A few tips I’ve picked up on balance and balancing life as a freelancer. I haven’t fully mastered these yet of course, but I’ve found them to be helpful guidelines in my design business. I hope you find this helpful and if you have tips you’d like to share, chime in on the comment section below.
Identify your priorities
A few questions to help you figure this out:
What is important to you? What do you want to accomplish or improve? Who do you want to become?
Write these things down and there you go. Now, build your life around those items. Sounds simple right?
Track your time
Without measuring what you are spending your time on, you won’t know how efficient you are at it. And, in the case of managing multiple projects, tracking your time is imperative.
One thing at a time
Multitasking is a lie. So is fear. Keep your focus and guard it like your life depends on it. Because it does.
Schedule happy time
Because life is not all about work. Make sure you keep a healthy balance of time to be with family, friends, and just do something fun that makes you happy. Go catch a concert, go on the taco ride, go to a group painting session. Whatever. Just go and be happy.
Ensure that you have time to yourself. Journal. Blog. Meditate. Whatever it is, just make the time, be by yourself, and disconnect for a few moments. Balance work time with family time and your time. If you don’t come apart from the first two you may fall apart. Unplug.
Disconnect from work and the daily routine and take a vacation from it all. Going solo or with family are both good options. It doesn’t need to be far, but it should be a different place. A new place provides a fresh perspective on life by its nature of being different from the routines of life back home.
Ask for support
When you get stuck or get frustrated on a task, project, life in general, reach out to a trusted friend or colleague. We are not perfect, and this list is not going to make you perfect, but it should help out. We should understand that we need to help each other out every now and then. Give and receive support.
Work and play are enhanced by being healthy enough to fully enjoy them. You can’t climb a 14,000 foot mountain with me if you are not taking care of yourself. Nourish and take care of your body, it’s the only one you have. This is the pivot point on the balance scale. Can’t do anything else with out taking care of yourself.
In order to guard your focus and accomplish your goals you will need to set boundaries. Sometimes these are physical, like shutting your home office door, sometimes these are attention-based. You may need to turn off notifications on your phone or computer to help block out time-sucking, attention-stealing things like social media or the news. Whatever you do though, keep your priorities in mind. Those are the driving force for all of this. If they are not important enough, none of these other things will get the attention they need to improve your balance in life. Boundaries === important.
Know your rhythm
Finally, know your pace and rhythm. When do you work best? When do you have the most focus? The most energy? For some people, it is best that they write in their journal or work on their book first thing in the morning and go for a run in the early afternoon. For others, they save low energy and usually low priority tasks like managing their emails for the last thing in their day. That way they zero out their inbox for the evening and make their todos for the next day. Start your morning with a full glass of water, like, immediately after getting up. You’d be surprised how big an impact such a small act like that can have on the trajectory of your day.
Know thyself, track your time with one thing at a time. Schedule your time, guard your focus, ask for help. Be excellent to one another.
- Identify your priorities
- Track your time
- One thing at a time
- Schedule happy time
- Private time
- Ask for support
- Set boundaries
- Know your rhythm