Monday, October 3, 2022

5 Tips that can Help Freelancers to Ace Work-Life Balance (Number 5 is a game changer)

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Freelancing is the go-to choice for Millennials and Gen-Z. It is one of the most glorified work options in today’s time. The most highlighted benefits are freedom of time and place, yet most freelancers struggle with work-life balance.

However, freelancers have to take care of a lot of things as they not only deal with clients but also work on the tasks, generate invoices and continue to market their services. 

Working on various projects simultaneously can get overwhelming, and one can forget the boundaries. Overworking can lead to burnout, while underworking can lead to a mess and loss of clients.

Also Read: 4 Tips for Women to Stay Productive at Work

What is an Ideal Work-Life Balance?

Work-Life Balance is about spending time with your goals, work, family, and friends. In simpler terms, you should be able to finish your work tasks and even go for dinner with your family. 

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However, it is easier said than done. But with continuous practice and mindful routines, you can achieve a proper work-life balance as a freelancer. 

1. Get in the Practice of Maintaining a Task Sheet

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As a freelancer working on various projects, making a task sheet can act like a cheat sheet. List each client and the work you must do for them in a particular week. Also, include the meetings that you do with your client.

You can even write down your marketing and branding activities for the week. Once everything is in front of you, allocating time for each task is more straightforward. 

How will it help you?

  • You won’t forget to finish your tasks.
  • You do not have to wait until the deadline pops up and rush through the task at the end of the day.

Consider sticking to a weekly task sheet, as it will be less overwhelming. Tasks with more extended deadlines can transfer to the next week if your current week is busy. 

2. Download Google Calendar on your Phone/Laptop

Once your task sheet is complete, add those tasks to Google Calendar. This way, you can allot a specific time for your tasks and ensure that you get them done. 

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In the calendar, book a few slots for leisure activities as well. Only then will your calendar have a balance. It is one of the best work-life balance strategies. 

How will it help you?

  • You will track not only your work but also your leisure activities.
  • Having a fixed time slot will enable you to finish your work tasks efficiently, leaving time for other activities. 

For example, book a slot from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm on Thursday to meet a friend for coffee.

3. Set up an Environment

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Most freelancers work from home. It can blur boundaries as you might end up replying to emails from your bed or conducting meetings from your dining table.

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Your brain will fail to stop thinking about work as it won’t have any sense of boundary. Professionals who work from a designated space can log out from work mentally as well because their brain differentiates between two areas of work and play.

Set up a space at your house. It does not have to be something expensive. Get a table and comfortable chair, and make sure you reply to emails, attend meetings and work from that space.  

Also, start working at the same time and stop at the same time. This activity will help your brain automatically differentiate between spaces in your home.

How will it help you?

  • According to studies, your physical workspace can increase or decrease your productivity. 
  • It induces discipline in you and helps you to value your own time.

It will also help translate physical boundaries into mental boundaries, and you will not waste time doing other activities except work in the morning. 

The best part about a designated desk is that you will stop working from the couch, bed or bean bag. These places do not help you work in the best of posture, so your back will thank you for it.

Also Read: 7 Tips To Maintain a Work-life Balance in the 21st Century

4. Divide a Big Task into Small Tasks

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If you want to finish all your work in time and leave enough time for leisure, this work-life balance tip will help you with efficiency.

For example, if you are a content writer who needs to write at least one piece of content daily, divide your process. Dedicate time to research and fix a ringer once that time is over.

Most writers overindulge in the research part, forcing them to work late to finish the draft. If you set alarms for smaller tasks, you will know that you are going overboard and can choose to wind it up quickly.

Later, repeat the process with writing the draft, editing and even revisions.

How will it help you?

  • Your efficiency on the task will increase 2x
  • Your focus will increase as your mind wanders less when working on a clock.

For example, if you dedicate a time slot from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm for research, set the alarm on your phone for 12:00 pm. Keep a watch on the clock and try to finish it within time. 

5. Turn off Notifications on the Phone

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To maintain a work-life balance, switch off the notifications once you log out from work in the evening and on weekends. 

Continuous notifications will tempt you to answer and create a hindrance during your quality time with family and friends. It is also essential to give downtime to your brain for at least 90 minutes as it will help you to readjust your energy and focus appropriately on a task.

How to set Do Not Disturb for iOS?

  • Go to Settings > Scroll to Do Not Disturb
  • Toggle the Scheduled Slider
  • Select the time of the day when you do not want your phone to vibrate, ring or show notifications. 

You can even choose to allow notifications and calls to ring from certain people to ensure you do not miss anything important. 

How to set Do Not Disturb for Android?

  • Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb
  • Click on Schedule
  • Choose the time of the day you do not wish to see notifications.

You can apply it to several apps and leave the rest of your leisure apps.

It is one of the best work-life balance strategies, as most of your work is on your phone. In the olden days, it was easier to log off from work when you switched off the laptop or desktop. These days it is impossible, but with such hacks, you can choose to keep work at bay in your downtime.

How will it help you?

  • Help you to enjoy without botherations of work notifications
  • It gives your brain proper downtime

You can even switch off notifications manually on your work apps, but you must remember to switch them back on. 

Ace Work-Life Balance

It is not hard to achieve a work-life balance as a freelancer. You need to make a few systems and stick to them. Just do what suits you the best and makes you happy.

The best part about being a freelancer is that you can achieve work-life balance quickly as you decide your work timings, schedule, work days, work-station and even the projects you want to work on. 

So, don’t go overboard with work or fun. Just keep it balanced and experience the best of both worlds. 

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