Work Life Balance & Freelancing

Work Life Balance & Freelancing

Home life and work life can easily interfere with one another when working as a freelancer. By keeping the two separate, you can work more productively and enjoy your free time more. Here are just several ways to enjoy work life balance when, like me, working as a freelancer.

Work Life Balance Tip 1: Have a Dedicated Work Space

Having a space in your home dedicated solely for work can help you to switch to work mode (and off again). It’s important that your designated workspace is somewhere free of distractions – working from your living room whilst other family members watch TV is not ideal. If you don’t have an individual room to transform into a home office, try to at least designate a corner of a room as your office, For instance, you could consider buying some office furniture and setting up a desk in the corner of your bedroom. Alternatively, you may be able to convert unused space into an office such as an unused loft.

Work Life Balance Tip 2: Work Away From The Home

I remote work a lot. This can help you to get away from the distractions of home and give you that sense of having a separate workplace. Libraries and coffee bars are popular free places to work from. You can also try renting a desk in a co-working space to see if this helps you get into a work mindset. I run a free coworking group in Thirsk aimed at helping reduce freelancer’s isolation and boosting work life balance.

Work Life Balance Tip 3: Keep a Work Schedule

Freelancing offers the benefit of being able to work flexibly, but too much flexibility can have an impact on your ability to work. Try to keep set work hours each day if you can. Not only will you find it easier to concentrate on your work, but you can then set dedicated and uninterrupted times for doing things with other people. I’m very strict on my working and non-working times.

Work Life Balance Tip 4: Use Separate Phones

If clients contact you by phone, it could be worth considering buying a separate phone for work use. You can then turn this work phone off in your free time so that you don’t have to deal with work calls and texts. Similarly, you could turn your personal phone off during work hours – whilst you may still want to keep a few emergency personal numbers on this phone, it could allow you to distance yourself from personal social media notifications and unimportant texts that could serve as a distraction when you’re working.

Work Life Balance Tip 5: Use Separate Email Addresses

It could also be worth setting up separate email addresses. This can allow you to only receive business emails when logged into your work email and only personal emails when logged into your personal email. If you’ve got too separate phones, you may also be able to log each one into a separate account. This is more about avoiding distractions which means you should get your allotted work done in work hours and not run over into “home” time.

If you have any other work life balance top tips for freelancers feel free to comment below.

 

 

Freelancers: Keeping Yourself Healthy

Freelancers: Keeping Yourself Healthy

It might seem to some that us freelancers must seem to lead a charmed life. We can work from home or hotdesk or avail ourselves of a number of freelancer friendly workspaces if we don’t wish to incur overhead costs. I, for example, run a coworking group here in Thirsk.

Freelancers can (at least in theory) start work whenever they like and finish whenever they wish. They have the flexibility to fit their working activities around their lifestyle and family commitments. Indeed, in many ways, it is a charmed life. However, freelancers face a struggle for balance that their salaried friends may not comprehend. They can find themselves working ridiculously long hours when up against a deadline, often going hours and hours without a break. They can go days on end without ever leaving the house. They can find themselves damaging their health in some pretty serious ways, despite their best intentions.

Sound familiar?

I’ve been freelancing for 12 years now and here are some ways I recommend you try in order to keep yourself healthy and happy in 2019.

Get Out

When a deadline looms near you may feel that every moment spent away from your computer screen is wasted. Nonetheless, it’s imperative for your mental health that you venture out every day. Take yourself for a walk, ideally somewhere where you can be close to nature. This will provide your mental health with a pick-me-up and the act of walking will help you to overcome any issues with creative block which can rarely be resolved by staring at a blank screen.

Take Care of Your Digestive Health

The life of a freelancer can often be stressful and is almost always fuelled by coffee. The bad news is that stress and coffee can be a damaging combo for gut health. Poor digestive health can have a knock-on effect on everything from the appearance of your skin to fluctuating weight and even your sleeping patterns. Be sure to eat a healthy diet and use products from Erbology.co to keep your energy levels up and your digestive health harmonious. Speaking of eating…

Give Yourself a Lunch Break

Yes, it can be hard to tear yourself away from your desk when you’re in the zone. Yes, it can be frustrating knowing that every minute you spent cooking and eating your food you’re not making money, but you can only get so much out of an empty fuel tank. Making sure that you take the time to eat can prevent the creative well from running dry while giving your brain a break will make you more productive in the long-term.

Take the Time to See Your Friends

This is important! Unlike your salaried friends, you don’t have the luxury of colleagues. People with whom you have an infinitely renewable source of banter and with whom you can engage in the kind of social repartee that is so important to your mental health. For this reason, it’s extra important that you maintain your relationships with your friends. This is something I make sure I prioritise.

Make sure that you don’t get trapped in the freelancer bubble.

 

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