When you’re starting a business it’s very easy to fall into some bad habits pretty quickly. Some of these bad habits include taking whatever you can get, working 24/7 and forgetting that you have a life outside of your business. Another bad habit is becoming a complete workaholic.

I believe that to a certain extent this is normal, especially in the beginning when you are really nurturing the business and it does require a lot of your attention. However, I also think that some of it – like forgetting to eat lunch when you’re working – can be avoided from the beginning.

Here are some of the ways you can avoid becoming a workaholic in your freelance business. At the end of the day, it’s about setting good habits as early as possible simple because bad habits will die hard later.

Know what kind of lifestyle you want.

The best way to avoid becoming a workaholic in your freelance business is to know what kind of lifestyle you want. There are people out there who work 24/7 and they love it (I’m looking at you Gary Vaynerchuk). I also know people who would hate that kind of lifestyle. I fall into the latter group.

Could I be making more money if I worked 12 hour days? Probably. Do I want to work 12 hour days? Not really. Am I sometimes inspired to work 12 hour days? Yes, but there’s a big difference between being inspired and working for the sake of working.

The reality is this: I didn’t go into business for myself to be tied to my laptop all the time. If that means it will take me longer to build my business and make more money, then I’m okay with that. I’d much rather avoid becoming a workaholic than end up with adrenal fatigue again.

Schedule time off on the calendar.

Society tells us to always be on and the lure of making more money is strong. That’s why you see people walking around with adrenal fatigue bragging about how busy they are. Just the other day I was watching a popular beauty vlogger on YouTube talking about how she’d ended up in the hospital from overworking herself.

That’s why it’s imperative that we not only prioritize time off, but that we set it on the calendar and stick to it. For example, my entire team knows when I’m at yoga and they know I’m not available during those times. If I finish my work for the week a day early, I sometimes force myself to take a break instead of finding more work to do.

Start saying no.

You’ve probably heard tons of successful productivity gurus and coaches talk about the importance of how to say no. It’s because this alone can help you avoid becoming a workaholic in your freelance business.

As a business owner, you need to get clear and what you can and cannot do. You also need to get clear on the projects you want to do and the projects you don’t want to do. For instance, I recently had someone approach me about writing on a topic I have tons of experience in, but no actual interest. So I turned them down.

The interesting part is you have less stress, more focus, more respect and often times, we end up making more money as a result of saying no.

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming a workaholic when you run your own business, which is why it’s important to implement some of these strategies early on so that you can avoid it.

Amanda Abella is a full-time writer who specializes in online business and finance. She's also an online business coach and the Amazon best-selling author of Make Money Your Honey.

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