Work-life balance for a home based freelancer can at times be tough, especially if you do not have separate home office space. We have a list of five tips for better work-life balance.
As an online freelancer and home based professional, personal and business life becomes mixed up very easily and you could be replying to work emails while watching TV on a weekend.
When these two are mixed up in a negative way, it will create more stress in your life. If, on top of that, you are working long hours, overtime, on weekends and evening, there is very little time for that very important downtime and spending time with loved ones. Short term this is ok but in long term it will have a negative impact on your life, increase stress and lower you productivity. It is therefore critical to take time off, enjoy coffee breaks, exercise and be on top of your task list.
Here are five tips on how to get better work-life balance as a home based online freelancer:
1. Plan your work day and your time off
It is important to have goals and schedules but it is also important to have downtime. At busy times it’s very easy to skip coffee break or eat lunch at your desk but then you do not get that important off time that charges the batteries so to speak.
If you often find yourself working late into the night causing you to miss social events with friends, start putting these events into your work calendar and mark then as busy so that nobody can have a meeting with you at that time.
Let your business partners know your work hours and mark your calendar as available only those times. Block “me” time from being booked by someone from your work calendar.
2. Make a priority list
Take bit of time each morning to review ongoing tasks and list those down based on priority. Those that rank high, do those first and do not move on the list until all high priority tasks are done. Even if you stop working at this time, you will feel ok as all those critical tasks are done. Or just keep checking things off from the list.
3. Always take lunch and coffee breaks away from the computer
Refers to tip number one – taking breaks. For productivity it is beneficial to have short breaks during your work day. Take regular breaks not just to give your brains a break, but also for your eyes and shoulders. Many studies have found that time taken away from work actually increases productivity meaning those that take breaks get more done in shorter time.
4. Exercise and/or have a hobby
Same goes for having an active social life and interests beyond the business. Best is to have, or find if you do not have one now, a hobby that while you are doing it you completely forget work and focus on what you are doing at time. It could be some form of exercise, which doubles the benefits, or any other type of hobby that you love to do. Mark hobby time on your calendar and mark it as busy.
5. Re-think your tasks
We all have big number of tasks to do on a daily basis but have you ever stopped to think if you could automatize, outsource or shorten the time it takes to do the tasks. By re-thinking your tasks you are literally planning your time off – that is pretty big motivation!
Could you maybe utilize IFTTT is some way? Could you hire virtual assistant to help you out with some research? Could you automatize your Excel-reporting or accounting perhaps? List is endless, so take that coffee break and think what could be done better and faster – or by someone else!
Check out also: Here is a Ted talk by Nigel Marsh on the topic. Photo