As a freelance designer, there’s a fine line between work and life. Sure, it’s easy to work whenever it best suits your lifestyle, but when does it become too much? Or on the flip side, too little? Everyone is different in the way they work and live, so there’s absolutely no solid answer I can give you to any of these questions. What I can tell you, however, is to think about your own balance. Take just five seconds to think quickly about what overpowers your day to day activities more : work or life? This question isn’t about what takes more TIME. It’s about what consumes your mind. Let’s face it, if you’re eating dinner and all you can think about is that contract you have to fill out tomorrow, work is winning.

When I began freelancing, I became a workaholic quite quickly. I would work 15 hour days, easily, just to finish and get ahead with work. If I didn’t have anything to do on a given night, I’d just keep working. I very well could have taken the night off to read a good book, get dinner with a friend, or go for a walk … but I didn’t. I’d work. With that said, it took me a good amount of time to bring a balance back to my days.

Like I said earlier, I don’t really have one answer for you. My one suggestion would be to create a work routine. Decide a good time to start working and how you’d like your day to proceed on a daily basis. For instance, I spend my mornings catching up on emails, marketing my blog, and catching up with twitter. Once those things are done, I have a good lunch before I dive into the heart of my projects, which is what my afternoons consist of. I try to finish everything before dinner and call it a day. It’s a simple as that! When I follow this routine, I’m able to make time for things I enjoy. Whether that’s reading for a few hours, watching trash tv, or being outside … it’s always the best way to end a day.

You’ll know if you don’t have a good balance going on, trust me. And if things are out of whack, simply step back and think about how you could change the situation for the better. Everyone should have time for life, that’s one thing I truly do believe in.

  1. Krystle says:

    Glad I’m not the only one who struggles with balance. When I left my fulltime job I thought I was supposed to work 10 hour days or I wouldn’t feel accomplished. Well, I didn’t feel accomplished. I felt tired. Now I’m doing something similar to you and knocking off work by dinner. Chill time is important.

    • bre says:

      Yes! Chill time is super important, or all you’ll have is a stressed life, which is no bueno!

  2. Megan says:

    This is EXACTLY what I do too. Such a good rhythm. Though lately I have been working more than I like and when that happens I tend to begin feeling burnt out.

    All that to say great post!! So true and right on as usual ;)

  3. LIZ says:

    Thanks for the reminder. When trying to balance life + freelance, routine really does make a difference. Appreciate your insight on the topic. Feeling motivated to remember this when the work + life balance feels off. I like the way you think!

  4. casey Lynn says:

    Thank you so much! It is always good to step back and take a look at your life and how your doing with the work life balance. Even the question of what is on your mind most was really good for me. thank you this was a much needed revaluation for me! I appreciate it and hearing of your balance your life was very helpful!

    • bre says:

      Exactly! If work is on my mind most …. even into the evening, I know that my balance is off. Seriously, if I can’t enjoy a bowl of ice cream in peace and quiet, we’ve got issues, ha!

  5. elaine says:

    another great post i can relate to! after getting burnt out I realized I needed to set boundaries. I stopped answering emails during the weekends and gave myself permission to “turn off” work (this was very hard to do in the beginning, but I quickly realized freelance blurred the lines between work/life!).

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