• Nat Harrison

10 Work-Life Balance Tips for the Self Employed

Working for yourself is a joy - you have no one to answer to, you can make your work fit around your life rather than life fitting around your job, and you will probably enjoy most of what you do. However it is easy for boundaries to get a bit blurred and for your business to encroach on your life and family, so here are 10 tips to help you keep a business vs life balance:

1. Working hours – set, communicate and reinforce them by not calling, emailing or having meetings outside these hours. Learn to say no, including to ‘urgent’ requests.

2. Value your time – be confident enough to leave a meeting if it runs over and never apologise for having other commitments such as picking up your kids, going to a gym class or taking holidays.

3. Take breaks, especially a full lunch break. Step away from technology and have lunch with someone, these conversations will often spark new creative ideas.

4. Create a separation between working and living spaces, even if it’s just sitting in a different chair at the kitchen table or in the lounge.

5. Have a household routine as if you had to leave the house for the whole day. If everything is clean and tidy before you start work, you won’t get sucked in whilst working from home.

6. Put processes in place for tasks you dislike and set up automatic reminders for your invoices, so you don’t have to write awkward emails /stew over late payments.

7. Outsource – you are not going to make a packet being a jack-of-all trades, so focus on what you are good at and let specialists help you (including a cleaner).

8. Ask for help - meet up with a friend/mentor/business coach/networking buddy regularly and set realistic goals. Being held accountable will make a lot of difference to your success.

9. Be mindful and present in whatever you are doing – be it working, playing with the kids or the doing the housework.

Remember you went freelance / self-employed for a reason, so don't feel guilty for having a day off in the week sometimes and schedule in time to exercise, socialise and treat yourself

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