How to Balance Health and Home with a Freelance Career
Owning a freelance business is a dream come true for many people. It gives you complete control of your life and your own schedule. It is ideal for those with family obligations that make a “normal” work schedule difficult. Freelancing can be ideal, but it is business ownership, so you must work hard to create success. In addition to your projects, you also need to market your business, and handle administrative tasks, all while maintaining your health and home. Achieving this balance is challenging, but it is easier if you focus on a few important things.
Freelancers must be organized. This goes for your business and your entire life. Balance is about keeping things in order, so if you are not organized at the moment, set aside a few days to get a grip on things. Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed or as if you should have the hang of things by now. Most freelancers need a couple of days each year to regroup and get a handle on things.
Your organization efforts must include a schedule. Most freelancers understand the importance of creating a consistent work schedule, but if you are struggling with balance, your schedule needs even more detail.
Initially, your scheduling efforts might take some time. Create a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule if you are juggling personal tasks, health, and freelancing. Your daily schedule should include work tasks related to client deliverables, exercise, and daily household chores, such as washing the dishes and making the bed. This is not a to-do list, but many of the tasks will appear on your to-do list. Your goal at this point is to get a grasp on what you need to accomplish each day.
Your weekly schedule might include tasks such as errands, marketing your business, and preparing your home for the week ahead. Grocery shopping and deeper house cleaning appear on this list. Your monthly schedule might feature tasks related to invoicing clients, seasonal household chores, and gatherings with extended family and friends. Again, this is not a to-do list and you do not need specific dates. This serves as a guide for creating your to-do list.
Everyone has days when several things get pushed aside. Emergencies pop up or you pick up an unexpected client. Before you know it five days have passed and the same things have slid down your daily to-do list. All too often these things are exercising or preparing healthy meals.
If you freelance and you want balance in your life you must create non-negotiable tasks. These are things on your to-do list that are never put off. My recommendation: three solid hours of work each day, one hour of exercise, and one hour dedicated to preparing and eating healthy meals and snacks. You can prepare your food in advance for the day or take your hour in 15 or 20 minute chunks.
One of the toughest things about achieving and maintaining balance is finding the motivation to keep it up. Finding motivation is a different process for everyone. Do whatever is necessary to stay on track and take care of your home, your body, and your business. Create a board with inspirational quotes or photos, have a friend call you and check in, or plan certain activities around other enjoyable activities. If you do not have time for television because your business is busy, DVR a favorite show and watch while you workout. If you only clean when guests are coming, create a standing date with visitors once a week.
One of the best and most important things about doing what you need to do to achieve balance is rewarding your actions. In addition to feeling energetic, healthy, accomplished, and as if your life is in order, you can recognize your achievements with small rewards. Spent the last hour tidying up the house? Duck out for a cup of coffee before you begin your afternoon of work. Worked out every day this week? Take Saturday off and spend time with friends or family. Honor your effort and success because you worked hard.
This is a guest post written by Kelly Jamrozy, a freelance writer focused on health and well-being. Her business, KBJ Writing, has provided professional writing services, including website content, articles, and marketing materials for more than five years.