Being freelance and your own boss takes a lot of guts; you take all the risks and will entail hard work, lots of it. Long, endless days, working at weekends and jumping from one client to project to client with no time to catch your breath or reflect. It’s easy to lose sight of work-life balance and how important it is to ensure you are productive.
The benefits of work-life balance means having more time to spend on your friends, family, free time and for me, more time walking the dogs. Other recognised advantages include greater creativity, confidence, less burn-out, better sleep and higher levels of productivity. Don’t ignore it and invest in finding your work-life balance. Here are some tips for you to start your work-life approach:
There was a time when the 9-5 were the norm. Long hours may be effective in a factory or an office but more and more are opting for a shorter work day of 5-6 hours. Its long been considered that being at your desk for 7, 8 or 10 hours doesn’t mean you are actually working or productive. The reality is we are only really delivering 3-4 hours of actual work. So think about adapting your work hours, and try for shorter periods, start later or finish earlier. Take a longer lunch break. Alternatively try finishing earlier on certain days like a Friday afternoon.
Take some time out to automate as much as possible. Let technology do more for you. Use apps to post automatically to your social media, yes it will take time to plan but in the long-term its one less thing to worry about it. Look at your software, are you still using email mailing software from another lifetime? Review and see what other options there are.
Freelancers, small business owners and consultants find it difficult to take a break. Time, money are all reasons given but in reality the benefits should not be ignored, your health, your productivity. So book a break, even a short one, now you probably need one. Try for a long-weekend if week off is impractical. And when your off stay offline! Nothing worse for everyone work-life balance to be on holiday checking work emails and taking calls.
How much time do you waste reading emails that really should go straight to the bin. Take a moment to unsubscribe to newsletters and emails you no longer need or have an interest to you.
White fluffy clouds
Think about where your documents are, your photos and data you share. Make sure its secure (and backedup) but take a look at google drive, one drive and other options to give you more options to save your documents, images, photos and presentations that you share with colleagues and accessed wherever you are.
No more worries about buying more solutions, upgrading technology, using cloud based tech gives you greater flexibility to run your business.
A few ideas – what other work-life tips could you share?