Have you ever heard the saying that freelancers never get sick? Never go on holidays? Never ever unplug? You may have even heard that – if you want to have a successful freelance business, you’ll have to forget about work-life balance. What am I saying? You’ll have to forget about your social life! And not to talk about having a family! They’ll leave you anyway ’cause you’ll have no time for them to spare!!
Well, I think this can happen… but only if you’ve never taken the time to think why you’re freelancing. What do you want to achieve? What do you want your life to look like? Did you become a freelancer to load yourself with way too much work? Or to take control of your life?
So, what’s work-life balance anyway?
Translated into everyday language, work-life balance means giving priority to your private life. To your family. Your friends. You. And then – and only then – to work. And not the other way round.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that freelancing and having a good work-life balance means forgetting about work success goals. Nope. You can enjoy life and still be successful. But with a work that fulfills you, not with an office you’re counting the minutes to get out of. Every. Single. Day.
How Freelancing Can Improve Your Work-Life Balance
- You get to set your work times
- You can work wherever you want – whether it is from home near your people, or while traveling around the world
- You can change strategies the moment you realize the old one isn’t working
- You can change as many hats as you want
- You can dedicate your time and effort to the tasks you love – and outsource the tasks you don’t
4 Tips to Enjoy Your Work-Life Balance – And Still Run a Successful Business
1. Managing your working schedule and your clients’
♥ Take your clients’ working schedule into account
Depending on what your work is about, they may need you to be available to discuss ongoing projects. That’s why the best thing you could do is setting fix hours for communication tasks – if you don’t want to get stuck with emails and calls the whole day.
Tell them when you’re going to be checking your emails. And when you’re available for a call. Most customers think their question or issue is the most urgent thing on the Earth.
Well, guess what: If you let them wait for an immediate answer on your side every single time, you’re not going to be able to work at all. And if you’re there at the agreed time, they’ll learn to respect and wait for you. And then, when they really are in trouble and need your help urgently, showing flexibility is going to be a big plus on your account 😉
♥ Find the quietest time of the day to actually work
The best time not to be disturbed is usually early in the morning – so, when you turn on your PC, try not to check your emails or social media accounts. Start working straightforward. And the world can wait 😉
Think about it: While your customers get to the office, make themselves a cup of coffee, chat with their workmates about how they hate those long commuting times, turn on their PCs, check a couple of websites and then – sometime later – get stressed about work getting done and contact you… You’ll have been working 2 hours completely undistracted and productive. And now you’re ready to get your second cup of coffee and be there for your clients 😉
Wouldn’t you feel good about it??
2. Automate your workflow for potential clients
Although it can be very tempting to dedicate potential clients as much time and effort as possible, don’t. They’re POTENTIAL clients. Not real clients.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try and let them hire you, but you can set up an automatic workflow for your “getting-to-know-each-other-and-then-see-what-happens process”:
♥ Add as much info as possible on the first communication you have with them, on your website, or wherever it is that your customers contact you. Try to create clear service packages.
♥ Create an automated email system in order for you to send welcome emails automatically. I use ConvertKit, but there are many more options for you to try. You can also use it to check your customer’s feedback about your work.
♥ Prepare a questionnaire on Google Forms or Gravity Forms. The goal here is to get as many answers – about timeline, budget, etc. – from your potential customers as possible before arranging an appointment.
♥ Arrange a date automatically with Calendly. Avoid all those emails. YOU set the time which suits you, not the other way round. Do you tell your doctor when you want to have an appointment? Or does he tell you which free time slots he has? See what I mean? 😉
♥ Have ready a budget proposal and a contract to send them automatically when you’re asked to. HelloBonsai can help you with that!! You’ll have contracts created and sent in a couple of minutes, and they’ll even remind you of any open invoices.
3. Find out YOUR productivity hack
Find out the productivity strategy which suits you – and don’t listen to every new idea out there
You’re probably not going to listen to me. And that’s fine. I guess each one of us has to learn the hard way. I did, too 😉 But the thing is that we’re trying so hard to be more productive, that we don’t get around trying new productivity strategies. And that’s not very productive, is it?
So whether if you are following the Pomodoro technique, the 4-Hour Workweek, the 12-Week Year or any other time-saving strategy, just choose one and stick to it.
4. Remember why you’re freelancing
Yes, I know I said it before, but this is the key to combining a good work-life balance with a successful business. If you forget about your plans and – most importantly – your goals, you may end up overwhelmed and not enjoying your freelance life at all.
I wrote this post and all social media posts which link to it 2 weeks ago. I also took care of Google and Pinterest. So who can tell what I’m doing right now? Writing another post? Playing with my children? Lying on the beach? 🙂
PS. If you’d like to read more about workflow & automation, check out this post about freelancing without getting exhausting
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