I have heard the concerns of many freelancers about how to balance work time and personal time. As the familiar expression goes, the struggle is real. Whether it is the demands of parenting, being present and reliable in our relationships or simply making time to handle our personal care and business, the demands of the job can get in the way. I have had to learn, and I continue to learn how to balance work time and personal time. I’m still getting the hang of it. Below, I’ll share simple yet effective ways on how to balance work and personal time.
Choose Your Priorities Wisely and Give Them The Attention They Deserve
Being the boss is a full-time job with no one there to give you days off nor pay you over time. Furthermore, running a business means that there will always be something that you becoming you to solve a problem, benefit from an opportunity, or an idea that comes to mind. However, you do have a life outside of work.
Never get so caught up building a successful business that you don’t make time to take care of your health, eat properly, spend time with loved ones, or even rest and take a vacation. Thus, personalize a system that keeps you on track with your jobs. Leave room in your schedule for sudden changes and to spend time with your kids and other loved ones.
Identify and Schedule Your Responsibilities
There is always going to be something that you need to do for work, family, or yourself. You have to make the time but know that it is okay if you don’t get everything done. Once you get the priorities done, you’re doing great.
My practical advice is to ensure that you are listing and recording those work tasks that you need to fulfill in the order of urgency. The same goes for your personal affairs. Once you have them all noted down, you can better schedule your time. Sometimes this results in you managing to juggle it all. Other times, you will have to delay personal or work-related tasks to resolve an emergency or outsource help to handle the work. For example, you may need your mother to attend a parent-teacher meeting that you can’t attend.
Take Advantage of Tools and Your Support System
On one hand, there are countless apps and services out there ready and waiting to ease the burden of things on your to-do list. On the other hand, you have friends and family members who can pitch in to help you when it all becomes overwhelming, and you require extra hands to get things done. Whatever you choose, get help when you need it.
- Scale your business to the point where you can hire and train a manage a team you can delegate tasks to, or maybe hire other freelancers to handle the menial tasks or extra workload that you cannot manage. For example, administrative duties or jobs that can don’t complete on your own.
- Utilize free or paid apps such as the Google Calendar and diary planners to keep track of the things you need to do.
- Remain connected with friends and family members who can support you in your work or personal life when you need it. Whether that may be your mom who watches your kids while you work, a skilled friend who helps you complete the workload, or even a sibling to run errands when you are stuck at home finishing a deadline, have a support system that you can rely on.
Always Make Yourself A Priority
It is so easy to get caught up in what we have to do for others that we forget about ourselves. We skip rests too many times. We rush to be supportive of a friend or loved one whilst ignoring our pains and challenges. However, we are a priority too.
Therefore, when the hassles of the job start to get t us, we should take a break and give our minds and bodies the attention they need. You can do this by taking more frequent rejuvenating breaks instead of always rushing to complete the job. These breaks can both accomplish brief tasks that we don’t want to pile up, redirect our attention to clear our heads or give minds and bodies the rest and fuel we need to complete the next thing on our list.
My Final Words
Some of these tips may sound too simple or even familiar. Yet we often overlook, forget or ignore them. Whatever you choose to do, take a closer look at how you run your business and show up for yourself and your loved ones. Freelancing is a lifestyle and becoming better at establishing and fulfilling our priorities go a far way in making it a good or bad one.
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