Balancing work and life is very important, and it is necessary to manage both sides perfectly to ensure success in the professional world. Although it sounds simple, managing both sides can be very difficult at times. This is more difficult for freelancers because they need to manage their own time between work and life.
Freelancers are people who choose to work from their own comfort zone, which is usually their house. Unlike office employees, freelancers choose to work according to their comfort level. Office employees have their own office schedule, where their log in and log out time is recorded. Accordingly, they work only during those hours and devote the remaining hours to their personal lives. But freelancers operate differently. They work during hours that suit their comfort zone, but if they don’t maintain a balance between work and their personal life, problems could result.
Also, as freelancers work from their own comfort zone, there might be many distractions that could hamper their work timing and create an imbalance between work and their personal life. Similarly, if they fail to keep their work and personal life balanced there could be issues in their personal life as well. Therefore, it is very important to maintain a balance between your working life and personal life for the benefits of both lives. This article will discuss the importance of this balance and guide you with steps to achieve this balance in work and life.
Freelancers might overlook the idea of giving importance to personal life in their goal of achieving professional success. But unless you manage your timelines between work and play, you cannot achieve success. On the contrary, you might end up facing a crisis on both sides. Here, play refers to your personal life. Work and play have a thin line between them, which should be appreciated and managed carefully. Ideally, people work during the day, and utilize the remaining hours for their rest and play. However, this might not be so. You might be a late-night worker who chooses to work at night.
There is no harm in this if you keep healthy. The basic benefit of a balance between work and play can be judged by a small example. Suppose you are unable to manage the timeline for work and play, and work extra time for a long period to gain professional success. But while doing so you gradually become frustrated because you are not living your personal life properly, which will indirectly harm your work quality. Similarly, if you fail to give the required time to your work you might fail to complete the assigned work within the assigned time. Therefore, lacking managing skills might harm you both ways. However, you should also realize that at times you might need to dedicate more hours to attain some goal, and you should not hesitate to do, but do not make it a habit. Maintain your regular hours as far as possible to manage a balance between the two. Now, let’s look at the other sections of the articles in which we will try to better understand the importance of balancing both lives and analyze ways to achieve this balance between work and play.
Before managing timelines, it is important to manage yourself, and that includes your health and mind. It is said that health is wealth, and this phrase is absolutely true in terms of both lives. This is so because when you ignore your health, you might face health issues that will create problems for your working hours and you might end up losing more work time while giving away more to it. Therefore, health will indirectly affect your work, which is your source of income. This makes it clear that health is wealth. There are many other important benefits of balancing work and life, some of which are listed below:
These are the beneficial results of a balanced life. Now, let’s analyze certain ways to balance both aspects of your life to improve your quality of life.
If you start scheduling your play time, you will be able to enjoy your personal life more. Start planning your life with extra-curricular activities. You can schedule a regular exercise or yoga session to maintain your health. This will help you become healthy and fit. You will also feel more relaxed and therefore motivated to work better. Set regular times for sleep and meals, as both are basic necessities of life. Plan quality time for your family and friends and enjoy those moments. Also plan alone time for yourself and use this time to indulge in activities you enjoy.
If you are an ardent lover of movies, plan time for watching movies with friends or alone at home. If you like writing or reading books, give yourself time to indulge in such things. Also, if you love playing some sport, invite your friends and attend your favorite games. Such activities will help you become happy inside and relax your mind, which will indirectly help your productivity at work. You can also plan your play time by putting in some time for extra development courses. You can take language classes to learn foreign languages or take up dance classes to keep yourself fit and motivate your love for art and so on. If you find it difficult to afford such activities, you can learn about them through self-help books and the Internet. All these activities will make you feel important and thus keep you satisfied and make you a person with an active mind.
If you are a religious person, you can plan to go to temples, churches, and other religious shrines on weekends and thus spend your time following your spiritual beliefs. You can also go for daily meditation. Meditation is very helpful in bringing calm and clarity to the mind, and therefore setting aside certain times to meditate will bring its own rewards. Besides these activities, you could also enjoy various forms of entertainment, like watching TV and listening to music during your play time. Plan your play time and enjoy every minute of it. Your enjoyment will motivate you to work better and will guide you on your path to success.
Plan your work time very carefully. Being a freelancer, you have the opportunity of choosing the time you want to work and where you want to work. Therefore, you can plan your working environment and time according to your own choices. If you are an early worker, you can schedule your work time from early morning; if you are a late-night worker, schedule your work time for nights. However, it is also important to follow these times strictly so you can always complete your work before deadline.
You can decide on your own work place and design it accordingly. There are certain ways you can make your working environment better and healthy. Arrange a solitary area for working, where others cannot disturb you. Keep a big enough desk to locate your system, and keep a shelf to maintain your work-related files and books. Make sure that the room is well ventilated and there is a window through which you can relax your eyes. Arrange a mid-range light to soothe your eyes.
