Finding a better balance

Don’t become a slave of your work schedule!

We all have heard of “Work-Life-Balance”, but to be honest, how many of us are truly in a position to say that they have found the perfect balance? I won’t bore you too much by being yet another guy writing about work-life-balance, but some of the below might help you to adjust your work day for the better and finding after all a better balance.

As a freelancer it seems easier from the outside. Yes, we can work at odd hours. Yes, we do not have to stick to the standard nine-to-five or nine-to-six office hours suggested by companies or corporations. Freelancers are indeed a bit more “free” and flexible when it comes to planning our days. But that does not mean that we have a perfect balance in our workday. That is something one has to want and to build individually.

For me, finding the right balance came late last year. I have to admit, I am a bit of a workaholic. I do not drag my feet when it comes to working on client projects. I clearly plan my day-to-day work schedule. And yes, I can get caught up in projects. So for the longest time, I found myself sitting many hours in front of my monitor working away. Forgetting time, forgetting to eat regularly and most importantly, forgetting to move or getting out at all.

This imbalanced workday had a huge impact. I felt weak, uninspired and somewhat drained. I knew I had to change things up. Thanks to my family, I was pushed a bit out of my [non]-comfort zone. This push was initially to change my eating habits. Rather than having a light breakfast and a huge dinner, I went and enjoyed every few hours a small meal or a healthy snack. In addition to eating better and more regular, it also had me move away from the monitor to prepare my food. Projects could wait for 15 minutes. They would still be there later.

With that routine solidly ingrained after a few weeks, I picked up my running again, which I neglected for many years. Running is my outlet, my pressure valve. Adding that bit of exercise, not only kept me away from my desk, but I could focus even better. In the beginning I ran only at night. But here and there I added a little time during lunch or even during the afternoon. Committing to a break during the day refreshes and re-energizes your brain. And while this break may prolong your workday, you will find yourself fitter and more attentive after that break. Benefiting not only you, but also the people and clients you work with. Running and healthy exercising has truly become part of my work-balance, giving me some of the sanity back that was lost over the years. It has helped me to look behind the monitor and do things that aid in a more refined work-schedule.

I know – it is easier said than done. We all need to work to make a living, to feed a family or to afford something we desire. But that does not mean that work has to dictate your life. Find something you enjoy. It does not have to be sports. Go for a walk in the park, spend time away from your desk maybe with a good book or a camera in hand to take in the setting. If you want to crochet or knit to get your mind off things, do that. Everybody has to find their thing. Once you found it, you will be left wondering of how you did it before.

For me, the uninspired and drained days are a thing of the past. Looking at your work day and changing things up ever so slightly might be the perfect recipe for achieving that elusive work-life-balance for you too.