16 Nov 2016
Tips for better work-life balance
Working from home is a big decision to take. Whether you quit your job to freelance full-time or you leave university and decide freelancing is your calling, it comes with a particular set of issues to consider. The main and most common issue is how to balance your work life and your home life.
Working from home means you are your own boss; you have no one to answer to but yourself and your success rate entirely depends on your ability to find a good balance. It may sound a bit daunting, but with a few adjustments you can be productive and have plenty of free-time and a life of your own.
Create a rulebook and stick to it
The first and possibly most important tip to creating a healthy work-life balance is creating a set of rules and sticking to them. Anyone who works from home (especially writers) will tell you that the only way to succeed is treating your job at home as a job in the office. That means creating a timetable of when you start, when you finish, and when you can take breaks.
Writing it all up is a good way to stay disciplined as it means that your days are structured, creating a good balance in your day-to-day life.
Create and maintain a designated work space
As mentioned in the above tip, treating your home job as an office job is one of the keys to success. And the perfect way to achieve this is by designating a work space and treating it as an office. If you work on your sofa or your bed – the same place where you sleep and watch TV – you run the risk of blurring the lines between work and play. However, if you have a room or even a desk in the corner, this focuses your mind on the tasks at hand and keeps you hitting those targets and deadlines.
Learn to say no
Often the problem with being a stay-at-home writer is the double-edged sword that is gaining assignments. On the one hand, you need the money, which means the knowledge that work sometimes dries up makes you take any and all offers. However, taking on too much can cause stress and also cause you to either avoid your massive workload or work yourself into oblivion. You will want to avoid this at all costs, so learn when to say no and split your time evenly between work and relaxation.
Ask for advice/help
Never be afraid to ask for help and/or advice if you are finding things quite difficult. You can go online to seek advice, ask friends and family in similar roles for help, but whatever you do, avoid martyrdom and suffering in silence.
Keep weekends to yourself
In the same way that keeping a strict timetable keeps you focused and on task, keeping weekends to yourself is also a great way to maintain a balance. Alternately, set aside two hours a night to do something completely for yourself, such as watching a movie or simply relaxing. This way you will feel like you are not always working while maintaining a healthy schedule.
Before reading this article, you may have thought that getting your work-at-home life in order was difficult. As you can see, however, in merely five easy-to-follow steps you can get to a place that is completely comfortable, allowing you to be successful in your career while still having a life away from your laptop.