L
et’s be honest — being your own boss sounds great. No arguments, no performance reviews, and a pretty relaxed dres's code. But, you have to make sure that you enjoy a good work/life balance when you’re freelancing.

If you don’t, burnout won’t be far away, and you might as well just work for a boss.

So here are some top tips to guard your home life, protect your mental health, and make the absolute most of being an independent freelancer.

Move your laptop after work

Laptop on a brown sofa
(Image by Life-Of-Pix from Pixabay)

When the working day is over, move your laptop out of sight, especially if you’ve been sitting working on the sofa all day.

Why?

Well, you’ll be tempted to just pick it up and check an email or two, or look at some work-related stuff, and you simply won’t switch off.

You don’t want anything tying you to your job in the evenings, so give yourself a well-earned rest and put that laptop away.

Set boundaries

Yellow and green alarm clock on a desk
(Image by chidi from Pixabay)

If you want to strike a good balance between work and home life, try setting some clear boundaries with clients. State your office hours before you take on any new clients, and reinforce the message that you’re not available 24/7.

We all know there will be times when you need to finish some urgent work, but this should be an exception rather than the rule. You’re a business owner now, not an employee, so don’t let your clients treat you like one.

Use out-of-office notifications

Pillow printed with Do Not Disturb
(Image by Wunderela from Pixabay)

Set up some out-of-office notifications to kick in after 6pm, at the weekends, or whenever you want to take a day off. They’ll make your life a lot easier, and you’ll benefit from knowing a system is in place to safeguard your time.

Get outside

Hills and woodland
(Image by Yeskay1211 from Pixabay)

Your freelance career is definitely important, but so is your mental and physical health. Without it, you won’t be able to build a successful freelance career, so take care of yourself. Make sure you take the time to go outside, get some fresh air, and exercise regularly.

You’ll pay for it if you don’t.

Spend time with family

Cartoon drawings of a family
(Image by Prawny from Pixabay)

No justification required here. Spend quality time with your partner and your kids. Go talk to your mother — you’ve been putting off that video call for a week now and she misses you.

Keep in touch with your friends, even if it’s a virtual catch-up — nurturing friendships and relationships is good for everyone in your life.

Schedule breaks

Kermit the Frog next to a blackboard that says Have a Break
(Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay)

You’re not a machine — you need to take breaks as much as anyone else, so make sure you focus on scheduling fun activities during the week. It’ll help you stay sane, and you’ll return to work fresh, creative, and raring to build up your freelance career once again.

Plan and prep meals

Chopped vegetables for soup
(Image by RitaE from Pixabay)

You don’t want to spend an hour cooking every night, so plan ahead and prep your meals. When you’ve finished work you can relax and make the most of your freelance life.

Work/life balance is as much about preparing as it is about taking time off, and meal planning is a great way to get organized.

Self care in scrabble letters
(Image by wokandapix from Pixabay)

It’s very tempting to put work/life balance on the back burner when you start a freelance business. I know — I’ve been there. A thousand and one things need your attention, but you can’t forget your own health and well-being.

It’s not always easy to maintain balance as a freelancer, but if you take time to draw clear lines and focus on yourself regularly, you won’t regret it.

Your career is very important, but if you don’t take breaks and, as a result, start to hate your work because it’s taking over your life, there’s no point in becoming a freelancer.

So make time for you, no matter what happens.