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Freelancer's Lifestyle Tips:
How to Achieve a Healthy

Life Work Balance

The advent of email, texting, and social media has made achieving a successful life work balance much more difficult for today's professionals. Because business can be conducted anywhere at any time, maintaining a positive balance requires intentional planning and purposeful protection of family time, leisure time, health, and other aspects of life, from the ever-intrusive demands of work. "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) for work has made saying no to work encroaching on your family life more difficult.

Freelancing offers an appealing solution to many who hope to create that delicate balance between work and the rest of life.

women working from home

How Freelancing Helps to Maintain a Positive Work Life Balance

One of the unique advantages of freelancing is the opportunity to set your own hours. Freelancers can arrange their schedules around family activities or special occasions, or they can choose to work extra hours for additional income. Because freelancers manage their own time, they enjoy benefits such as:

  • Setting individual goals
  • Controlling their time and resources
  • Setting their own pay rates
  • Working as much or as little as desired

Freelancing is not without pitfalls, however. Separating work from your personal life can become more difficult when you work from home.

The good news is that by creating a plan and sticking to it, you can achieve the balance between work and home that will allow you to enjoy both to the fullest. I have found that having a simple visual planning method for your life work balance management system is a key to success. It takes some freelancers years to discover this, and some never do.

Defining Positive Life Work Balance 

Positive work life balance is the ability to create a personal environment that does not become overwhelmed by work-related stress. You will know you have achieved such balance when your life is characterized by:

  • Feeling in control - You should control your work rather than letting your work control you.
  • Happy family life - Your family should know that they matter more to you than your work does.
  • Not feeling rushed or stressedThere will always be busy times, but feeling constantly behind shouldn't characterize your life.
  • Taking time to disconnect - Turn off the gadgets and use the time to connect with the important people in your life instead.
  • Good relationships with family - Be available for the important moments in your family's lives.
  • Living in the present - When you are working, be fully focused on work. When you are enjoying family time or leisure time, be fully present with those around you. Don't allow the pressures of work and family to affect your ability to function successfully in either arena.
  • Having both money and time - Schedule enough projects to pay the bills and provide comfortably for yourself, but protect enough free time to keep stress to a minimum.
  • Well-defined work time at home - Create a dedicated space and schedule for work that will be done at home, so you can achieve better focus.
  • Prioritizing system in place -Use a simple visual planning system or scheduling app to help you prioritize both work and personal tasks or projects. 
  • Exercising as a part of your routine - I am a member of a bike riding club where we routinely ride as a group two or three times a week.  This not only keeps me healthy, but enables me to focus and be more productive when working.

Self-employment can be greatly rewarding for those who achieve a successful life work balance. The key is to proactively plan your schedule so that when you step away from work, you have accomplished your intentions for the day and you can give yourself fully to the people and activities that make up your personal life.

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