Work-Life Balance Tips for a Freelancer Struggling to Do it All
Finding balance between freelance work, handling other aspects of your business and your personal life can be a challenge. While there isn’t a perfect formula to follow or a one-size-fits-all solution, here are some work-life balance tips to keep in mind to create a healthy balance.
Schedule “quality time”
If the tasks on your to do-list are having a tug-of-war for your attention, think of them as if they are your children. Devote quality time to each one so each task gets the time and attention it needs to thrive. I once heard on the television show called The Profit that you should determine how much time you should spend on certain aspects of your business based on how much money you will earn from completing them.
For example, if 70% of the money you earn comes from client work, then you will need to devote 70% of your working hours to that. If you work a 10 hour day, then for at least 7 of the hours you should focus on client work. You can then divide up the remainder of your time to focus on other aspects like building a brand, answering HARO inquiries to get quoted in publications, billing, etc.
Map out your week
Make a schedule to have a rough outline to follow daily. While something like answering an inquiry on Help a Reporter Out (HARO) doesn’t have to happen on a certain day, assign it to one. Maybe answer X amount of HARO inquiries on Thursday so you will make time for this on a regular basis.
One of my clients likes to be booked on one personal finance podcast a month. She balances this with her day job, family life and brand building. This can at least give your week structure, let things occur at the frequency you desire and stop you from constantly having to make on-the-spot decisions. You’re also actively allocating the time to working on this goal on a regular basis without having to rethink it every week. It just becomes part of your schedule. Do the same for sending invoices, running errands and stocking up on office supplies.
Make sure you take time to do things you enjoy.
Famous former basketball coach John Wooden once said, “Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.” While devoting many hours to your business is just a part of having one, be sure to also take time to relax and have fun. Pick a day of the week where you have uninterrupted free time. Whether you prefer to partake in something thrilling like surfing, skydiving or setting up a home brewery as a hobby or stick to something more mellow like watching a movie or reading a book, make sure you honor that time and reboot in the process.
If you’d rather relax daily, sprinkle some fun in throughout the week. Go see a movie on a Tuesday night. Read online articles on your break or go to a yoga class right at the end of your work day. This way you’ll have something to look forward to daily and you can prevent burnout.
The Bottom Line
While striking the perfect balance in handling different aspects of your business and free time isn’t always possible, try your best to dedicate time to do so. Creating a schedule that includes what you tend to neglect can be all that you need to devote the time. It can serve as an outline to determine how often you’d like to attend to certain tasks.
Don’t forget to prioritize fun and relaxing activities to give yourself a break. Try to implement at least one of these work-life balance tips in order to better divide your time spent between your business and your personal life.