Freelancing and the work-life balance thing

Keeping it fresh as a freelancer

The freelance web designer/developer lifestyle is great. Work from home in your PJs, drink coffee all day, and take the dog for a walk, or go running/walking/cycling at any time of the day. Yay!

But, working from home can be lonely, clients are always on the phone with their website problems, and you don’t stop work until 9 or 10 pm in the evening. Boo!

In truth, the reality is somewhere between those two extremes. But, after working as a freelance web designer/developer for about 10 years, I know that I feel jaded and stale sometimes. It’s a feeling that working life is a slog or that I’m on a treadmill I cannot get off. So, here are a few things that have helped me keep things ‘fresh’.

  1. Work in different places — coworking spaces, other offices, coffee shops.
  2. Change your home office routine. Spring clean your office, re-organise your work. Change the way you do things to be more efficient.
  3. Go to conferences — keep up-to-date with industry trends and sharpen your skills.
  4. Local meet-ups — talk to other freelancers in your area, compare notes, discuss problems.
  5. Work on a personal project.
  6. Take time out to read and learn new things.
  7. Buy a Mac (if Windows) or Windows PC (if Mac).
  8. Take a holiday even if that’s just a day off.
  9. No time for a day’s holiday? Too much work to do? Go outdoors for a couple of hours and take a walk in the countryside (in my case, the South Downs in SE England).

I’ve done all the above. OK, OK, perhaps I didn’t buy a Mac just to keep things fresh but you get the idea.

This is all about maintaining a healthy work-life balance. When I feel mine getting out of kilter, I try and do an item from the list above. They work for me!

What do you do?

This is an amended version of an original article published on CVW Web Design.