Freelancing is great. It gives you freedom to work when and where you want, and can offer you that all elusive “balance” you have been looking for…however, it can eat up your life and your time too if you don’t set boundaries and stick to them.
When I first started freelancing, my phone was by my side and I answered every single message, text and email as if my life depended on it. I then realised that I was missing out on something… life!
I started freelancing as well as my own business to spend time with this amazing little girl my husband and I created, and to have the life we always wanted… OK, also to work in jeans because I love my jeans! Instead, I found myself saying to that little girl “wait, Mummy’s working, we can’t Mummy needs to work”, and to my Husband “just give me another hour and I will be there…”
This was not the freelancer life I had imagined. I was stressed, at the constant beck and call of clients and I am sure, very close to a break down. I finally realised there was something missing from my working life…boundaries!
You see, in the corporate world you go to the office, have office hours and most often leave work behind at the end of the day. Your clients only call you after hours if it is an emergency because you are not at work, and they most certainly don’t message you via Social Media and expect a reply because that is your personal time and space.
Why just because I am in my own business, is it any different now? The answer was; because I had let it. It was time to re-educate myself and my clients…and that is exactly what I did!
My desk moved out of the lounge room, and I created a space where I can have an office. A personal space for me and a work space for work.
I set work hours for me which means work time and not getting distracted by household tasks.
I stopped answering every message the instant it came in and waited until I was able to answer. This resulted in better responses from me and better service for my clients.
I instigated family time and included a coffee/hot chocolate date with Miss 6 on Friday afternoons.
I sent my new and old clients an email clearly establishing the best way for us to work together.
Most importantly, when I finish for the day I shut the office door and walk away.
Being a freelancer does not mean being available 24×7. It means delivering the best outcomes for your clients and for you.
And to do this, you need boundaries.
Not only do your clients respect your boundaries, they value you more and you are able create the work environment you were looking for when you become a freelancer.
Comment below with a tip on how you set boundaries in your freelance business.
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