Being a Freelancer comes with the freedom to set up your own working hours. As wonderful as this control over your work time can be, if you aren’t careful, you can easily find yourself either overworking or procrastinating, which isn’t great for work-life balance.
How can you take charge of your work and your life as a Freelancer? These four tips are helpful frameworks to help you find a happy medium.
There are three types of schedules you should look at as a freelancer to ensure that you don’t fall into the bad habits of overworking or procrastination. These are: daily, weekly, and monthly schedules.
You can look at your monthly schedules as a way to set your goals for the month. Weekly schedules are a way to track your weekly goals and daily schedules to ensure that you plan the necessary hours you will need to put in each day to reach your objectives.
If you’re not in the habit of working to a schedule then you really ought to try it out so that you have a clear view of your deadlines, free time, and chores.
Working from home can offer up a number of distractions. Sometimes it may feel like your work and personal life are just too close for comfort.
A key way to draw a healthy boundary is to establish a comfortable and conducive environment for working. Not everyone has the luxury of a separate room for a home office but creating your own work ‘corner’, even if it is just a desk in your room can really help a lot.
If space is limited and you are using part of your home for multipurpose activities — like hobbies, living, and work — you can create a work zone atmosphere by having specific materials or a particular setup. Once the kids are tucked away or the table has been cleared, you can shift into work with the work setup you prepared in advance.
A helpful lifestyle habit to get into is to try and spend as little of your free time at your working station to prevent the ‘feeling’ of always being surrounded by work
3. Schedule time to relax
Freelancers who keep a stable work-life balance make time for the things they love, whether it is spending time with their families, doing a virtual dance class or binge watching a series – we all crave that leisure time
Your wellbeing is best kept when you are making time to do the things that make you happy.
Sticking to schedules that consider your ‘free time’ is great for keeping you motivated. As the expression goes, ‘work hard, play hard’. But you have to be committed to the schedule and block that time out for yourself.
This may sound a little contradictory to the reason why you went the Freelance route, but an office routine offers support for many people and allows them to keep the workflow going smoothly. A routine that works for you is vital to keeping you motivated.
For example, waking up and getting ready for work is an essential lifestyle habit that sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Although many freelancers can admit to having the odd ‘PJ’s’ workday, doing so regularly can quickly make work and home life a ‘blur’ for your mindset. Whether you go for a run, shower and get dressed for success, or meditate for half an hour each morning – do something that inspires you to get going.
By setting these kinds of parameters between “office” and “home” behaviour, you are already halfway to a healthy work-life balance.
Consistency is key here;you wouldn’t exactly leave the office to go home and wash dishes or watch an episode of your favourite series, so try to stick with your schedule. It really helps to avoid procrastination!
Dedication is important
Striking a balance for a healthy work-life flow is one of the most challenging aspects of working as a Freelancer.
By keeping your goals and boundaries clear — and most importantly seeing them through– you will reap the benefits of your dedication and you may find your productivity reaches a whole new level.