How to maintain a work-life balance being a freelancer

Freelancing has become a popular career opportunity in today’s digital era, giving people the freedom to work on their own terms and interests. However, with this new mobility comes a new challenge in maintaining a healthy work-life balance: freelancers often find it difficult to establish a reasonable distinction between their professional and personal lives. According to ApolloTechnical, in the US alone 77% of full-time working Americans have experienced burnout. In this article, we are going to analyze the importance of work-life balance for freelancers and find some valuable work-life balance tips.

Julia Bataltseva, marketing director of EasyStaff, a service for organizing work with freelancers, tells us how to maintain a work-life balance being a freelancer.

Establish a functional workplace

A freelancer’s workplace should be comfortable and functional. Here are important aspects to consider:

Private space
Set a separate space in your home where you can focus and work productively without being disturbed. Doing so helps to keep work and leisure time apart.

Peace and quiet
Choose a place with no strong noises or distractions — for example, a room with proper soundproofing.

Natural light
Natural light is the best thing for working from home. Light from windows helps you stay awake and keep you in a good mood.

A desk and chair should be comfortable and fit you in height, design and size. An ergonomic chair helps you avoid any back problems.

Stable internet connection
Make sure you have a reliable and fast internet connection as it is an essential element of being a freelancer.

Necessary equipment and software
Set up a workspace with computer, keyboard, mouse, monitor, headset, scanner, printer and other devices and everything you use at work. Make sure you have all the proper software installed.

Space organization
Make sure your workspace is organized in a comfortable and tidy manner. Keep necessary documents and materials easily accessible in an organized storage area.

Personal design
Add elements that motivate you and create an atmosphere of inspiration. This could be photos, plants, paintings or other artwork.

Video conferencing facilities
If you often have to participate in video conferencing, make sure your workspace is properly equipped with lighting and a suitable background.

A freelancer’s workspace can be customized and express your own preferences as it helps you stay productive and provides comfort for the working process.

Identify your working hours

One of the main factors that lead to overwork is the lack of clear working hours. When your home becomes a workplace, it can be difficult to identify when your workday ends.
Set clear working hours for yourself that are convenient and realistic. They don’t have to match the traditional 9 a.m.-6 p.m. schedule as the most important thing is that the regime would fit your needs and provide time for your personal life.

Make self-care the top priority
Working freelance shouldn’t be an excuse to forget about yourself as a healthy lifestyle includes not only work, but also taking care of your physical and emotional well-being. Take time for hobbies, physical activity and recreation, pay attention to your health and psychological comfort. This not only improves your well-being but also increases your creative thinking.

There are many health mindfulness apps and devices available in the market. Popular variants:

  • Garmin
Garmin provides a wide range of devices including fitness trackers, sports watches and GPS navigators. They support physical activity, sleep and health monitoring.

  • Apple Watch, Apple Health
If you’re an Apple user, the Apple Watch offers many health control features including EKG capture, blood oxygen level measurement, step counter, and more.

  • Samsung Health
This is an app for Samsung devices that includes physical activity tracking, sleep tracking, and even allows you to keep a food diary.

  • Strava
Strava is a great tool for monitoring cycling and running workouts if you’re into fitness.

  • Google Fit
This is an app from Google that collects data about your physical activity and health from a variety of sources — smartphone, watch, and other devices.

  • Withings
Withings produces smart scales, hybrid watches, and other devices for monitoring weight, sleep, and other aspects of health.

  • Sleep Cycle
This app is specialized in sleep monitoring. It analyzes your sleep and offers recommendations to improve its quality.

  • Fitbod
Fitbod creates personalized workouts based on your goals and shape, used in fitness.

  • Welltory
Welltory is a health and stress control app that analyzes the heart rate and stress levels based on your heart rate. The app provides recommendations for managing stress and improving your general well-being.

  • iGluco
iGluco is an app for diabetics that helps track the blood glucose levels and keep a food diary. It uses graphs and statistics for effective diabetes management.

  • Yazio
Yazio is a nutrition and fitness tracking app. It helps to control calorie, food intake and set goals to achieve the desired shape. Yazio also offers recipes and food recommendations.

Each of these apps and devices has its own features, so the choice depends on your health and fitness needs and goals.

Delegate household chores

To make sure you have enough time for both your full-time job and personal life, consider delegating household tasks. This may include hiring an assistant to help with household activities, agreeing with your family to share responsibilities, or seeking professional help, such as caring for children or older relatives.

Take time off and plan vacations
Vacation is not a luxury, but a necessity. Plan regular breaks and vacations when you can completely relax, not thinking of working tasks. Work-life balance includes mandatory vacations, so remember to schedule them even during the busiest work days.

Share your problems

If you’re having trouble with your work-life balance, don’t be afraid to share it with loved ones, coworkers, or a counselor. Sometimes even just discussing a problem can help you find a solution.
You are not alone in your difficulties, and advice or support can be very helpful. Join freelance communities or professional networks — sharing experiences and advice with colleagues helps you overcome the challenges of freelancing.
Here are the links to find support from like-minded people or to give your own support in return:

  • Freelancer.com Community
Freelancer.com offers an extensive online community for its users to socialize and share experience.

  • LinkedIn Groups (via VPN).
There are many groups on LinkedIn dedicated to freelancing and self-employment. This is the place to discuss topics related to freelancing.

  • Behance
Behance is a platform for creative professionals to build portfolios and join communities related to specific areas of creativity.

  • Facebook Groups (via VPN)
Facebook has numerous groups dedicated to freelancing and specific professional areas where you can get interaction and support.

  • Reddit’s r/freelance
Reddit is a popular social platform with many subsections, R/freelance is a subsection where freelancers share experiences and advice.

  • Local Freelance Meetup Groups
In several cities there are local freelance groups that organize meetings and events to share experience.

  • Professional Associations
Some professional associations (e.g. Graphic Artists Guild or Editorial Freelancers Association) organize resources and events for freelancers.

  • Coworking Spaces
Coworking spaces for self-employed and freelancers can also be a community where you meet colleagues and support.

  • Specialized Forums
There are many specialized online forums and websites focused on professional areas — design, writing, programming, and many others.

Professional communities for freelancers are an opportunity for networking, learning and support. Choose communities that fit your interests and area of expertise.

Pay attention to personal relationships

Working as a freelancer can take up a lot of time and attention, which doesn’t put a good strain on personal relationships. Scheduling time for family and friends will strengthen the connection with loved ones.

Home or coworking

Based on your budget and your idea of comfort, decide where you feel more comfortable working: home or co-working space? Sometimes the routine before work — washing up, coffee, getting ready and on your way to the office — is a great way to get you in the mood and into the process. In addition, in co-working spaces there are no distractions from housewives and household chores, so it’s easier to divide the day into work and rest.


Achieving work-life harmony for a freelancer is essential for long-term success and well-being. Setting clear boundaries, prioritizing self-care, and implementing effective time management strategies will allow to achieve better career results while still managing to enjoy personal time and life. Remember, work-life balance is an enduring process that requires attention and awareness, but the results will be worth it.

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