My Day: Katie Beardsworth
I am Katie Beardsworth, Founder and Director of Polyphony Arts: classical music artist and project management with a focus on bringing together the strands of busy, complex projects and lives. Polyphony Arts is all about clarity, inclusivity, flexibility, and making life and work the best it can possibly be.
I work from home, managing a remote team of three, and working for a diverse set of classical musicians and artistic projects. I live with my husband, our almost three-year-old son, and our cat, Keith.
I work 3.5 days a week; my son goes to nursery on three of the days, and spends the fourth with my husband’s parents. Here’s how a typical nursery day works:
Around 6am – our son wakes us up. My husband makes coffee, and we all have a snuggly hour or so in bed. Well, when I say snuggly, that’s what we aim for – sometimes it’s more a case of trying to come up with games to entertain a toddler who is full of beans while allowing us to adjust to being awake!
8am – my husband bikes our son to nursery and I do a few household chores and start work.
12.30pm – lunch
1pm – back to work
5pm – husband and son return home and we have family time before starting bed time
7pm – son is hopefully asleep! Husband and I have dinner and generally watch TV or play a board game, along with trying to get the house in order.
9.30-10pm – we go to bed
Within this structure, I factor in time for exercise (something I never had proper time for when I worked full time for an employer) and routine household chores such as washing. Working from home allows me to put a wash on first thing and hang it up at lunchtime. I have no idea how we would ever get things like this done if we both worked out of the house, and have endless admiration for people who manage this!
While the above structure probably looks quite usual for a lot of parents who work from home, I find my week-long schedule very useful. Working part time is a challenge – I’ve been doing it for two years now, and I still think that I expect the equivalent of a full time week’s worth of work from each week. This makes it hard to manage my own expectations of what I can achieve. To counteract this, I have segmented my week to make sure I have time for all the various elements of my job. A particularly useful exercise is sectioning off two half-days per week when meetings can happen – I try and stick to this as much as I can. This allows me to preserve blocks of time for other work. Meetings are so important but if I don’t limit them they can leave my week feeling too “bitty”.
This idea of segmenting time works really well for me because it helps to counteract the guilt that so many parents face.
When I look at the overall structure of my week, I can see that there is time for my family, and time for all of the areas of my work. There is never as much time as I’d like for any of these things, really, but as someone who tends to feel guilty for being away from my son when working, and feel guilty for not working when I’m with my son, this has really helped me feel on top of the big picture.
I went freelance in order to create the ideal work/family balance for myself; some days I feel I’ve achieved that, some days I don’t, but this approach certainly helps.
Bio – Katie Beardsworth
Katie runs a classical music artist and project management business from home, managing team members remotely alongside running a household and looking after her son. She talks us through a typical day and shares a great tip for balancing your work/family/personal time across the week.
Find out more about Katie at on her website: https://polyphonyarts.com/