One of the biggest changes that comes from transitioning into the freelance world is losing the separation between your work life and your home life. It’s easy for freelancers to blur the lines between work | home because, well, their work is typically in their home.
As your workload begins to grow, there’s so much to rejoice in.
More jobs = More $$ = So much yes
Of course with more work, you may have noticed that you’re starting to work 7 days a week, take client calls at odd hours, cancel your social plans, etc. etc. While this is OK to do from time to time in order to stay on the grind, it shouldn’t be a dominating trait of your new career. Plus, your Netflix binging is seriously suffering from it.
As a company founded by entrepreneurs, we understand the trials & tribulations of the hustle lifestyle… which is why we’ve come up with a few ways to combat the bad, so that you can fully embrace the good. Let’s explore Blended Sense’s 5 tips on how you can maintain that precious work-life balance as you continue to grow your freelance business.
It’s likely that any thriving freelancer you talk to will tell you that they are a creature of routine. Creating a routine for your day will set you up to feel productive, energized, and ready to tackle what’s ahead of you. Plus when you establish a routine for the day, you are creating expectations to follow through on.
Build a routine that fits your style, and definitely keep your peak productive hours top of mind. It doesn’t matter if you wake up at 6am, hit the gym, then make a full breakfast before sitting at your desk or if you snooze ‘til 10am and pull the computer onto the bed for a quick email check before your first cup of coffee. Just make sure you don’t go to bed at night not knowing the plan for the next morning. You’ll find that as your routine evolves, you’ll look forward to each new day because you know exactly what is ahead of you.
Once you’ve nailed down the routine that will help you feel extra efficient each day, you’re never going to look back.
Along with setting up a routine, scheduling is key to making sure you stay on track with your goals.. Regardless of if you work for yourself full-time, part-time, or on the side, your freelance work can start piling up quickly. Again, while this is great for your bank account it can be not so great for your sanity.
Our tip for this is to break down your project into tangible steps, so that you can knock out each one in a timely manner. Here’s an example of what a weekly schedule could look like:
Monday: Client meetings, getting organized & making todo lists, admin emails
Tuesday: Client meetings and client work
Wednesday: Client meetings and client work
Thursday: Morning for admin emails, afternoon for client work + weekly progress check-in
Friday: Catch-up day! No meetings or deadlines - work on your own business with extra time
Make sure to schedule “off time” too. A big step towards optimizing your freelance skills is knowing when you need to recharge. Book a fun trip or a weekend staycation! Or if you’re feeling like you’re burnt out of creative inspiration, block off an hour or two to fuel your creativity with a hobby that you love.
One of the most important things you can learn in your adult life is how to set boundaries. As an independent freelancer, you need to learn how and when to say no.
It’s natural for a freelancer to want to take on any job they’re offered, because who wants to turn down an immediate source of $$? However, know that you’re playing the long game and the value of work is going to pay off so much more than a one-time paycheck. Next time you’re asked to work on a project that you know you’re being underpaid for or will inevitably cause burnout, politely say no. This won’t exactly close off a potential business relationship, but it will keep your head in the game for the time being. Instead, focus your energy on building long-term relationships with clients that truly value the work you deliver… and will pay you accordingly!
When you’re not feeling good about a project or running low on creative fuel, you need to listen to the voice in your head that’s sending you all of those red flags. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be a rewarding growth experience, but your gut is what’s going to tell you if a project is going to improve your skills or frankly, just cause a lot of anxiety and overwork.
Here are some things to look out for (and avoid) when contemplating a new project:
Don’t question your own authority. If it’s not feeding your soul (and your long-term goals), then it’s 100% not worth it. You didn’t set out as an entrepreneur to do the same work you were doing at your 9-5.
The benefits of working from home knows no bounds, in our humble opinion. You can wear pjs to meetings (big fans of this), have easy access to the kitchen, eliminate commute time, get away from office distractions… the list goes on and on! Of course, even at home it’s still important to have a dedicated space for where you get your work done. No matter if you have a home office or a favorite chair at the kitchen table. Why? So that at the end of the day, you can mentally and quite literally step away from the computer.
It’s also incredibly fulfilling to build a space where you can get into the right headspace for the project at hand. Head to Pinterest and search “home office decor that gives me shabby-chic vibes but also caters to Marie Kondo deep in my soul” if you want to! The point is, you’re building a space that embodies you which will ultimately support you in delivering high-quality work that you feel good about.
Hey, and if coffee shops are more your jam then that’s fine too! Head that way during your peak productivity hours to guarantee that you’re getting sh*t done.
Looking for more tips & tricks on how to become a highly successful (and badass) creative freelancer? Check out our events calendar to stay up to date on our orientations, Creative Workshops, become a part of our creative network, and more!