How To Get That Work/Life Balance
Finding time for yourself when you love your job so much can seem totally unnecessary at times. In actual fact, making some small changes in your day to find some "me-time" can make you excel at your work even more. Being a freelancer with my blogging can sometimes make it hard to separate work and life and find a balance. Today, I wanted to share with you guys some tips of mine I have recently put into place to achieve that work/life balance.
Photography by Amber-Rose Smith
1. PRODUCTIVITY & WORKING YOUR SOCKS OFF
Having recently read In The Frow's blog post on being a 'workaholic' - a lot of this resonated with me. Finding the balance between work and time to yourself is so important, especially when doing a job you love, which can so very easily become 24/7. With my blogging, I have a lot of projects all running at once and trying to juggle everything to not get stressed can be difficult. What I do to manage the stress is to set myself my own deadlines as to when my blog post is due to go live, whether that is for myself or for the brands. This way, I know what I can achieve in a certain time scale and how I can deliver every single time. To-do lists are my favourite thing to start my day with. Grab a notebook or a pen and paper, or even your phone! It also allows me to switch off at the end of the day, knowing I have completed all my daily tasks, which develop into these bigger projects over the following weeks.
2. WORKING FROM HOME
I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to freelance with the blog... but with this, your home becomes your office. This isn't always the easiest at times! It makes it incredibly hard to switch off, and more often than not, I will still be answering emails at 10pm. I've finally got myself a desk and a corner where I can just fully focus on my freelance work, which has allowed me to have a space that I can walk away from in the evenings. Freelance life can also get mixed in with those other life errands that have to be done... tax returns, emails, the post-office, the bank, the supermarket. Basically: life.
So putting your own structure into your day allows you to focus on one thing at a time. A few weeks back, I had six pretty major things to achieve on the weekend, and so when I was out on location shooting a look for a brand, I began stressing over the five other tasks I needed to do, which in turn made my shoot far longer than it needed to be! I learnt the hard way, but really focusing in on what you have to do - one task at a time, really helps you achieve your goals.
Blogging, like any other project, is made up of hundreds of little micro tasks, most of which need to be done before you organise a shoot with your photographer. Each project has these micro tasks which overlap in timescales, so you need to be constantly planning something that is going to happen in say, 3-4 weeks time. New projects are constantly rolling in and you need to prioritise each day what will be taking place in weeks from now. Sometimes it seems hard to focus and prioritise, but it is the only thing that keeps my calendar on track and deadlines made. Make sure you prioritise!
4. THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP
Now this one is far easier said than done and I'm definitely guilty of not getting enough of this. But if you can get your 7/8 hours - it makes a huge difference on productivity the following day. My tips for getting a good night's sleep? Switch your phone off a whole hour before you go to sleep - it allows your brain to stop you thinking of work and deadlines and allows you to have a better night's sleep.
Too many times I have finished last minute jobs at the eleventh hour, and sometimes you just need to remind yourself that you can achieve it twice as fast the following morning. Enjoy some down time, do something for yourself. Time to yourself or spending time with family and friends really reminds you of the importance of life aside of work.