6 ways to achieve a better work-life balance as a freelancer
For freelancers, especially in the early days, the pressure to get the work in is real. This can result in serious cabin fever and overworking, which is bad for business and even worse for your health. To keep you on the right track or to help you take the first steps into freelancing, here are 6 ways you can achieve a better work-life balance.
Don’t be afraid to say no to work
When you're starting out and you don't have a regular income, the idea of turning down work feels like a sin.
Try to get out of that mindset. Taking on unsustainable projects at the expense of your wellbeing will set you back further than turning them down.
Ask yourself if this lead will serve you long-term, and be realistic with how much work it entails. You know how much your time is worth. If it sounds like too much of a struggle and isn't likely to move you closer to your goals, politely decline.
Nothing, not even the lure of more money, is worth sacrificing your health for.
Eat well and prioritise sleep
Diet and sleep are the pillars of good health, neglect them and it will soon catch up with you. Stress contributes to increased blood pressure and cholesterol, while sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on your immune system and mental resilience.
Do the right thing and eat a balanced diet, with plenty of whole foods and water. Getting a full 8 hours of sleep per night is the best thing you can do to achieve a positive work-life balance. With adequate sleep comes better decision-making, a more positive outlook, and a healthier body.
Prioritise human interactions
Freelancing is often a solitary experience, which can be a recipe for disaster in terms of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
As social beings, interacting with people and developing relationships is an important part of regulating your emotions. Neglect friends and family and it will quickly lead to inner conflict and wreak havoc on your productivity.
Spend quality time with people close to you, and watch your stress levels drop and your motivation return.
Remember why you got into freelancing in the first place
You rejected the 9 ‘til 5 life because you wanted to pursue your passion. You wanted the flexibility to choose your own hours and the projects you invest in.
Granted, the world of freelancing carries greater pressures from time to time, but remember you are your own boss. If you're feeling consistently overwhelmed, it's time to take stock and make some changes.
Start from square one and look carefully at your product. Focus in on the problem you solve for people and what you do best, then adjust your portfolio and marketing accordingly.
It’s better to do one or two things brilliantly well, than have an array of average disciplines. The latter will only lead to an unclear proposition and unnecessary burnout.
Lay down your boundaries
There’s a difference between having a flexible schedule and rolling out of bed to start work in your PJs. Working from the sofa sounds good in theory, but before you know it the lines between work and free time are blurred, and you can never truly clock off.
To prevent this from happening, find a space in your home where you can be productive and stick to it, with regular breaks pencilled in throughout the day. The goal is to find balance, which is only going to be possible if you know where the boundaries are.
Join a co-working community
Go one further than a home office and join a co-working space where like-minded freelancers and startups can collaborate in a relaxed environment. You'll be able to:
• Expand your network
• Clock in and out when you please
• Hire meeting rooms to impress your clients
• Sit at a new desk every week
workinc makes finding your dream work-life balance easy, with feel at home perks like 24/7 access, unlimited Wi-Fi and no lengthy contracts to worry about.
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