T he allure of freelancing often lies in the promise of flexibility and being one’s own boss. However, the reality can sometimes be a double-edged sword. While freelancers workers have the freedom to dictate their schedules (to what extent is another matter), they often grapple with the guilt of leisure, constantly feeling the pressure to be productive.
BTW, in this context, by ‘freelancers’, I mean also self-employed individuals who work for more than one company or multiple customers. This group includes professionals like some doctors, dentists, teachers, lawyers, etc.
Being a freelancer means you are in charge of your own time. But with that freedom comes the constant reminder that every hour not spent working could be an hour spent earning. This mindset can turn leisure time into a source of stress, making it seem financially unproductive. The irony is palpable: the flexibility that freelancing offers can sometimes diminish the enjoyment of free time.
For freelancers, the lines between work and leisure can easily blur. Without fixed office hours, it is easy to overwork, which can lead to burnout. While disconnecting mentally from work is crucial for mental well-being, many freelancers find this challenging.
Despite these difficulties, many freelancers report higher job satisfaction. Their dedication, efficiency, and hard work often translate to higher earnings, sometimes allowing them to afford more luxurious leisure activities.
Through this short text, I want to remind and encourage you to take some days off regularly. Marking breaks in the calendar and committing to them can make a world of difference. Additionally, taking an extended time off, like a two or three-week vacation once a year, I believe is crucial – not only for health but also for business (because it improves concentration and boosts creativity, among others).
For those who feel this article is about you: remember that self-worth is not solely defined by professional achievements, and your bank balance is not like points in a game. Although it is easier said than done (I know best), it is essential to find moments of leisure without the shadow of guilt. After all, success is also about enjoying the company of loved ones, traveling, and anything that fills us with a sense of fulfillment.
Balance is not something you find, but it’s something you create. Make sure that rest is also included in your routine.
In the future, I would like to dive deeper into this topic and offer advice on how to strike a balance if you are freelancer or how to support someone who is. Consider subscribing to my newsletter.
Additionally, I encourage you to read about my approach to achieving life balance, which I have termed ‘3W Navigation.’