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How to Switch Off Work as a Freelancer

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.

 

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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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

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  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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?

 

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54 responses

  1. I don’t blog over the weekends. Used to blog from Mondays-Fridays. But cut that down to MWF, unless there’s an important post to publish. It’s important to do this, especially for us mums, isn’t it? Family time is more important 🙂

  2. I wish I could switch off.
    Hopefully these tips will do well for me especially since I will have 2 little dudes to look after soon.
    Actually make that 2 little and 1 big dude 😀
    Charlotte x

  3. I am not so much a freelancer and an unpaid full time carer, so I think some of these are tips I should follow. I can’t take a weekend off but I am going to schedule a couple of hours out of the home this weekend.

  4. This is such good advice, very often I’ll find the boundaries blurring and be working until midnight or waking up on a Sunday morning and reaching for my laptop. Forcing myself to take breaks really helps too. x

  5. Its true, I work my main job and in my breaks I do my blog and deal with clients, come home sometimes early in the morning and still work when I get back. I need to learn how to switch off too.

  6. Since working from home, this is something I really struggle with! I tend to stay up late working – as I’m most productive in the evenings – and then sleep in in the morning. I always faff about before settling down to work too. Once I get going, I’m fine, but until I’m in the zone I get so distracted x

  7. This is such great advice! I think it’s so important to switch off because you need to be able to just come from work at some point. I know many freelancers who often take mini weekend breaks away.

  8. I enjoyed this post and I agree it is so important to practice self-care when you are a freelancer. I am getting better at creating a schedule, although still working on actually sticking to it. My weekends tend to be full with socialising and family, so I focus on that and little much everything else. Your post is a gentle reminder to do better and looking after myself better. Thank you so much x

  9. Great thoughts! I look up to my husband, because he does all these so well. He’s been doing the self-employment thing for 8 years, while I just started last year. xoxo

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