One of the most common misconceptions about becoming successful is that you have to work non-stop in order to get there. We’ve heard it plenty enough from the proponents of hustle culture. They will rarely tell you about the flip side of things and what you need to sacrifice with that approach. However, it seems that freelancers have the answer, since 85% of them maintain they are happy with their lifestyle.
Freelancing comes with many benefits, such as flexible working hours and the ability to be your own boss of sorts. And that’s not all of it, since 64% of freelancers say that their overall health has improved ever since they chose this way of working. So what benefits does a healthy work-life balance provide for freelancers? How can you achieve it? Let’s find out.
5 Reasons Why Work-Balance Matters
Although the list of work-life balance benefits is quite extensive, we have decided to focus on the following five:
1. You Will Experience Less Stress
Workplace stress is the fifth biggest cause of death in the US, which just shows how serious the effects of stress can be if you don’t do anything about it. And the thing is that freelancers have a choice. You can choose not to take on extra work. You can delegate some of your work and prioritize your tasks. Finally, you can learn to say “no,” put your well-being first, and minimize the amount of work-related stress.
2. Your Physical and Mental Health Will Improve
By having a more balanced lifestyle, you allow yourself more breathing room to handle stress and negative emotions, improve your self-awareness, and ultimately make better decisions. Also, by not working all the time, you will have time to make healthy meals, exercise regularly, and adopt healthy sleeping habits.
3. You Will Increase Your Productivity
Your time management skills and productivity hacks will only take you so far. The reason why a good work-life balance is the only viable strategy is that only a healthy (both mentally and physically), well-rested, motivated, and focused freelancer can be truly productive. It beats any and all productivity quick fixes out there.
4. You Will Become More Successful
Having a good work-life balance is not settling for less. It’s an actual recipe for success. By dictating your own terms and focusing on stuff that’s important to you, you put yourself in a position to find success in a healthier, more sustainable manner, instead of grinding away 24/7, 365 days a year. That’s what real success is all about.
5. You Will Lead a Happy and Fulfilling Life
At the end of the day, work is just one segment of your life. By not letting the other segments suffer because of it, you can also cultivate your relationships with your friends, family, and your significant other, as well as enjoy your hobbies. All of that contributes to a more meaningful, happy life.
5 Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance
Knowing how work-life balance affects your life is crucial, but knowing how to achieve it is even more important. Here are five effective ways:
1. Don’t Overextend Yourself
One of the perks of being a freelancer is deciding what projects and how many of them you will take on. Obviously, more work equals better income, but spreading yourself thin might cause you to miss deadlines, which in turn creates stress, which results in you being miserable. Finally, overworking means that both you and the quality of your work will suffer.
2. Take Breaks
This applies on all levels, from hourly to annual. Take short breaks during the day, have non-working days during the week, and take a vacation at least once a year. It doesn’t have to be anything lavish – there are plenty of cheap vacation options that won’t break the bank. Just let your clients know that you won’t be available for a period of time.
3. Create a Dedicated Work Space
Being able to work from your couch or a local cafe is great, but it can also be very distracting. In case you don’t have a separate room to act as your home office, you can at least make an office out of a desk in the corner of the room. Create a pleasant working environment and make sure to only work from there. Once you leave that desk for the day, you also leave your work behind so that it doesn’t spill over into your personal life.
4. Value Your Time and Skills
One of the biggest mistakes freelancers make is reducing their rates in order to be more competitive. It’s okay to do this when you’re a beginner (but not all the time), but you should still know your worth. You can achieve a better work-life balance by finding better-paying clients, as well as by expanding your skillset and the quality of your work.
5. Create a Schedule and Stick to It
One of the pitfalls of freelancing is taking flexibility too far, which is why having a schedule you can stick to will enable you to make the most of your time and develop a strong work ethic. Create a schedule for each day of the week, and organize your tasks in order of priority. Handle the most important ones first, while you are still at your most productive.
With these helpful work-life balance tips under your belt, you can turn your freelancing efforts into a well-paid and fulfilling career. More importantly, with a little discipline and common sense, you can live a happy life.