Freelancing is a great way to quit your full-time job and set your own schedule. However, the boundaries between work and personal life are usually very fragile.
At the same time, 69% of the self-employed say they have a better work-life balance today than they did when they had a full-time job. It makes sense that working full time can certainly threaten the work-life balance. However, independent contractors face specific balancing challenges because they impose their own schedules. And burnout carries serious risks.
“Fatigue from putting in long hours at work can negatively affect our health through less restful sleep, slower reaction time and lower productivity,” says Suzanne Degges-White, a counselor and licensed professor at Northern Illinois University. And for the body, we risk cardiovascular health and longevity. »
To stay healthy, here are some tips for freelancers trying to find a balance.
Determine working hours
One of the biggest benefits of freelancing is the ability to work as many hours as you want. However, just because you can choose your own hours doesn’t mean you don’t set them. You don’t have to just “start working and stop when you’re done,” because in reality, it’s never over.
It is possible to choose different times each day. You can choose your work hours at the beginning of the week or even the day before, but promise yourself to stop working at some point. It is important to follow the rhythm.
Falling asleep in front of your laptop means making sure you don’t get hours of REM sleep and tire yourself out instantly.
Log out from time to time
If you work a lot with the Internet, you may tend to perform small tasks throughout the day, such as sending an email to the supermarket or on transportation. So you can increase your productivity with “on the go” and it feels good to never have to worry about wasted time. However, if you use every free minute to be productive, you will never take the time to put your mind at rest.
So it’s necessary and healthy to make time to walk around without your phone in order to clear your head for a few hours. The Internet is very relevant for many of us – 68% of freelancers have found work online. However, going offline once in a while can be just as important.
It’s also a good idea for freelancers who can afford it to consider having separate phones or laptops for work and private life. For example, if you have a computer dedicated to your activity, it is better not to connect your different accounts if it is not necessary.
take a vacation
Vacations are essential for work-life balance, if only because they help us avoid burnout and re-evaluate our priorities. “People who take vacations are also more likely to experience job satisfaction,” says Digges-White. Plan your vacation in advance, at the risk of never taking it.
Reject projects that do not suit you
Don’t accept projects with clients who don’t respect your boundaries. If you tell someone you’re not available after 6 p.m. and they want you to work anyway, don’t beat yourself up. Some customers may be impatient, but you are not a machine and you must also be mindful of your own personal pace.
Freelancers are three times more likely to control their workplace than full-time workers, so use that to your advantage and say no to what isn’t right for you.
It’s not that difficult. Set your schedule, take vacations, turn off your phone for three minutes, and say no to projects that don’t respect your boundaries. This way you will avoid burnout and will be able to work for many more years.
Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Jenny Hogan
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