We live in a culture that is constantly moving and constantly working. When you talk to your friends, you may often hear them tell you how their job seems to be taking up more and more of their time, or how they just don’t have enough time in the day to do what they need to do. In fact, you may know this feeling yourself.
Even as a freelancer, life can get hectic. You likely stepped away from the everyday workplace looking for something better – a chance to do what you really want and to live your life your way. Despite this, you may always have a lot on your plate. Perhaps you have a really big project on your hands, or there has been an influx of new clients over the last few weeks. Business has been very good to you lately.
While it is important to always have a steady stream of work, it is just as important to have time for yourself. It may not occur to you when you’re going over your list of tasks for the week, but even you need some time off – even if you have a reputation as an indefatigable workhorse. Here are some reasons that you should take another look at your work schedule and pen in some “you time.”
• It can take a toll on your body. You may enjoy your field or career, but there will be times when work seems to pile up and seem almost endless. Working for longer hours under pressure can build stress, which has all sorts of bad effects on the human body and psyche. The problem is, we may not notice them right away and instead focus on paying the bills. By the time you notice what’s wrong, the effects will have become worse – and more difficult to treat.
• You may lose touch with loved ones. Whereas you once had time to catch a movie with friends or go out with your family, now you may have to ask for a rain check. Continually putting off those close to you can strain those relationships – and by the time you get around to spending time with them, the people you care about may not be as close to you like they were before.
• You may miss out on what matters most to you. When you were at your job before becoming a freelancer, you hated not having the time and liberty to do what you wanted at the times you wanted. On the one hand, you no longer have a boss who dictates your schedule for you – but on the other hand, you are now the person robbing yourself of your precious time. Now it seems that your choice to go independent is not accomplishing what you had hoped – and on top of the stress it causes, you may start to doubt yourself and regret your choice.
As a freelancer, you have a responsibility to yourself to keep business coming in so that you can maintain yourself independent of a typical job. But never forget: you also have a responsibility to keep yourself and those close to you happy and healthy. You owe it to yourself to make time to do the things you always wanted and to be with the people who matter to you.