Being a freelancer comes with many costs, including your weekends. Your friends and family can afford to spend their weekends resting and relaxing – you may have to use those hours to work on your start-up. Sometimes, it won’t feel like a choice. Complications will come up during the weekends, complications you need to handle. You can’t prevent those complications from coming up, but you can make sure that you’re prepared to work on the weekend. All you need to do is to adjust accordingly.
1. Designate a Specific Time to Check Your Email
Emails are important, but they can take up a lot of your day. Make sure that it doesn’t by scheduling and limiting the amount of time you spent checking and sending email. Thrice a day – once at the start, once in the middle, and the last at the end – should work well. Check your emails, reply to the important ones, and move on with your day. It’s best to also limit the amount of time you spend on your email per designated time. This goes for all days of the week, not just weekends.
2. Rest Throughout the Week
The problem with working on the weekends is that you likely won’t get the rest you need to survive the following week. An easy solution is to rest throughout the week. Don’t spend your weekdays pulling all-nighters. Some issues can wait to be handled until the weekend, and you will need to rest if you don’t want to burn out. Go home and get enough sleep instead of sitting at your desk and staring at the numbers.
3. Don’t Spend the Entire Weekend Working
While as an freelancer you’ll have to spend some time working over the weekend, it’s important to remember that you still need to rest. There’s no need to pour it in the same way you would if it were a week day. Spend some time on your computer and look after a few reports, but don’t let it be your entire day. Hang out with your friends and family, take in a movie. Don’t just work – get some rest as well.
4. Get a Hobby
Being efficient isn’t always about spending time working on your start-up. Sometimes it involves doing other things to give your mind some time to relax. Hobbies are a great way to keep your mind engaged while letting you have some fun. You can go out and nurture a garden, or pick up a few board games for your family. You can even do some volunteer work. Do whatever works for you and you’ll keep your mind engaged and get the rest you need. It also has the nice side-effect of letting you get back to work with fresh eyes.
5. Get the Right Amount of Sleep
Freelancing can be hard work, making it tempting to sleep-in during the weekend. Resist that temptation. The moment you oversleep, you mess with your circadian rhythm and can result in lowered performance. That means that getting ten hours of sleep won’t necessarily get you ten hours of rest. You’ll end up groggy and unable to get anything done. Try not to get more than a couple of hours of extra sleep or better yet, take a nap in the middle of the day.
6. Get Physical
As a freelancer, you’ve probably spent a lot of your time sitting down, looking at reports and handling meetings. This sedentary lifestyle can negatively impact your health and you may not have the time on a weekday to exercise. That’s where weekends come in, as they give you the time to get physical.
If you like to dance, go dancing. Go for a run and see the neighborhood or lift weights. Whatever it is, the important part is you get your body moving. There’s no need to make yourself an Olympic athlete. All you need to do is to stay physically healthy.
7. Let Someone Else Do the Chores
Your freelance business isn’t the only thing you need to keep in order. Your home needs your attention too, but the problem is they take up a lot of time. Doing groceries can easily take up to two hours, depending on how far you have to go and how much you have to get. You should strongly consider hiring someone to help with household chores. The amount of money you spend on help often pales in comparison to how much money you can make being rested or handling company matters.
Being an freelancer means making certain sacrifices and your weekend is a sacrifice that often cannot be avoided. What you can do is make sure that you spend your weekends efficiently. Do so, and you may find your start-up flourishing.