Maintain a Healthy Work Life Balance as a Freelancer
You started your work from home business to free yourself from the constraints of traditional employment.
You wanted time and autonomy. Let’s say you’ve made the transition from VBO Hybrid to VBO Pro.
You launched your work from home business and made it compete against (and beat) your job. You’ve left your job and now you’re working fulltime as a virtual business owner. You’ve got clients and you’re making money, but you’re ALWAYS working.
Because there’s no separation between work and home, you’ve somehow found yourself in a perpetual cycle of work.
You wake up, start working, and you keep working all the way until it’s time to go to bed. You think to yourself, “What the hell is going on?” It seems that you don’t have time for anything but work.
Your work-life balance is tipping way too far in one direction. That’s not the VBO lifestyle.
As a freelancer, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential to your continued success. You have to learn how to allot your time so that you don’t let your business take over your entire life. If you find yourself struggling to create the life you want as a VBO, know that there are things you can do to find a better balance. Don’t burn out.
Follow these steps to set yourself up for success.
Schedule your time.
Think about all the tasks that you take on every week and itemize them. Figure out how much time it takes you to complete each task and build a detailed schedule for yourself. You don’t have to work the traditional 9 to 5.
Flexibility is one of the best features of the VBO lifestyle.
If you’re a morning person or a night owl, set your designated work time during those hours. Make sure you include time in your schedule to take a break or eat lunch. Structuring your work days is the way to ensure that you’re making the best use of your time. And committing to a schedule will prevent you from working around the clock.
Create a workspace.
This is a must for VBOs. Work from home business owners need to create a designated workspace in their homes to be productive.
Your bed or your couch probably isn’t the best place to do work. The temptation to laze around and procrastinate is too great. You also want to keep your workspace away from TVs and other possible distractions.
Convert a room into an office, or find a quiet corner to set up a workstation. Work in that area only.
And when you’re in that space, make sure that you're doing the things that will drive your business forward. Creating physical boundaries in your home is essential to ensuring that your work life and home life don’t bleed together.
Establish an end time when you stop working each day. Let clients know when you’re ‘out-of-the-office’, so to speak. If you make yourself available to clients all the time, they’ll think you’re available all the time. You’re not. You can’t be. Establish your working hours and communicate them to clients.
Don’t commit yourself to more than you can handle.
Make sure that you set an end time, and make time for family and friends and things that you’re passionate about.
If you never leave your home, you probably don’t have a positive work-life balance.
Your work from home business shouldn’t keep you locked inside. Go out.
Make time for family and friends. Having regular interaction with your social circle will help you create a rich life for yourself that isn’t dominated by work. Finding a community of other freelancers is a great way to socialize too.
Make time for you.
Make sure you’re leaving time in your schedule for the things you love doing. If you like working out, find time each week to hit the gym. Or if you like arts and culture, find time to see a show, attend gallery openings or visit local museums. Include time to do something you love every week, or every day if you can swing it. Allot personal time in your weekly schedule and your on your way to having a happier, healthier life as a VBO.
Your time is valuable, and not just from a business standpoint.
Taking the above steps will help you manage your time and live the life that you want. If you find that your work life is too much to manage, it’s probably time to outsource.
Check out our “How to Find a Virtual Assistant” blog, and find other VBOs to help take the load off.
A healthy work-life balance is worth fighting for.
The VBO lifestyle isn’t just about work. It’s about creating a rewarding life that allows you the freedom and flexibility to pursue your passions while making money. Keep your personal needs in mind, and you’ll achieve a better work-life balance as a VBO.