It’s easy to forget why you started working on your own when working as a freelancer. The chances are that one of the main reasons was the desire to find a better work-life balance.
However, as business deals begin to multiply, bills pile up, and customers send last-minute changes, it is easy for the business to prevail. Before you know it, you`re working more overtime hours than standard office hours, and you are not free during weekends anymore.
If this sounds familiar, do not despair. We have come up with tips to help freelancing females strike a better work-life balance.
1. Don’t forget the difference between an office and a home
The first step to striking a better balance between work time and leisure is to ensure that the two do not mix. Working as a freelancer generally means working from home, which can sometimes make the situation more complicated, especially if you are a woman. You do not have the luxury of leaving work at your office because your office is home. However, you can take some steps to resolve the issue.
First of all, if you can, turn a spare room into a home office where you can do your freelance work. If you don’t have an extra room, go to your local library or a quiet cafe.
Doing freelance work outside the home occasionally is, in fact, an excellent move. Not only will you leave the house, and differentiate your home from your workplace, but it will also eliminate a lot of distractions you might find at home, such as a television or video games. Also, if the library closes at 5 pm or 6 pm, it can help you maintain the standard office hours.
2. Get a Business Phone
Landline phone for your home office or another mobile phone that you could use exclusively for work is another quick solution that you can reach if you are struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
All you have to do is shut it down after you finish your job or leave it at home when you go outside. This way, you can prevent hard-working clients from disrupting your social life, assuming you still have one. Most people lose their social life after opting for freelancing, which is the reason we are writing this text.
Use time-measuring software. In addition to other ways, it can help you achieve a better work-life balance. All you have to do is keep track of the number of hours you worked. The standard UK workweek is around 37 and a half hours. A freelance job is generally not a part-time job. However, sometimes we do not realize how many hours we spend working. Hours can accumulate during a month, and you will know if you work too much, or too little, using the time tracking software. Determine how many hours a week you want to devote to freelance work. If your workweek lasts more than 40 hours, you might consider working less. It has been documented that after 40 working hours, every extra hour makes you less efficient.
3. Build a customer relationship
The chances of messing up a business are higher when it comes to new clients than with clients you’ve worked with before. That is one reason why freelancing becomes more comfortable when you have a group of regular clients. You are not trying to prove yourself to them all the time, and you probably already know what regular customers expect and want you to do. The process becomes more comfortable when you get to know the client well, and the chances are that the job will turn out well from the first attempt, which eliminates the need for last-minute changes, which is just one of the things that rob you of your free time. You will also spend less time looking for a freelance job if you have a steady stream of work from a few regular clients. You can even contact them if you have no business, which again saves time. Therefore, having sound business relationships with clients, along with understanding their needs, can significantly help freelancers in achieving a better work-life balance.
4. Make a good selection of projects
The general principle is that it is better to do several larger projects than to work on many small projects. If you think working on ten projects at an individual cost of 100 euros is the same as working on one project of one thousand euros, feel a little better.
In most cases, these small projects will give you a lot more headaches than big ones. It turns out that you will have to solve ten problems instead of one and then send ten bills and remind them to pay you. Also, there is a much higher risk of unexpected changes in workload, and these are all things that will stand in the way of achieving the right balance.
5. Learn when to quit
As creatives, we are all probably guilty of one thing – overworking our work. However, too much revamping and insertion of new ideas can get tricky, logos overly designed, and writing too deep for its own sake. You will also find yourself unnecessarily working late, and this will prevent you from striking a better balance.
It is especially difficult for us to resist remodeling because we generally enjoy what we do and have a passion for the job. We want to create, and we want our creations to be the best they can be. Still, knowing when to stop is an integral part of the creative process that you need to master. Resisting that urge is a challenge we all face, but as professionals, we have to overcome it.
A good work ethic and high standards of work are essential when doing freelancing, but let’s not be mistaken – don’t forget that your main goal is to make money. Finish the job and move on to the next one as soon as possible. Better yet, take a break, rest, and relax.
6. Reclaim the night
If you are anything like us, keep a notebook and pen next to your bed. People often get great ideas while lying in bed in the evening. That can be a big hassle. Just when you’re struggling to fall asleep, your brain will work 100 hours an hour as you come up with creative ideas or whatever tasks you have the next day. When that happens, then it’s over – you can say goodbye to a long, quality dream – that is unless you write those thoughts down. Therefore, keep a pen and notebook next to the bed.
By writing down ideas, you throw them out of your head and transfer them to paper, which will make it much easier for you to stop thinking about work and fall asleep.
7. Take a break
Our last tip to freelancers on how to strike a better work-life balance is not to feel guilty about taking a vacation. You should think of it as an essential part of your job, giving you time to rest and recharge your creative batteries. Just as car engines have to be worn regularly for service, so the freelancers need rest to be able to operate at full power.
As long as you have fulfilled all your weekly commitments, there is no reason to feel guilty about putting all four together, putting aside the freelance job, and doing nothing for the rest of the week.