Happy Holidays, folks! It’s the right time to talk about freelancing and free time. Some might say – there is no such word as ”weekend” for a freelancer. Then… what to do to stay sane? Work and life balance is a huge part of a happy life so let’s see what can we do.
Let’s step back a bit… what is freelancer and freelancing for me? As definition says
For me, it would be more like a person who’s profession lets him work remotely – whenever he/she is located.
So we can definitely discuss here and there are plenty people who are freelancers, but they still have their 9-to-5 job, just because they are remotely working for some company who asks that from them…
Anyhow, usually freelancers have to do shitloads of things at once. And after all – manage their life and work balance as well.
Freelancers tend to work on nights, on weekends, even on vacations and while being on the road (true story). For most of the time, there is no such thing as ”weekend” or not even ”holiday”. Since freelancers are trying to combine their leisure time with their own business or some projects, everything gets messed up.
But does that mean there is no fun in being a freelancer? No, not at all. There is a lot of fun, just because of the previous paragraph – you might not have weekends or holidays, but you have your own day. And your own day means that you can plan it the way you want.
Since most of the freelancers are working remotely and they tend to call themselves “Digital Nomads” as they travel, there are many things to do away from a computer screen. Travel and see some tourist attractions, spend a morning on the beach, take a coffee break whenever you feel like it, take an hour for exercise… And all of that – whenever you put it on your schedule!
Therefore “no weekends for freelancers” tends to be a great thing.
That might mean that you’ll be working on Saturday’s evening, but at the same time – hey, you will spend Monday morning snorkeling or doing whatever the hell!
How I found work and life balance
I got on this topic because I have tried to get my weekends back for myself lately. It’s been more than three months (oh, my!) since I decided on a new schedule – I will work on projects and deadlines through working days and kind of through working hours (well, sometimes 1 AM counts as well).
Are you interested in how is that thing working on for me? Well, it’s been three months and there was exactly one weekend when this thing worked out.
My favorite working days are Sundays. I LOVE them (have mentioned this A LOT before). Those are the most peaceful days, because, whatever is happening, for most of the times you can be pretty sure that nothing will be happening on Sunday. That’s the day when I can get through all of the jobs that have been waiting for me maybe a bit longer than they were supposed to. I love to wake up a bit earlier on Sundays, so I can create some peaceful morning routine for myself and get to work before it’s 11 am. Therefore day seems long and peaceful, but what’s the best part – PRODUCTIVE! Oh, I love this word! There are no new e-mails or new requests because no one else is working on this day. Therefore – it’s all about catching up or doing my own products.
Other than that, I tend to work on any day when I have spare time because I never know what can come up tomorrow! But somehow I have managed to get back my Saturdays. Since we moved I’m feeling very nostalgic about them. I want at least one morning in this country when I can sleep longer and not to feel guilty when I can do things without any hurry and maybe even (!) start off my morning without must-do list. Ever since I realized how magical that is, I’m trying to build everything around Saturdays, so these days are free for myself, whether I decide to read all day long, cook something, sunbath or just… well… work on some of my projects, haha.
So here is some advice for your life and work balance
1. Compromise. With yourself, with your boss (if any) and your loved ones. Compromise will lead you to more successful working day OR to a more successful day off!
2. Don’t get too attached. Work is important, we all know it. But you don’t have to work 24/7, no one expects that from you. Therefore it’s okay not to respond to an e-mail for 6 hours or even a whole day (!!). That e-mail will be just right there waiting for you. No worries.
3. Create healthy routines. Like walking your dog 3 times a day instead of 2. Doing yoga in between your working hours. Shutting off your phone after 8 pm. Whatever rocks your boat!
4. Prioritize. Your MUST do’s should come first. Do them. And then see, what’s happening. Is someone inviting you to go out? Surprise them and say yes! Do you feel like napping? It’s always a good time for a nap! The rest can wait an hour or two.
Work less and you’ll get done more! After all, life is not all about getting those money bills rolling into your accounts. It’s about living our best lives, as good as we can, and learning to achieve better work and life balance for a more long-term happiness.