While being freelance definitely has its pros; from being able to stop and start work when you fancy to not needing to commute Monday to Friday, staying healthy and on top of things can prove a challenge.
Many freelancers find it difficult to schedule in time for workouts, meditation, healthy cooking and more due to an overload of work.
Interestingly, a study found that 42% of freelancers actually found that their work-life balance improved in 2020 compared to 2019 – perhaps this is one of the only silver linings to come from the pandemic. On the other hand, 33% have found themselves working longer hours than before the pandemic.
Here are some tips on how to make time for your health when working freelance.
Don’t work from the bed
Working from bed blurs the boundaries between work and play. Doing work – especially the bulk of your work – from your place of rest can have a negative impact on your association with your bed and sleeping. Basically, when you work from your bed, your brain connects being in bed with being awake and productive. This can negatively impact your productivity and sleep quality.
Drink water constantly
An easy way to stay healthy both in body, mind, skin and spirit is to constantly have a topped up glass or bottle (reusable please!) of water on your desk. Water is essential to getting the creative juices flowing, the blood pumping and the oxygen working – so sip sip sip!
Make time for friends
This past year has gotten us in the habit of solitude and while that may feel more productive as we have more time for our work, it’s often counterproductive. Working towards an enjoyable dinner or drinks in a beer garden with friends can spur your motivation and mean that you tick off those to-do boxes with more efficiency throughout the week. Also – you deserve it!
Wake up earlier and sleep earlier
For some reason, waking up earlier always makes the day feel more productive than staying up late. That early morning window before the world wakes up allows you to take some time for yourself and then, once the normality of 8am and 9am arrives, you’ve already got your self-care done for the day.
Create a schedule you can stick to and apply it to most days of the week
For the moment you may find yourself working 12-9 on Monday and Wednesday, 9-5 on Tuesday and Thursday and 7-7 on Friday. This creates inconsistency, leaving plans to the morning of and making it harder to get into a routine. Instead, we suggest reviewing the amount of work hours necessary per week on a Sunday evening and dividing them evenly throughout each work day. This will make it easier to find those hours to fill with social life, chores and exercise.
If you’re an artist of any kind, you’re probably sick of hearing about how important it is to “brand yourself” and it can sometimes feel pressuring to hear so often that as a freelancer, “you are your brand”.