How to keep a work-life balance as a freelancer and why it’s important


26 April 2023
Perhaps many roads in life lead to balance. Or at least that they revolve around the idea of life balance. In today's fast world, the main players on that age-old scale are personal life and work life. Poor work-life balance can create all sorts of problems today as it did in the past, but now our focus is spread between productivity and creating meaningful relationships.

What does it mean to have a work-life balance today?

To put it in easy terms, the work-life balance is the sweet spot between our sense of solving tasks, working long hours, focusing on our careers as employees or employers, and the time we spend in our private lives with loved ones or friends. In other words, there is a delicate dance between the time we use and the behaviors we exhibit at our workplace and the time we use for growing, relaxing, or relationships and the behaviors associated with that.

Combined, they give us our life balance. Or, in some cases, the lack of it. The good news is that there are many things to improve both our work life and our private life in ways that the stress of juggling both will diminish and might even become easy to do so. Let’s dig in!

Why is this so important?

Without a proper life balance, many areas are affected, including the mental health of the person, since other difficulties arrive, like the lack of boundaries, self-sacrificing, problems with prioritizing, and so on. To have a balanced life doesn’t necessarily mean that half of it and its hours are related to work and the other half is related to our loved ones and, in general, centered around us. It is more complex than that, and even if one follows the general trend of balancing these elements, the same person might find himself or herself in a moment where they feel overwhelmed.

Even though guides are an important resource for preserving mental health, it is equally important for each person to experiment and find their own center of gravity in life. The following parts of the article will show some guidelines, especially for freelancers with flexible hours and flexible schedules. It is essential to find out what works and what does not so much.

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Some ways to improve your work-life balance

The first step in reaching a better life balance is already done, as it is merely becoming conscious of the need for a better work-life balance. Now that we see and feel the need, it would be necessary to somehow monitor our behavior during our work life and also during our personal life. Do they merge one into another? Or are they strictly separated? What is home life? Do we keep interacting with people outside of work during working hours to a minimum?

Specific tasks or job requirements may blur the line a little bit, especially in a profession that enables people to become workers from the comfort of their homes. This is why observing the habits of our current situation and energy levels will determine how much closer we’ll be able to get to a healthy balance. Another important aspect of a healthier work-life balance is asking for support, both in our personal endeavors and during work hours. Someone from outside might give us a better glimpse at our perceived balance or lack thereof.

Work-Life Balance: 5 big ways to improve it

Practicing time management refers to the practice where a person will try to use different techniques such as timers, Pomodoro, breaks, and other ways to divide time in order to have time for the job but also to be able to spend time with their loved ones.

Thinking about inner values creates a greater sense in one’s life, thus bringing the benefits of energy, which helps free the minds of the workers and employees. How? By understanding that their work has meaning, or even if they perhaps don’t see that, they do have some values guiding their lives and may know that the job is temporary. But they can also know that they can become top talent in their own field someday.

Focusing on health has such an important impact on both fronts, as neither a worker nor a lover would be happy with suddenly experiencing heart disease symptoms or any other medical difficulty. People who exercise at least 3 to 4 times per week have a series of benefits that will significantly help in tasks of all kinds, and most importantly, it will give them a sense of personal control in their lives. It is said that “if exercising is king, then diet is queen”, so we cannot stress enough the balance between the two. Be it during professional hours or personal hours, the more fit on the inside and outside, the better the person will feel.

Planning in advance creates structure in both our personal lives in work lives. It is a great way to reduce stress and instead to be spending time creating a feeling of well-being. Planning ahead doesn’t have to be overly controlling, but it can provide some comfort to know when we’re going to spend time mainly on the career and the professional side and when we go back to our personal side and can let go of productivity and control for a bit.

Asking for advice might seem complicated for some people as it demands a degree of vulnerability, and that is difficult for a certain population, but it can be profoundly healing just to talk. It can be to a family member or to a supervisor at work, but there are benefits to sharing our difficulties productivity-wise in the business, and it can lead to stronger bonds and quality time in our personal lives.

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If work intrudes on your family life – on your non-work time – why shouldn’t the opposite be OK?

Nowadays, it seems more normal for employees and workers to take their careers back home than it is for the opposite to happen. Even if one may seem less serious than the other, they might both be putting the hard-earned balance to the test. Work-life integration and a healthy work-life balance are both delicate, so if one intrudes over the other, difficulties can arise.

That risk is even higher in the case of a somewhat new job, as it is that of a freelancer, as most of the job will be remote work, compared, let’s say, to an associate professor for whom working remotely is the exception and not the rule. It is easy to lose track of where work starts and personal time ends when they all happen in the same room or apartment, so even more so, self-care is so important.

The harmful impact of an unbalanced work-life dynamic

A lack of work-life integration and a healthy work-life balance has an influence over all aspects of the person’s existence. In regard to work life, employees and employers alike will be more prone to be distracted by other stimuli, thus creating a negative impact on their profession and on productivity in general. If we talk about the private part, the lack of balance creates a constant state of stress where even if the people are home with their families or in a similar situation, they are still workers in their minds.

They think about jobs, employees, about employers and stress over emails and such things. Each of both worlds becomes polluted with elements from the other until general well-being is affected by a certain number of employers and workers alike. And then it’s a free real estate for mental disorders such as anxiety and depression to appear, mostly “thankfully” to the constant stress.

How to have a good work-life balance? (hint: it’s not just about time)

Free Balance Stones photo and picture

Now that we know a few tips and tricks for work-life integration and private-life balance, workers and people, in general, might think that they’ll just manage their time better.

This is a big part of the whole system, but during a week, let’s say it is important to have other tools in our arsenal.

And the following tasks or quests will help us find our best private equilibrium.

What to take home (or to work)

This article covers a wide array of topics regarding creating a better work-life balance, which may seem a bit daunting at first. There are many things to do to be able to create a positive and time-enduring change in our lives. On that aspect, we feel that creating a short guideline to better organize the information is something small that will help us a long way. Everything contained in the words above and below is useful, but it is also essential to make this information your own.

You decide on how it is used by yourself.


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