Balancing Work & Family
Because most freelancers love what they do, it can often seem acceptable to work 80+ hours in a single week. While sometimes you really do need to kick out some work, overall it’s not a positive thing to be that unbalanced. In the past months, we have added a few company rules.
I wanted to jot down some things I practice to keep personal life in balance with work. I hope they help you too:
No one is productive for +80 hours a week
With very few exceptions, I’ve never seen anyone who can work more than 80 hours. Besides something isn’t right if you spend that much time working. If you can’t make a living working less than 80 hours a week, you need to change careers.
Around 5pm you must be looking for a place to pause work.
Many of us have small kids and they go to bed early. If you must finish a task do it once they’re in bed. During evening hours, family time is #1, work is far down the list of priorities. We usually do three to five hours of more work after the kids go to sleep
Dinner time is important.
This follows the first rule of stopping around 5pm, take a few hours, play with your kids, interact with them. Talk to your wife, family, parents, something but get away from the computer and be social with the people important to you.
Leave the house.
Its imperative that you get out of the house/office or place you work. Personally I have been trying to go to beautiful places, parks, lakes, any place I can take pictures of. Its another form of creativity that lets my mind feel free. Creativity isn’t something I can turn off but I can be creative without staring at pixels.
Try to do something to get the blood pumping.
I’m not the slimmest person in the world, and I often feel lazy but nonetheless, I try to ride my bike around the neighborhood while pulling my son in his baby trailer. This is a time that I can have complete silence and clear my thoughts, plus sweat a little.
Remember that work is your tool to make money, its not your life. Money is only a temporary justification for not being there for the people you love. Time is fleeting, memories are priceless, choose life over work any chance you get. As long as you get your work done.
This post is a guest post from Allan Branch, a one time freelancer who created LessAccounting for freelancers who need to keep track of money or send invoices.