Work Boundaries

Lately, I’ve been in need of some guidance. Lucky for me, I have a mentor…for a little while. She’s really nice and helpful, and has given me some solid advice and direction.

One of the things I’m struggling with–that I haven’t brought up with her yet–is the balance between work and the rest of life. Writing from home is working from home, and thus boundaries are blurred. Do I clock in from nine to five? Can I work hours here and there? How do I resist the temptation to always be writing or editing or submitting or promoting or networking? I don’t know. I simply don’t know.

I want to put the first things first, but how much time am I supposed to give them? It’s making me feel like a clown juggling a dozen bowling pins. And the clown is bad at juggling, so they only stay up in the air for a split second, and are now scattered across the ground.

So I’m asking you, dear self-employed friends: how do you set boundaries and what should they look like?

Here are the things in my life, in no particular order:

  1. Work – which includes writing, editing, submitting, research, networking (blogging, tweeting, FB-ing, etc.), etc.
  2. Housework
  3. Family life (I’ll be helping my sister with my niece for a little while after Little Guy is born)
  4. Spiritual life
  5. Social life/friends
  6. Volunteer life (planning writing meetings, and then “teaching” them every-other week)
  7. Personal life (fun and reading)

How does one juggle? One pin at a time for so long (each day) I’d imagine. I guess I could set time for different things. I think I will.

Sorry. Thinking out loud.


How do YOU deal with the distractions of life and juggling the necessities?

Keep your pen on the page,

Author: bethovermyer

Beth Overmyer wears several hats, all belonging to different writers. From fantastical kidlit to everyday popular fiction, Beth pens her work with gusto. In 2008, her screenplay The Method won best comedy at Gotham Screen’s contest, and in 2012, her MG book In a Pickle came out from MuseItUp Publishing.

5 thoughts

  1. Beth — Still working on that! I have a day job, with a fairly standard workday — so that defines itself. Chores have to get done, usually on a schedule. I have to define scheduled times for other things, too — I can manage time better if I’ve committed to it in advance. The somewhat eccentric result is that I end up doing a lot of writing and critiquing while I’m eating lunch or dinner. (What the Gilbreths used to call “unavoidable delay.”)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I tend to organise on a weekly basis – how many hours per week will this thing take me? Then once I know that, I can better keep track if something is taking up too much of my time.

    I also tend to write lists of tasks in order of priority, and give myself a certain number per day, so that if I get overwhelmed, I can always say, “It’s OK, I only need to do these things today”, but if I get more done, then awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! You’ve got it down to a science, it sounds like. Wish I had as much discipline as you 🙂 I like the priority list bit–that’s what I’ve done, per a mentor’s suggestion.
      Thanks for stopping by!


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