This doesn’t come as a surprise. Freelancing offers a lot of benefits.
But what many people don’t know is that freelancing isn’t easy. Especially when you’re just getting started. You have to learn how online marketing works, how to find clients, and learn a ton of skills that you never thought you’d need.
But the hardest part is, if you don’t do it right, you might end up overworked.
It’s hard to create a borderline between personal life and work. Why? It’s because you don’t have a workplace separate from home. You don’t have a fixed schedule and you only have virtual colleagues.
Hustle is important.
But at the end of the day, we should also give priority to the things that matter in our lives like our families, friends, and ourselves.
So how do you actually maintain a healthy work and life balance when working at home?
Make a schedule and stick with it
One of the perks of freelancing is flexibility. You work at your own time because you are your own boss. Since you have full control over work, there’s a greater chance of procrastination until you found yourself working late nights cramming to meet deadlines.
Plan your schedule. List your projects and target deadlines. Work at a definite time so you will know when to stop. When you work, avoid distractions. Make the set working hours as productive as it can be and enjoy the rest of the day without feeling guilty.
Don’t over commit yourself
Money can be tempting but accepting projects without having a proper delivery plan may result in delays and unhappy clients. Learn to say no when your plate is already full. Be honest with your clients most especially to yourself when it comes to workloads. If you don’t set your limitations, you’ll find yourself burnt out and miserable.
Agree with your clients regarding your work schedule. Let them know when you’re going to sign off. Some clients think that since you are working remotely, you are available 24/7 when in fact you are not. Set the client’s expectations for a harmonious working relationship.
Saying no to clients may mean lost opportunities. You are just a one-man team and you can’t do it all. The solution? Outsource. Have other freelancers do the work for you. Weigh the pros and cons. This may cost you a little but distributing workloads may actually mean higher income and at the same time more personal time spent outside of work.
Have a decent workspace at home
Make yourself feel as if you are working in an office. Avoid working near your bed. The temptation to sleep is hard to resist. It is hard to be productive when you can work anywhere around the house exposing yourself to television, noise and other distractions.
Investing in your workspace such as having proper lighting and work worthy office furniture will encourage you to work effectively and efficiently. Make sure to declutter. Remove unnecessary stuff that may reduce your concentration at work.
Take a break
Make it a habit to take a break within your working hours. Take a coffee break, breathe and relax, stretch and exercise.
Have time to do things you are passionate about. Are you into sports? Do you love to cook, bake or paint? Learn to enjoy even in time of stress.
Are you tired of working for months (or years!) without a break? Reward yourself a vacation because you deserve it. Don’t be afraid to ask permission from clients. Recharge your batteries and get back to work with a refreshed and more creative mind because you rested.
This is one of the greatest challenges of freelancing. You get isolated from people because you are working at home and you don’t have workmates! Go out and meet your friends. There is life outside the home. Don’t you miss getting dressed?
If you’re an introvert like me, there is bliss in being alone.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t meet with friends. Trust me, seeing your friends, and the people that matter to you, in the flesh helps you with your mental health.
If you don’t necessarily like meeting with friends that often but crave for human interaction of some sort, try co-working spaces or coffee shops.
Join work from home communities. People with common interests most likely get along. Use Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to communicate and be updated with social happenings.
Having freedom doesn’t equal to a well-balanced life. Be it a corporate or a freelancing job, don’t let your job eat you. Help yourself and enjoy life!