Stephen didn’t come by until early afternoon, so I was able to write a blog post and airdropped all my videos for different video projects in the morning.
After 1 PM, I made turkey soup, read with Paul, and made garlic focaccia for a dinner meeting I was attending.
Our two oldest sons have been creating a game together, and Jesse (our second oldest) brought it over and tested it out with everyone while I was away.
Total worked: 3 hours
Each Tuesday Brian and I create a new 10-Minute Mission PDF for my Clutter-Free Army. He is a graphic designer by trade and does all the layout for me. He copies the previous format and has me write all the text. Then he spell-checks and makes sure everything aligns correctly.
I spent the rest of the morning responding to comments, and emails, and editing video.
Paul was home this day, not feeling well (he gets headaches, and we’re experimenting with food and supplements, replacing glasses, etc. trying to figure it out) so I spent the rest of the day with him.
Total worked: 1.5 hours
A neighbor hadn’t been seen for several days, packages were being left on his front porch and we were concerned. After talking with other neighbors, we decided to call the police for a well-fare check. He wasn’t there. Later he got ahold of us and said he’d been evicted and left quickly. So thankfully, he was well.
Wednesday is our “date day” so had lunch with Brian and then the kids got out of school early, as they do every Wednesday.
The rest of the day was spent with the kids, doing things around the house. In the evening Brian and the kids go to taekwondo and I take time to call Brian’s mom and catch up, then watch YouTube until everyone gets home.
Total worked: 1.5 hours
My dad had a stroke in February and they live about 2 hours away, in the middle of Montana, where there are no grocery delivery services. I took groceries up to them and helped my mom rearrange her pantry.
I got home around 6 PM, in time to eat dinner with Brian and the kids.
In the evening Brian had a friend over to play games with all the boys, and Naomi and I sit in my room and watch The Chateau Diaries on YouTube.
Total worked: 0
After dropping off my parent’s tax papers with their accountant, I was able to schedule a few emails for the promotion I was running on the Minimalist Mindset Journaling Course and edit more video.
It went by quickly and then the afternoon was spent having fun with the kids, making faces with stickers, and cooking dinner with Paul while Titus read and Naomi worked on drawing while listening to an audiobook. (Her current favorite is The Sin Eater by Francine Rivers.)
Total worked: 3 hours
(Our Friday night dinner)
1 Sweet Onion
3 Serrano Peppers
2 lbs thinly sliced steak
Saute until beginning to brown.
1 can of full-fat coconut milk
Simmer for 20 minutes
Serve over rice.
My ideal day:
I would love to have every day be the same – because I know I do well with routine, and I am much more productive if I have set hours.
These days are rare, but this is my aim:
6:30-8:00 AM Breakfast/Get kids to school
8:00 AM Devotional/Quiet time
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM Work
12:00 – 12:30 PM Lunch
12:30 – 2:00 PM Work
2:00 PM – 9:00 PM Parent my children, housework, cook, garden, etc.
9:00 PM – 10:00 PM Relax with Brian
That would give me 5 hours a day to work, 25 hours a week total.
That seems very luxurious written down – how much I could get done in 25 hours a week!
But I don’t want my focus to be my personal ambition, I want my focus to be my family and whatever God puts in front of me.
Some weeks I put more time in especially if I’m creating a program or vlogging every day like I did last Christmas. But on the whole, this week was typical. Things come up, almost every day, family, neighbors, church family, etc.
It does get frustrating, as I want to sit down and not be bothered and just do what I want to do, but I have to remind myself that this is why I embraced minimalism. This is why I wanted to work for myself. To have this flexibility, and to be available.
And if I pause and remember that, I’m so thankful that I have the flexibility to do that! To be around for my children and not have to worry about my position at work.
And God has been faithful to provide enough income with the limited amount of work I put in.
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