5 tips to achieve freelance work-life balance
For freelancers and creators, achieving work-life balance can sometimes seem impossible to obtain. As entrepreneurs, you're constantly putting on a different hat for a different task, shifting priorities throughout the day. Life and work for creatives tend to blend together because we find passion and enjoyment in both. As photographers and videographers, you essentially always want to work because you never want to miss an opportunity and truly enjoy what you do for work. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find balance and a time to shut off the work hat and focus a bit more on living life. Here are our five top tips to help you sort your priorities, and better balance your time.
Define your goal for success
Success means different things to different people, and it’s the first thing you should think of when trying to achieve balance. By defining what your measure of success is, you can break down your days, weeks or months into increments in order to make that goal. By doing so, you remove any pressure to reach someone else's definition of success. This measurement is completely unique to you and should be taken into consideration regarding both your work and personal life. That means defining what success in your personal life is, and using it to tackle your goals.
Make a daily list
Start your day out by writing a list every single morning of what you want to accomplish. Be realistic, and relate everything to any long-term goal you have. Separate your big tasks over your week, jotting down a few things you can accomplish to help reach that goal. Add any personal tasks you need to do, but not just the chores and housework! Include to-dos such as attending a new restaurant opening, going for a walk or yoga in the park, or anything else you can think of that has the possibility of contributing to your happiness.
If something doesn’t help you achieve success in your personal or work life, get rid of it. For work, removing tasks that aren’t necessary to either make you money or advance your goals will free up more time to work on your personal success. In a podcast on NPR’s Hidden Brain, “Deep Thought”, they discuss how the minor distractions (checking your phone for 10 seconds, watching a quick video on YouTube unrelated to your work) actually affect your workflow more than you think. It’s the distraction itself, not the time it takes, that moves your thinking to something totally unrelated and it takes time to reassess and properly get back to work mode.
Find a Zone
As creatives, we often find ourselves doing work at home offices or on the go in a cafe or co-work space. While this is a bonus of the job, having distractions around you is a lot more prominent than if you worked in an office environment. Block off a set of time in your day to get in your zone, understanding that just because you’re technically there, doesn’t mean you're available to everyone. Blocking time to accomplish different tasks and steps towards making your success goals in an environment separate from your personal life will allow you to get into a much deeper thought process, potentially allowing you to get work done faster and more efficiently.
Take Care Of Yourself
We focus so much on work success, that we often forget about personal success and well-being in your life. Find those things that give you pure joy separate from work, whether it’s yoga and meditation, spending time with friends, volunteer work, or a good book with a glass of wine at the end of the day- spend a little time on your heart. It’s proven that people that are happier in their personal lives are more productive than people who are not. Prioritize a happy life, and the rest will fall into place.
As freelancers and creatives, balancing work and life can be hard but once mastered- it will become your most valuable resource. Being the gatekeepers of your time and only allowing things in that actively contribute to your goals will allow more free time to enjoy your life at home. Make your life full of accomplishing successes, both personal and work related, and you’ll be on your way to a fulfilled life!
Have any additional tips or things you do to stay on track of your goals? Comment them below to share with our Creatives community!
We’re constantly on the lookout for new contributors to join the Shutterstock Custom Contributor Community!
Are you a photographer or videographer interested in working with us?
Apply to start creating stunning visuals for the world's top brands!
- The Shutterstock Custom Contributor Community Team