Building a freelance career is exciting. You may find yourself pouring hours and energy into your business without a thought. While this strategy may get you ahead in the short term, over time you’ll likely find yourself stressed, tired, and burned out. Having a life outside of freelancing is a crucial part of long term success.
How Do I Make Sure I Have a Life Outside of Freelancing?
Once your freelancing business gets off the ground you’ll find your calendar filling up with phone calls, meetings, and deadlines. Your schedule keeps your business on track: why not do the same with your personal life? Sit down with your schedule and find ways to spend time away from your business and with your friends and family. This can be as simple as making sure your phone is off after 6:00pm or as complex as taking a long weekend for an out of town trip.
When there’s something fun in your schedule you’ll be more likely to manage your time better: after all, who wants to cancel something they’re looking forward to? You may also find this is a useful strategy for avoiding another common problem that gets in the way of having a life outside of freelancing: taking on too much.
Many freelancers, especially those who are just getting started, find it difficult to turn down requests. Taking on all that is asked of you can easily lead to spending copious amounts of time on tasks that aren’t essential to building your business. Be judicious about the jobs you agree to and you’ll find yourself with more time to spend with the people you care about.
When working on balancing your career and your personal life, don’t forget to spend time working on yourself. If you haven’t already, consider adding regular exercise periods to your schedule. This doesn’t have to mean training for a marathon (unless that’s something that interests you, of course!). Instead, consider signing up for a casual sports league or an exercise class. These regularly scheduled activities can be easier to stick to than vague plans like “go to the gym.” They’re also a great way to meet other people with similar interests.
Finally, take some time to talk with your family to brainstorm some activities to work into your schedule. Let the things that are important to them help guide you in making your new schedule. With their feedback you may find it is not difficult at all to have a life outside of freelancing.