Freelancing, a chosen career path by many due to its flexible nature, allows independent workers to work anytime and from anywhere.
In this increasingly ‘always connected’ and ‘on-the-go’ society we live in, the lines between work and life are even more blurred.
Too much flexibility may result in lack of structure and can quickly make freelance life overwhelmingly present.
Maintaining a balance between work and non-work efforts is essential in establishing a well-balanced lifestyle.
In the following article we will be covering seven steps to help you find that well-needed work/life balance.
1. Create a schedule (and stick to it!)
We know that many of you may have chosen the freelancer life to avoid the 9-5 hustle, but having a schedule does not mean that you have to stick to this archaic way of working.
Determine what times work best for you, create a loose schedule and roll with it.
This will give you ‘permission’ to take time off and keep yourself from feeling obligated to work every hour under the sun.
Find yourself doing your best work in the morning? Wake up early and have a good few hours spitting out content.
Not a morning person? Then set your hours for later in the day.
Structure is the key here. You will really reel in the benefits of having dedicated time on and off from working.
2. Build a dedicated workspace
A big perk of office life is the capacity to have your own desk and dedicated workspace – a space to stay focused.
Not all freelancers have this luxury and, just because you can work from your sofa doesn’t mean you should!
If you’re working from home, be sure to set up a dedicated work space that will allow you to separate work and business from your personal life.
If you thrive off working alongside like-minded individuals, identify a co-working space local to you or even find a coffee shop you love to be in.
An area specifically designed for working means that your concentration and production levels are likely to be higher. It also makes it easier to switch off at the end of your working day.
3. Have a separate email address
This may sound like a basic tip, but having an email address exclusively for work will make life a lot simpler.
A space dedicated to client and work will make it easier to prioritise your load and reduce any social disruptions (and yes, we mean the latest offers from your fave fashion brands!).
And it means that when you’re having some well-deserved time off, you won’t be tempted to fall back into work by seeing a certain email.
4. Holidays do still exist
Having a flexible working schedule means it can be hard to set time to the side for holidays and days off. And clients can often forget that you’re not actually available 24/7.
The key is planning ahead and trying to schedule as many holidays as possible.
Top tip: choose your dates in advance and let your clients know that you will be unavailable then or running at a reduced rate – this means you will be less likely to fall into work when the time comes along.
5. Don’t forget about self care
We often find it easy to praise others, but when it comes to ourselves we can be very hesitant.
Take time to check-in and re calibrate with yourself.
Be sure to have regular breaks, take time to exercise, listen to music and enjoy the great outdoors.
6. Don’t overcommit
It’s easy to feel compelled to take on as much as work as possible, especially when it’s readily available. But don’t feel obliged to saying yes!
Overcommiting yourself can lead to burn outs and affect your mental health as well as overall performance.
Know how much you can handle at one time and if you have to say no, say no. Let clients know when you will be available, or ask for more notice in the future. A good client will understand.
Or look for ways you can delegate work to another pro who can help relieve stress. Identify freelancers through market places like Moonlighting to find experts in any field.
7. Be social
Just because you are not in an office environment it does not mean that you can’t be social.
Missing human interaction? Visit the local café to work, being surrounded by other like-minded individuals will give you that social boost you may need.
The freelancing world has never been bigger, so finding people in the same situation as you is not as hard as it may seem.
There are a good number of Facebook groups dedicated to freelancers like you – providing advice and guidance for those within the industry. There’s also a good number of platforms, designed solely for making freelancing life easier, see Fiverr for a great example.
So next time you start to feel like your mix between work and life is taking a hit, stop. Pause. Breathe. And give yourself some time. You’ve got this!
Here at Social Republic we have a Freelance Network of over 400 freelancers, fancy joining? Get in touch today.