The best part of being a freelancer is that you are not restricted to the 9-5 schedules of most employees. Technically, you can sleep when you want, eat when you want, and work how you want. However, many freelancers know that it is easy to over-work and stay on the clock all waking hours of the day. However, it is incredibly important for freelancers, many of whom are passionate about their work, to find ways to take advantage of their unique schedule to foster mental and emotional health. Here are three simple, easy ways to make your freelance schedule work for you:

Take Vacations on Less-Popular Off-Seasons

Instead of traveling during the summer or on major holidays, when most students are off of school and families travel together, pick off-season weeks to visit your favorite destinations. September and October are wonderful months to travel during the fall, and each spring, find out when most schools have spring break and travel on a different schedule.

Not only will you reap the benefits of not waiting in long lines at attractions, but you will also likely have more pleasant weather for your stay. Resist the impulse to take a major trip during steamy summertime, and allow the crowds to dissipate before taking your own vacation.

It is essential that you take trips to refresh your mind and spirit – just do it when no one else is!

Note: You can still work a little if necessary – here’s how.

Take Weekdays Off, or Create a Flexible Hybrid Schedule

You can either pick two consecutive weekdays as your days off, or you can do a hybrid schedule of a weekend day and a non-consecutive weekday. Either way, you will have the opportunity to patronize local businesses and attractions that would normally be crowded on weekends.

Taking the day off during the week doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go on digital shutdown and turn off your phone and computer. It just means that you will allow yourself to sleep in, take it easy, and enjoy the day at a more relaxed place.

Taking a few days off per week is essential for feeling and performing your best. The creative way to do it, as a freelancer, is to do it when no one else is!

Schedule All of Your Errands and Appointments for Mid-Morning, Instead of the Evening or Weekend

Many freelancers, even though their schedule may be completely flexible, still tend to schedule personal errands for “after hours,” outside of the 9-to-5 work day. This is a mistake, as you will be competing with the rest of your city’s employees for the same limited resources.

Mid-morning errands and appointments allow you to take advantage of no lines at doctors’ and dentists’ offices, grocery stores, and pharmacies. It can also help you get places faster, without fighting rush-hour traffic.

It’s extremely important for freelancers to prioritize their health and wellness, so make sure to hit the gym, get that dental cleaning, and visit your therapist – but aim for 10 AM!

It’s important to appreciate and take advantage of the unique flexibility that we as freelancers enjoy, in order to promote our quality of life and mental/emotional health!

William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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