The ability to work from home, set one’s hours, and be their boss can make freelancing a desirable career choice. Women significantly benefit from the flexibility that comes with this type of job — but it also creates unique challenges in maintaining a balance between work and personal life. In fact, research shows that women are more likely than men to feel overwhelmed by their workload and struggle with work-life balance.
Fortunately, there are several strategies women can implement to ensure that their freelance job doesn’t become a source of stress — but rather a way to achieve autonomy and fulfillment. Here are four tips for freelancing women to help them achieve work-life balance.
1. Set Boundaries
Establishing boundaries is essential for success as a freelancer — including setting limits on the amount of time spent working each day. Setting these limits will allow you to enjoy your free time without feeling guilty about not working enough or worrying about unfinished tasks looming over your head. It will also ensure that you can give your full attention to each job, family, and friend.
There are many ways to create and maintain boundaries in your freelance career. It’s essential to be clear about when you are available for work, how much time you will devote to each task, and what types of tasks you are willing (and unwilling) to take on. Establishing an effective communication system with clients is also key — responding to emails, texts, and calls quickly will help ensure that expectations are met on both sides.
Another helpful tool is scheduling specific times to work each day or week. Rather than just aiming for a certain amount of hours per week, set specific days and times when you’ll be available for project-related activities. Having fixed hours will help you stay focused and prioritize tasks while also allowing you to take time off when needed.
2. Prioritize Projects
When there is an abundance of projects coming in, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and take on too many tasks at once. To avoid this, prioritize the jobs that need to be done so you know which ones should be tackled first. This will help keep you organized and focused and ensure all work is completed promptly.
When prioritizing projects, it is essential to consider their importance, urgency, and complexity. Assess whether the task is of high priority and needs to be completed quickly or if it can wait until later. Additionally, you should consider how complex the job is and where your skillset lies to determine how much effort will be involved.
Another factor that should be considered when prioritizing projects is the cost of completing them. Evaluate the cost in terms of time and resources — how long will it take to complete, how much money is needed for supplies or subcontractors, etc. This can help you determine if the project is worth taking on or if there are better alternatives.
3. Don’t Be Everything for Everyone
This tip is significant for freelancing women juggling a family and work. You may have the urge to take on any project that comes your way, but it’s not always worth the stress. Figure out what works for you and stick with it instead of trying to do it all and stretching yourself too thin. That way, you’ll be able to focus on the projects that interest and benefit you the most without overloading yourself or compromising quality.
Focus on the areas where you are most professionally and personally fulfilled. If a project does not fit your vision for success or is outside of your niche, it’s perfectly fine to decline politely. This may seem counterintuitive as every project has the potential to generate income, but sometimes taking on too much can be more costly in the long run. You could end up overextending yourself and not delivering quality work, resulting in a reputation hit.
It’s also essential to prioritize the projects with the most significant potential for success. If you take on too many low-value jobs, it won’t be easy to dedicate sufficient time and resources to larger projects with more potential for earning long-term income. Make sure to cultivate relationships with your clients and build a network of reliable contacts to provide you with high-quality, profitable jobs.
4. Practice Self-Care
One of the most critical aspects of work-life balance is taking time to care for yourself. Schedule some ‘me’ time each day and use it to do whatever helps you relax, such as yoga, reading a book, or going for a walk. Make sure you get enough sleep and eat healthy meals to keep your energy levels up, and don’t be afraid to take a break when you need it. Above all else, remember that self-care is not selfish — it’s essential for maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal commitments.
Being busy at work can also cause you to neglect your dental health. Just like the rest of your body, taking care of your teeth and gums is essential to maintain good oral health. Make sure you schedule regular check-ups and cleanings with a dentist clinic twice yearly, even if there are no issues. Regular dental exams can help catch any potential problems before they become more severe, saving you time and money in the long run.
By following these four tips, freelancing women can achieve a better work-life balance and enjoy the many benefits of this type of career. With some planning and effort, you can create a schedule that works for you — and still have time for the things you love outside of work.