Are the lines between your professional and personal life becoming increasingly blurred? Here are our top tips for striking a better work-life balance.
As the new cohort of remote workers have discovered, working from home, the norm for freelancers before lockdown, may be liberating, but it also carries with it the potential for strain on your work-life balance.
This is especially the case for freelancers who may be juggling with the demands of various clients, all the while conscious of the challenging economic environment.
It can be difficult to claim free time as a freelancer but its critical for your mental health and wellbeing, so here are our top tips.
Make your happiness a priority
A question too often ignored is, what makes us happy? No matter what it is, it’s important to try and make time for it at least once a day, no matter your workload. Prioritising work can all too easily lead to burnout resulting in a lack of productivity in the long run. Its important to try and schedule some specific downtime (happy time) into every day, be that exercising, reading, meditating, or connecting with friends.
Any changes you make to your day-to-day routine could be incremental at first. Be realistic with your goals in order to be able to achieve them. Failure to live up to expectations of yourself can have a damaging effect. Baby steps will allow you to celebrate the positive changes you’ve made, rather than kicking yourself for not managing to stick to your revised daily agenda. Once you’ve experienced success, you can begin to think about extending your reach towards a better work-life balance.
Today’s technology makes it almost impossible to step out of work mode, who isn’t guilty of checking their email on their phone before going to bed, responding to a LinkedIn connection request that popped up at midnight, or replying to a Tweet while watching their favourite Netflix boxset. This is a stealth attack on our personal time. Building resilience against being ‘switched on’ 24/7 will allow you a greater sense of control over your life.
Use your energy wisely
Our energy levels are subject to peaks and troughs throughout the day, Recognising the times of day when your productivity is at its best is an excellent start to planning a more balanced work day. Assign more complex or bigger projects to the hours when you are most productive, spreadsheets are never a good idea when your energy levels are low. If you feel yourself flagging, take time out to recharge your batteries. Office-based workers would usually do this by grabbing a coffee and a chat with a colleague, who’s to say you can’t do a similar thing.
Reassess your schedule regularly
Regularly assessing what is and isn’t working for you in your work-life balance will make it easier to achieve long term equilibrium. Keeping a journal in which to log your goals and note down your feelings when you achieve them will allow you to look back and review what worked best for you. It could be that what makes you happy has changed, or maybe that when you made the changes you lacked perspective, evaluating what has worked well for you will help you plan better for the future.
Posted by Julie Tucker
Images courtesy of Press Association