For most people, embracing a freelancing career looks challenging because it doesn’t offer any safety in terms of income at the end of the month. For others, the challenge doesn’t come from the money side, but from balancing work with life.

In fact, when companies hire freelancers, they often expect high flexibility they would not get from an employee. This is why you should be careful as a freelancer, to make sure that your work life is not affecting your personal life in a negative way.

Don’t work from home all the time

Working at home is great, I do it most of the time. However, if you do it all the time, you may go insane, especially if you have children. If you live in a city, it’s very likely that you have coworking spaces available at a reasonable price not too far from your home. This way you get to meet people, change your environment, and be forced to stop looking at cat videos because somebody may pass behind you and judge you.

Log off regularly

Social media has made the technology even much more addictive than it was previously, it also totally blurred the line between work and life. Can you really separate your email inbox between work and life? I doubt it… Can you block notifications for emails and all other social media, yes you can! Unless you work in a medical field with regular emergencies, I doubt you really need to check your phone all the time.

Socialize (in real life)

Whether you work from home or from an office, you need to take some time every week to socialize with your favorite people. It can be family, friends, or pets, take some time off work and interact in real life with other people. Of course, while you do so, try to really be with these people, don’t be constantly checking social media (I’m looking at you, millennials)!

Learn to say no

If you always say yes to everything, some of your clients will eat you alive. No, they will no literally eat you alive, but they suck up all of your energy little by little. Learn to figure out what requests are reasonable and to say no to others, it’s for your own health.

Set your rules and stick to it

This goes with the point above, but it’s worth repeating as it’s one of the biggest issues many freelancers face. Be organized and have a plan, it will make it easier to say no because you will know what is part of the plan or not.

Set realistic goals

You know how we (freelancers) always make fun of clients who come up with totally unrealistic expectations, usually with a ridiculously low budget? Well, we shouldn’t make fun of them too much, because I see way too many freelancers planning their day with a schedule like programming two WordPress plugins, finish that client website, work on that side project, cook some healthy meals, and do sport for one hour in the evening. You need to be more practical and set realistic goals, only this way you get a chance to be satisfied at the end of the day. You should know it, low self-esteem is not good for freelancers.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.