A good work-life balance has always been important, but it is arguably more so, given that many flexible workers, the idea of running such a tight schedule that is riddled with deadlines makes it difficult to dedicate enough time to planning and ideas, but ensuring you dedicate yourself appropriately to your role is likely to impress your contacts.
There is so much to do in both your work and your social life, so how do you fit it all in and do it all well?
Lexi Rodrigo, creator of the Savvy Freelancer wrote in a post for IPSE Freelance Folder that it can be simpler than many people realise to simplify their freelancing business and with it, embrace a simpler life that can be more fulfilling and relaxing for individuals.
Indeed, the first thing freelancers looking for a simpler life should do is address the number of services they offer, as while being a jack of all trades can help attract more clients, it is often the case that people will be good at a lot of things, but a master of none, meaning the premium work will often fall to somebody else.
Furthermore, this can be a much more stressful way to work, as people have to spread their focus on numerous areas, rather than becoming excellent in one area.
What’s more, tackling cluttered work processes can also be a good path towards the simple life, as doing the same task over and over is simply a waste of time and effort.
Lexi Rodrigo claimed a good way to achieve this is to create flow charts highlighting all the important tasks which need to be carried out by freelancers. In this way, they can see what each job boils down to and it could showcase ways of paring back tasks or multitasking that can make life easier.
Professional freelancer Farnoosh Brock also recently wrote in a post for Copy Blogger that meditation can hold the key to freelancers becoming more productive, as it can enable them to get rid of any distractions and to simply focus on the task at hand.
Finally, Lexi Rodrigo argued the most important tenet of achieving the simple life for freelancers should be in taking the time to think a bit more about whether taking on that new client is really worthwhile, or if providing a new service is really the right thing to do.
Here are some of our tips to maintain a healthy work-life balance:
One of the main struggles individuals who are new to self-employment often experience is how to ensure their productivity levels remain high – even during those down periods between projects that are common at the beginning of any career.
An article published by the Harvard Business Review suggests that the key to staying busy is to create a to-do list featuring all of the tasks you are aiming to complete and a date or time you would like to have these finished by.
On top of this, freelancers should remember that attempting to get too much done at one time could actually be counterproductive and see them complicating jobs that should be easy, while also putting the quality of projects at risk.
Prioritising the biggest projects or those that will require the most attention can help through stressful periods, but it can also be beneficial to take breaks and gather your thoughts while your mind ponders particular issues.
Unfortunately for many freelancers, the immediate changes to their career may leave them feeling anxious and stressed initially, as the process to becoming a full-time freelancer is a major transition in anyone’s life.
As a freelancer, your hours probably vary hugely. Decide how many hours a week you are prepared to work and, if possible, establish roughly when these will take place. Be really disciplined in sticking to these and have a friend, loved one or fellow freelancer hold you to this. Determine how many hours a week you’re going to spend tackling emails and sorting out receipts and accounts, so you don’t spend a whole week changing your invoice template without actually doing what you’re primarily being paid for.
However, the key is to channel the stress into something productive before it gets out of control. This can be achieved through recognising the type of worry that you are feeling and taking time out to focus on factors of the job that you can control.
Compartmentalisation is a way to help you focus on your work while at your desk and then enjoy seeing your friends and having some downtime. Remove all distractions while you’re working, so you can be as efficient and productive as possible.
Content marketing professional and co-founder of outstanding SETUP Sean Platt wrote in his latest post for Copy Blogger that many freelancers often neglect the fact that they should take time for themselves each day, as they become too focused on improving their business and maximising their revenues.
As a result, Platt argued this can lead to individuals burning out, as unless they take care of themselves they run the risk of losing that drive and enthusiasm that is integral to the creation of any lasting business venture.
In order for freelancers to maintain the drive, Platt noted they should set aside at least an hour of every working day to set aside client issues and work to focus on their own needs, such as writing for pleasure or blogging.
This can be a great way for freelancers to keep their enthusiasm for their craft, as while bringing in the most money possible can be rewarding, ultimately it can lead to freelancers becoming jaded, as they have less creative freedom than when they are carrying out projects of their own design.
One way that freelancers might like to incorporate some extra free time into their day is to consider outsourcing a proportion of projects to other people. This can be a positive move in more ways than one, as it helps freelancers to build lasting contacts within the industry, as well as providing them with the opportunity to get out from their office for a while, safe in the knowledge their clients’ needs are still being met.
Life changes frequently, which means your work-life balance will always be adjusting.