Indulge in breaks and take your food at proper hours. Take breaks at reasonable intervals while you are working to keep yourself healthy and stress free. You can also involve yourself with luxuries such as eating chocolates and fruits during your work hours. Such food keeps you healthy, and the sugar rush helps you increase your energy levels. You can also drink tea and coffee to keep you alert. However, make sure you don’t drink alcohol while you are working as it will diminish your concentration, accuracy, and efficiency, which will hinder productivity. All these things will help you make your working space and time comfortable and more productive.
It is important to maintain a healthy environment at work, along with making it comfortable. You should maintain proper times for your work. Suppose your work requires nine hours a day; make a schedule of continuous work with smaller breaks in between. This is because if you do not work continuously, you will not be able to focus on your work. Now, when you maintain your work time, one of the most important things is to take breaks. Breaks are very important and should be maintained at regular intervals. You can go for a little walk or go for tea or coffee, or just enjoy the fresh air and so on. If you fail to manage your break times, you might face mental and physical stress or both. Taking breaks helps you avoid such problems.
Consider ergonomics in your working space. Use a chair that is adjustable and doesn’t cause you neck strain or body ache. Keep changing your working posture and do small hand and leg exercises while you work as well. Use anti-glare spectacles to protect your eyes from the harmful rays coming from your system. There are ergonomic exercise balls you can keep in your working space to relax your body. There are also ergonomic mouse pads on the market. Make use of such items to keep your work place healthy. Such efforts might sound costly but they are not as costly as you might think. Also, investing in such items is worth it because they help you enhance your working environment and help make you more motivated and focused on your work.
Besides all these, maintain healthy exercises for both work and play time. Making a habit of going to gym or going for morning or evening walks is very useful for your health. It makes you stay healthy and happy. While going to meet clients, walking is preferable if it’s not too far. You can also ride a bicycle to the destination to keep yourself fit. As mentioned above, it is very important to eat healthy. You should never skip breakfast because it will make you lazy, which will affect your work productivity. Try to eat fruit and drink fruit juice very often and maintain your meal times as strictly as you maintain your work time. All these will help you stay happy and healthy, which will be reflected in your work.
Only freelancers who maintain self-discipline will be able to succeed professionally. This point is related to all other factors as well because unless you are self-disciplined you will not be able to maintain all those healthy regimes. Freelancers have many advantages but there are many obstacles too. You will be working from your own space and there can be many distractions. Your family might take your flexibility of work time for granted and ask you to do other chores during work. Phone calls can interrupt your work time and entertainment options will tempt you to stop working. Therefore, it is important to schedule proper work times and to follow them strictly and seriously.
Make sure you let your family and friends understand your work-time balance to avoid distractions and misunderstandings. Breaks are important and comforts are necessary too but don’t make your breaks too entertaining or let the comforts turn to luxury. Such things will hamper your work and you might end up losing quality projects. Below are some important objectives to ensure successful freelancing:
All these factors should be maintained and will require self-discipline to adhere to them. Believe in yourself as a self-disciplined person, follow your work time, produce quality work before deadlines, manage your play time, and maintain a balance between your freelancing and personal life.
Staying connected is very important in your professional and social life. If you are unable to connect well, you might end up being frustrated and lonely. Therefore, make sure you are connecting well socially and professionally.
Social connection should be maintained to thrive in society. Attend social occasions; meet friends and relations during holidays and weekends. Such social interaction will help you to improve your personality and make you feel relaxed and fresh after long, tiring work. But make sure you don’t indulge in social connections during your work time.
Be professionally connected with your clients and colleagues. Keeping a good and frank interaction with your clients is very important. Understand your clients’ requirements and help them understand yours. Without a healthy connection, the client-employee relationship will not work. Also, as a freelancer you might feel bored working alone. In such a case, you can invite some colleagues over to share your working space for a while. You should be active with contacts through emails and calls. You should be responsive towards clients’ emails and calls and never leave then unattended.
You have to be professionally active in order to gain future projects. Therefore, building up contacts not only enhances your work-life balance but is also useful for your future working prospects. You can stay connected socially and professionally with friends and colleagues through online social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkdIn. You can also attend online forums of discussion to make your boring work life better and improve your knowledge. Sites such as WebDeveloperForum, Sitepoint, and so on are popular online Web sites that maintain such discussions. Participate in such discussions and reap their benefits.
All these are important factors that should be maintained to build a healthy balance between work and play. Besides these factors, you can apply certain other elements too to enhance your work space, such as thinking beyond the work space, being communally active, being eco friendly, and so on. You can shift your work space to a park for some days in order to bring a change and make your life lively. You should be communally active so you don’t feel out of your society or community. Participate in functions, festivals, feasts, and so on without hampering your work. Being eco friendly will help you stay healthy and active both in your work and play. All these should be maintained by you as a professional freelancer and will contribute to your overall happiness.
You can achieve the above-mentioned factors only if you are self-disciplined and follow them carefully. Keep your work and play separate, and try to ensure happiness and peace in both. It is preferable to adopt these factors as a habit initially so you don’t avoid them later. When you are freelancing from home, you are the responsible for handling your time and keeping a healthy balance between work and play. Avoid compromising both lives by adhering to the above guidelines; they will help you shine as a successful professional and a healthy person.