When you are at a regular 9 to 5 job there isn’t much you have to do to maintain a work life balance, ideally.
You go to work in the morning, come back in the evening. You spent some time with your friends and family. You go to a movie, restaurants for dinner or take kids to some park and have some quality time.
Some people realizing that they can’t stand the regular 9 to 5 job switch to freelancing. Being a freelancer they don’t have to be in office, or report to anyone. They can work from the comfort of their bedroom, anytime.
Sounds like heaven !!
Not everything is as good as it sounds.
When you are a at regular job you don’t have to be bothered about the business. Someone else takes care of the business. Work comes to you. You just need to finish it.
When you are freelancing, you need to manage the client. Take care about the project plan, estimates, deliverables and literally manage the whole project.
Being a one man army it sometimes does get really hectic when doing freelancing.
Here in this article, I’ll give you 5 tips from my freelancing experience to maintaining healthy work life balance.
1. Maintain A Fixed Time For Working
Freelancing does give you the freedom to be your own boss. But you should be disciplined enough to work when you have to work.
When no one is watching over us, sometimes we tend to be lazy. And procrastinate the work which was expected to be finished.
Not maintaining a time to work may result in working late nights. And sometime it may result in delays in client deliverables.
All these things will eventually lead to an unhealthy lifestyle and unhappy clients.
2. Learn To Say No When Your Plate Is Already Full
It’s quite tempting when you have constant inquires coming your way and the money is good. But bear in mind one thing, never commit to something without having a proper delivery plan.
Think about what you have in hand. How much more time you need to wrap up the current project. Do you really have the resource and time to take another assignment.
Always say no to any new projects when you are already committed to one project. It will save you and your clients from a lot of headache. And help you maintain a healthy work life balance.
3. Have The Project Details Discussed And Documented Before Starting The Project
Having every details of the project documented is a must before you start working on a project.
Most of the times, the client might be in a different timezone. Sitting up late every night to discuss project details or to get some clarifications doesn’t sound healthy and should be avoided at all costs.
Ask for a project documentation from the client before starting the project. If the client doesn’t have one, insist on having some detailed sessions on the client’s requirements and create a project document. And the most important point, get it approved from the client.
Once you have the project in place, that will be your reference guide while developing the project. And if any conflicts comes up regarding the final project implementation or any feature details, you can refer the documentation.
4. Entertain No Additions or Modification To Project Once Started
Once project development has been started, it’s not a good idea to modify or add new features to the project requirements.
Freeze the project requirements before starting the project development. If the client comes up modifications or new features during the development phase, take it in another release and focus on the current development plan.
Sticking to the project development plan helps in avoiding delays in project deliverable. It also keeps the project management a lot more easier to manage.
5. Provide Quarterly Demo Of The Project & Get It Approved
Since you are developing the application based on the project documentation, it’s a good idea to give quarterly demos.
It will help the client get an idea about the status of the project and how it’s shaping up.
After the demo if possible the client feedback can be integrated into the developing project or may be into future releases.
6. Bonus Tip : Learn To Cook
You might wonder how learning to cook might help you maintaining a work life balance for freelancers.
From a personal experience, when I freelancing I used to order food from outside all the time. That helped me save some time and gave me more time to sit at my desk in front of the laptop and work.
It did help me to work more, but at the cost of my health. The food from outside helped me put on oodles of weight. And it wasn’t at all healthy.
Learn to cook your own meal. It will help you take some time off from work, save a lot of money and improve your over all health. After all, your body is the only place you live, so try to keep it clean and be conscious about what you put into it.
How To Maintain Work Life Balance For Freelancers
In this article, I discussed about 6 key points which can help freelancers to maintain a healthy work life balance.
How was your freelancing experience ? What life hacks and time saving tips do you use to maintain a healthy work life balance ? Do let us know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.