Work First, Play Later

I run four businesses. It’s a lot of work, but well worth the effort. My daughter is special needs, and requires a lot of attention, and appointments. I also home school her.

Today is the first day of school for us. It didn’t quite go as planned. The plan was to have her up and starting by 9. It is almost noon and she is just now getting around. She fights doing school work like it’s going to kill her. I push her to do it anyway. It is the biggest battle we have.

This year I have more work to do than I have in her entire life. I keep long hours, and have very little free time, but it keeps our bills paid. I was hoping to have her doing more independent study this year, but it seems like maybe I was hoping for too much. So I sit here, with her beside me, and I coach her through each subject.

My goal has always been for my children to love to learn. I wanted them to become avid readers, and writers, and researchers. Instead I have to prod her along, and it’s very taxing for both of us. I have tried to make school more attainable for her this year. I want to build confidence. So I bought a lot of five minute a day work books. Something that can be done in a short amount of time. I am hopeful that this method will make her feel at ease with it, and she will learn to just get it done.

I have rearranged our schedule to be home more. I want to create a time that is only used for school. I expect that this will also help keep her on track. It keeps me on track. Morning is work time. It is becoming a part of our routine. Routine is important to everyone. We all have our ways of doing things. The order that we get ready for bed. How we rise in the morning. The way we take to work. Working from home, and home schooling should be no different.

Many people get frustrated when I guard my time. Let me say this, working from home deserves the same amount of respect as working outside of the home. You would not just expect your friends to take days off from work without a good reason. Working from home is the same situation.

If I take the day off to spend time with you, that means I have to work late into the night to catch up. If my daughter misses a day of school, that means we have to take another day to complete her work. Working from home, and home schooling is not something to take lightly. It needs to be re-guarded as any other work, and school day. They are non negotiable tasks that have to get done no matter what else is going on.

The way that we do this is by not making plans in the morning. Not allowing interruptions, and not seeking to do something else. The last one is the hardest for me. I am usually up for spur of the moment trips, and currently I am learning to say no to all of them. Work first, play later. Playing later is always so much more fulfilling when your work is done.

I don’t rise early. It is a misconception that everyone needs to rise early to get work done. My best hours don’t even start until after 10am. Getting up early only makes me more tired as the day goes on. That does not help me get things accomplished, and in fact usually makes me waste time trying to rest and catch up. Everyone’s body is different. What works for people is different.

Take some time and evaluate what areas you need to be more disciplined in. Are there places that you need to put boundaries up? Places where guarding your time is important? Look at how you live routinely. Are you living in a place of doing what needs to get done first? Evaluating how I use my time has become a necessary tool for being productive without over doing it. It is needed to see where I have become lazy, and where I need more disciple, or guarded time.

The thing that is universal is being disciplined. It is a word that I hold close. If I am not disciplined then nothing gets done. If I am not disciplined then my daughter’s education suffers. If I am not disciplined then we financially suffer. Being self employed, and in charge of education for my child requires disciple. Nothing would get done with out it. It is not a new discovery that if you do not guard your time, and become self disciplined you will never get very far. But, it is a great tool that we do not always use when we should.

I am hoping this year will be better, less of a struggle. I hope yours will be too.

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