One of the best things about freelancing is the ability to manage your work schedule. You can work anytime and anywhere you want.
At least, that’s what I thought when I first started freelancing.
The thing is, when you start getting a consistent stream of jobs, you have to dedicate more time to your work schedule.
At some points in my career, I had to work up to 20 hours per day. As you can imagine, this can be problematic.
Yes, it’s great that you’re getting more jobs and earning more money. But if you don’t find a balance between your work and other life activities, you could easily get burned out. And it will affect the quality of your work, your health, and the people around you.
In this post, I share with you my experience on how I managed to avoid those problems and keep a healthy work and life balance.
Don’t Juggle Work & Life
I have a confession to make. I’m still terrible at managing a work-life balance. So I stopped trying.
I spent way too much time working that I unknowingly made it the center of my life. As a result, I started drifting away from my family. And even my girlfriend complained about not spending enough time with her (she’s been very supportive and patient).
I tried to justify my faults by showing how important my work is and how it helps me to take care of my family. As well as to save for a better future.
But, the truth is, my work is not as important as my family or my partner.
I thought to myself, what if I died tomorrow? Will my client care about me as much as I care about their work? Of course not. They will hire someone else to replace me in a couple of days.
On the other hand, I can’t replace my family or my partner. So made a decision to put my relationships above all else.
Change Your Habits
Having said that, I can’t completely abandon my work. It’s what feeds me and my family. And I have bills to pay.
I sketched a plan. I tried to dedicated a specific amount of time to spend with my girlfriend and visit my family. But I also have to spend most of my time working.
My usual schedule wasn’t going to work. I had to make some changes.
So I decided to change some of my habits. For example, instead of staying up late watching Netflix, I now go to sleep early. And wake up two hours earlier than I used to.
I can’t put to words how much this has helped me to balance my schedule. I was able to save 10 hours every week!
If you also have a family to take care of, kids to look after, a dog to take for a walk, or even hang out with friends, there is always a way to find time without sacrificing your work.
If you have to look after your kids, wake up at 4am before your kids get up. Do your work and then spend time with the kids.
If you don’t have the time to take your dog for a walk, shift your work schedule into a 6-day workweek. Do some of your work on Saturdays.
There’s always a way! It just depends on how much you’re willing to change your habits.
But, Keep Working Hard
My work is still a huge part of my life. And I really enjoy it (well, most days).
Even though work comes second in my life right now, I still work hard to achieve my goals and progress my career. You should too!
Yes, your family, partner, friends, kids, and pets are more important. But also keep working hard to level up your career.
Because when you level up, you’ll be able to earn more money, and that means you’ll be able to take more time off from work.
I know this article is different from my usual practical guides. But I wanted to share my experience to give you something to think about.
Take care of your relationships before it’s too late. We don’t live forever. Remember “Memento Mori”
Images via Freepik.com