Freelancing has become one of the most popular ways to earn while still being able to spend time with your family. However, if you have been working at home for a few months, or even years, you start to miss the environment where you get to interact with other people everyday.
Of course, you don’t miss battling traffic each and everyday as well as the stress of having a boss, but it was still nice to dress up for work, engage in company activities and other interactions that came with the corporate world.
For freelancers who work in a different time zone from their clients, there’s the extra hardship of being up at night while everyone else is asleep. Yes, you get to focus on what you’re doing without having to worry about getting interrupted every few minutes but the drawback is that you also have to think of ways not to get sleepy.
How do you avoid getting bored with your own company?
Get a pet
A dog or a cat can be a pleasant company while you work. They may chew on some important papers if you’re not careful or lie down on top of the keyboard to get your attention, but they will be a constant reminder that you’re not alone. Isolation is hard on anyone, more so when you are working and have to keep the creative juices flowing. At the very least, your pet will force you to get up to feed them, take them for walks or just play with them.
Do something else for a bit
The beauty of freelancing is that it allows you to work on your own pace and time. Well, for the most part, unless you are on a tight deadline or you’re working as a customer service representative wherein you have to be on the phone, email or chat with customers. For the rest, you have a choice to leave what you’re working on for the moment and walk around.
If you are working during the day and not playing Batman at night, you can get out of the house for a few hours and buy groceries, go to the gym, check out that new bookstore around the corner or shop for new clothes, which you haven’t done for a while since you work at home.
Don’t forget to eat
When there’s no one to nudge you that it is lunch or dinner time, it is easy to forget that you also need to nourish your body, not just your mind. Hunger will make you grumpy, not to mention damage your health if you keep on missing meals. Remember that the mind functions best when there’s good nutrition to sustain you. Keep fruits near you as it will hold off the temptation to indulge in sugary snacks, although little sweets now and then can help to boost your mood.
Don’t get bogged down by schedules
It is indeed important to have a timeline so you don’t procrastinate, but freelancing means you can move your tasks around without someone (a boss) getting upset about it. Take time for breaks, even if it is just to walk around the house.
Do you remember the times when friends will ask you to go somewhere and you have to refuse because you can’t get time off from work? Freelancing removes that constraint so take advantage of it and call a friend to meet up for coffee or a jog. The personal interaction will help to clear your mind and get you rearing for more work.
One word – Rest
There are a lot of workaholic freelancers and if you’re one of them, you probably sacrifice rest in favor of work since there is no limit on how much time you can spend on it. This is a no no as it will affect your productivity big time. You don’t have to sleep every time you need a break, you can listen to your favorite music, watch a movie or just give your eyes some much needed time away from the computer screen.
Work and life balance is not just a cliche. No matter how much you love being a freelancer, if you don’t ease up a bit, you may grow to resent it and eventually, dissatisfaction will set in.