We all hear a lot of great things about being a freelancer: ability to travel and work anywhere in the world, more time to spend with your family and friends, and even better pay. But although all these are true, there is another side to the freelance lifestyle that very few people talk about.
Freelancers can get caught up in loads of work and even though we are in control of our time and work conditions, most times we find ourselves spending almost 12 hours a day working!
Working long hours to get your freelance projects done may get you a lot of clients and more projects, but in the end you won’t have time to do the things you enjoy doing.
Here are 5 ways you can switch off work as a freelancer.
- Take the weekends off
Now this is so hard. I can’t remember the last time I took a full weekend off. I usually try to catch up on more work over the weekends when it is quiet but I know I should try to switch off work more often. So going forward, I will be dedicating an entire day in the week (most likely a weekend) where I won’t do any work. Everything that needs doing would be automated, and everything else like emails and the works would have to wait.
Taking time off keeps you refreshed and relaxed. And you can use that time to do things that you love.
- Have a schedule and stick to it
The fact that you work at home (or anywhere you want to work) doesn’t mean that you can’t give yourself office hours. As a freelancer, you’re also a business owner.
Create a schedule and stick to it. Make sure you include the time you start work and the time you close from work. When you plan your time this way, you’ll always have time to dedicate to other activities that are important to you too. Getting your head buried in work will only make you feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Trust me, I had to learn this the hard way.
- Make breaks non-negotiable
No matter how much work you have, you need to give yourself a break. If your freelance work is such that you can’t take the day off, you need to at least give yourself some time off.
For every hour you work give yourself a 20-30 minute break. Use that time to take a walk, grab a drink at your favourite coffee shop or simply take a power nap. Whatever you do during that time should be something that will give you the opportunity to take a breather.
- Set clear cut boundaries
The main reason why you spend hours working is because you have so many clients to attend to. You can’t take up every job offered to you. You need to learn how to say “no” when you have more work than you can handle.
It’s so much better to cut down on the workload than to take on more clients and struggle to fulfill their orders.
- Give yourself some personal time
As a freelancer you may have the tendency to forgo the time you would have spent for some personal time. Don’t let your work rob you off the time to enjoy your own company. Setting aside time to for yourself, will give you the chance to switch off work.
Take time meditate, pamper yourself or simply devote to developing your mind. Just a few minutes spent doing something that will make you happy and fulfilled will make all the difference in the world.
How do you switch off work?