Does your personal life tend to suffer because of your busy professional life? Try these tips to achieve a greater work-life balance…
It’s misleading to suggest that a work-life balance means spending an equal amount of time across your personal and professional life. It’s not always possible for freelancers to ensure they have enough free time, but it’s important to try to keep things as balanced as possible.
These tips will help you to consider what’s important, and to spread your efforts appropriately across all of life’s demands.
Prioritise your happiness
What makes you happy? For some freelancers, it’s a question that’s ignored far too often. Perhaps you’re most fulfilled while spending time with friends, or when dedicating time to a hobby. Whatever the answer, it’s important to set time aside for it and stick to it, no matter the workload. Too often, we prioritise work and hope that there’s spare time somewhere in our plans for ourselves, which can easily lead to burnout. Start with what makes you happy and build from there if you’re not sure where to begin.
We’ve all made resolutions we’ve failed to keep. Whether it’s learning a new instrument or finding more time for the gym, our plans could benefit with realistic scaling. Rather than deciding to immediately cut your working hours by half, try cutting an hour here and there out of your schedule. Once you’ve experienced success, you can start to think about going further for a better work-life balance.
With smart phones, mobile data and Wi-Fi connectivity, many of us are guilty of failing to switch off from work. There’s something very unhealthy about sending an email whilst visiting a relative, or perfecting a pitch while sitting in the bath! Set clear times with your colleagues or clients for when you’ll be away from your phone and laptop, and resist the urge to check in. Being resilient in this way will build a greater sense of control over your life.
Use your energy wisely
We all suffer peaks and troughs in our energy levels. Recognising the times of day when you’re more productive is a great way to start planning a more balanced work day. Assign the bigger projects to your most productive hours, and the more mundane for those energy lulls. When you know you’ll be pretty worn out, make sure you leave enough time to recharge, either by doing something you enjoy or by doing nothing at all.
Regularly assess your schedule
It’s vital that you assess what’s working and what isn’t for your work-life balance. A journal could be the perfect way to log your goals, but to also look back on how you felt about certain activities and what worked best for you. Perhaps what makes you happy has changed, or perhaps you were just lacking perspective – evaluating past work schedules can help you plan better for the future.
Posted by Holly Morris
Images courtesy of Press Association