How to maintain a work-life balance as a freelancer? Here are our 10 golden tips!
Do you work as a freelancer and want to be more productive? Perhaps you need a moment to relax in your free time? This is possible as long as you know how to follow the rules of the proper work-life balance as a freelancer. This allows you to experience much greater pleasure with work than before.
Advantages and disadvantages of freelance work
Working as a freelancer provides numerous opportunities, and with the appropriate diversification of the client portfolio, it also gives a great sense of financial security. This is mainly due to the fact that you do not rely on one employer. So if there are employee reductions in one job, you won’t lose all your income sources. After all, you will receive your salary from several other clients.
This nature of work, however, has its own specifics. Especially when you get a lot of projects and start having problems to complete them within deadlines. Staggering tasks are a simple path to stress, and hence to a decrease in your motivation to work, which will make you feel exhausted. Therefore, knowledge of how to maintain the proper work-life balance will allow you to find the right compromise between work and private life.
Learn about the 10 principles on how to maintain the right work-life balance as a freelancer
Maintaining a healthy balance between private life and professional activity is essential in the work of a freelancer. With neither a boss nor an employment contract, you are responsible for how long you work and how much time you devote to professional activity. It is worth following the following 10 simple rules, thanks to which you will achieve the dream state of work-life balance.
1. Create separate space for work
Creating a workplace that is separate and divided from your personal life is the first step towards the right direction. As a freelancer, you can do it even in the space of your own home. Provided that you have a free room that you can use as a home office, where you will work every day. If you do not have such comfort, you can allocate even a separate desk for yourself, which you can organize as you wish.
What is the purpose of this procedure? First of all, in such a place there is a kind of “working atmosphere”, which is very essential for the mental attitude. Simply put: when starting to work in the designated place, your brain will automatically go into work mode and you’ll be able to focus on your professional duties instead of being distracted by a pile of dirty dishes or a TV set playing in the background.
2. Exercising during breaks from work
Another point to keep in mind is taking care of the right physical activity. It is best to use short breaks for this purpose and after a while, it will become your daily routine and a habit. You will feel the benefits very quickly and in every aspect of your professional and personal life. You will start sleeping better, you will maintain optimal weight, you will contribute to your mental health, you will have more energy and a higher level of concentration.
3. Take a nap – don’t be afraid to do that!
You can also take a nap if you feel very tired to maintain proper concentration and increase performance. Of course, all within reason! The bottom line is not to sleep through the whole day, because you have to complete your orders to earn money to pay the bills. However, a short nap during the day is a simple way to increase your own productivity.
And if you still don’t you believe that it works, there was a study conducted by the University of Michigan which showed that people who had a 60-minute nap, compared to people who watched a 60-minute nature video, showed less impulsive behaviour, had higher resistance to frustration, and showed greater mental acuity and alertness.
Still not convinced? Well, a report based on data from an American Time Use study showed that sleeping for an extra hour each week correlated with a 1.5% increase in short-term wages and a 4.9% increase in long-term wages. So try a short nap as soon as you start yawning at your desk.
4. Set clear boundaries when you are accompanied by others
When working as a freelancer in your home, it is extremely important to clearly distinguish between personal life and working time. What does this mean in practice? When you work at home, your friends or family cannot just stop by for coffee. Just as they wouldn’t be able to visit you if you performed your duties in an office.
Work from home means exactly that: work. So if someone comes or wants to come over to talk, you have every right to explain that you are working and that you will have to catch up later. Some people find this more difficult to comprehend than others, but be consistent and eventually this information will reach them.
5. Remote work is a bull market and bear market – learn to accept it
Working as a freelancer has its own specifics, and one of the most difficult issues seems to be the changing periods of the bull market and bear market, whether you work as an English translator, copywriter or have any other freelance profession. Some months will be busier than others, and as a result – you will have to work longer. Other times, you’ll have less work than you want, which you can use, for example, to look after relationships with your family.
For this reason, the way to maintain your work-life balance as a freelancer is to accept these periods. This will allow you to avoid stress resulting from too much work, as well as periods when you have less work. You will find the right balance between work and private life, which will significantly increase your productivity, regardless of whether you are at the peak of the season or in less busy times.
6. Learn to say no
Maintaining an appropriate work-life balance in the work of a freelancer also requires the ability to say no to clients. You don’t have to accept every single task, even in those worse months. The same applies to peak periods. If at this time you get an attractive job, but its acceptance will involve a disturbance of balance between personal life and work, then it is worth referring the client to another freelancer. Thanks to this, firstly: you will not have to work over 10 hours a day, and secondly: your referred freelancer friend may repay you in the future.
7. Relax and enjoy your free time
Practicing a freelance profession, e.g. working as a translator, means being able to manage your own time freely. Therefore, it is worth clearly separating the moments when you work at high speed and the moments when you can fully relax. Depending on your well-being, however, you can freely change the time spent on work and relaxation. You are your own boss and therefore you have complete freedom when it comes to planning your time as you see fit.
8. Try to ignore your email
Do you break away from your work every time you see a new message notification in your email inbox? This can significantly reduce your productivity. Although it is not possible to ignore new messages throughout the day, you should still set a daily limit for checking your mailbox. Once an hour or every two hours? The choice is yours, but remember that the most important issue remains full concentration on your work.
9. Change your priorities
The way to maintain the proper work-life balance is to clearly set your professional and personal priorities. Each time, check those that you have already completed during the day. It is an extremely easy way to stay focused, which will positively affect your productivity and contribute to maintaining an appropriate life balance.
10. Remember about the formal aspects
Do you have a lot of outstanding formal issues that you didn’t resolve on time? You have probably noticed how much it raises the pressure in both your private and professional life. However, you can avoid this provided that you have time during the day or week to take care of all the formal aspects. You will feel relief very quickly and you won’t experience pressure, which will allow you to regain your mental balance.
How do you keep your work-life balance as a freelancer?
Following a few simple rules is a great way to maintain the right work-life balance as a freelancer. Once you regain your balance, you will appreciate all the advantages of doing work this way. You have to keep in mind that working in a freelance profession, regardless of its type, has its own characteristics and requires a high level of motivation and self-discipline from you. It is a good idea to clearly separate the professional time from private time. Try to do it – the effects will come faster than you may expect.