How Freelancers Can Handle Weird Work Hours When Life Gets in The Way
It’s no secret that many freelancers have weird work hours. This is especially true if you’re juggling multiple clients instead of just doing one large contract job for a company.
While I personally tend to stick to a structure as much as I can, the reality is sometimes life gets in the way and I find myself working weird hours. That’s what happened to me recently – between being a caretaker for my elderly grandmother, helping my parents rent out a second property and supporting a friend through a difficult loss – my work hours were all over the place. It’s why I’m currently writing this on a Sunday night during a holiday weekend.
Granted, this is one of the reasons why I love freelancing. Because I can show up for my personal life when I need to. Because I can move stuff around when it’s necessary. So you know what, I’ll take my weird work hours over having a boss any day. However, I’m a control freak so this can also quickly put me in a bad mood. If you’re also a control freak who freelances, here’s how you can handle weird work hours.
Take care of your health.
If I made a habit out of not having any structure, my health would be severely affected. I wouldn’t eat when I was supposed to, sleep when I was supposed to or even exercise. That’s why I try my best to stay healthy all the time, so that when I do need to have weird work hours my body can at least handle it for the necessary time period.
I worked with a holistic health coach earlier this year because of a thyroid issue, but she also helped me find ways to stay healthy even when my business and life get a little crazy and I find myself working strange hours. She included resting exercises, supplements, foods I should be eating to support my body and more. It’s been especially helpful in those moments when life throws me a curve ball or I’m just extra busy.
See it differently.
As I already mentioned, I’m a complete control freak, which is why having to work weird hours sometimes really frustrates me. I like to have things go according to plan and sometimes they just don’t. Additionally, if I have to work on Saturday because I had to deal with something in my personal life on Tuesday, I tend to get a little frustrated because I want to relax and go out like everyone else.
I realized that for me at least, this was a lesson in going with the flow. I had to start changing my perspective, starting with realizing how good I have it that I can work whenever I need to from anywhere in the world. If it wasn’t for my flexible schedule it would be much more difficult for me to be present for the things that matter in life.
Don’t bother trying to fit into a mold.
Sometimes people have a hard time with the discipline aspect of freelancing full-time because we’ve essentially been told where to be and when since we were five years old. It’s an old habit that dies hard.
Fortunately, as a freelancer, you can customize your schedule. For example, I usually work based on my energy levels on a daily and monthly basis. This actually helps me with having weird hours because I’m not trying to force myself to work when I really don’t have the energy to do it. When approached from this angle, it all balances itself out anyway.
Everyone is unique in their energy levels, so try tracking it for a few days to see how it goes. From there, you can figure out something that works for you.
You don’t need to let weird work hours get in the way of your health, your sanity or your life. In fact, us control freaks need to remember about the privilege we have because our work is so flexible.