As with any freelance job, there will be busy periods and there will be slow periods. In particular, it can be difficult to maintain a sustainable work-life balance during these busy times.
I have been working as a freelance editor for about five years. I will be the first to admit that finding what has worked for me has been a processes of trial and error. Far from perfect, I still occasionally overwork myself during tight deadlines.
However, I can say that I have gotten better at achieving that ideal balance—that works for my particular life.
How to Achieve a Work-Life Balance
Based on my experience, I have a few tips to here with newer freelance editors. However, this advice comes with the caveat that everyone’s process is different. The trick is to find out what works for you and fine tune it to your situation. And, as life is never static, this process may need occasional changes and improvements.
Set Up a Dedicated Work Space
My first tip is to set up a dedicated work space.
Although having a dedicated working space is ideal, I understand that this is not always possible depending on your living situation.
I live in a small studio apartment, which means my office is part of my living room, kitchen, and bedroom. For this reason, I have created a small nook that I only use during my dedicated office hours. This allows me to shut down my computer at the end of the day—without the temptation to respond to one more email.
Set Dedicated Working Hours
In addition to this work space, my main tip is to set dedicated working hours. If you do not, you may find yourself working far too many hours.
My work hours are dedicated to working on my editing projects, as well as one hour each morning and afternoon to replying to emails, marketing, and working on my website and social media.
I try to work between 9 and 3, although admittedly, at time, I do work until 5.
Schedule Regular Breaks
Thirdly, scheduling dedicated breaks—and taking those breaks is incredibly important. After having breakfast and tea, I complete housekeeping tasks, such as checking my emails, updating my website, etc. Then, I begin working on my projects until about noon. I then take a break and have a snack.
Take Time to Go Outside
During my workday, I try to take a walk around the neighbourhood. I go sit in my favourite park and catch up on my reading. I eat a snack and just relax for about an hour.
Schedule Days Off
Finally, it is important to take time off and simply rest. A day off can be to simply catch up on series and movies, read a good book, take a vacation, or simply take care of yourself.
I am still fine-tuning my process, but I am closer to achieving a work-life balance that is ideal for my personal situation.
How do you maintain a work-life balance? I’d love to hear your suggestions! Questions? Comments? For copy editing projects, please visit my copy editing page, which lists my experience and rates. Contact me for more information about your project needs.