How to be self employed and not let work take over your life

1449779_1_l                   Artwork by Niki de Saint Phalle

Being self employed isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Since I started my own creative business I have noticed several things. I seem to be working all the time. I could easily work into the night and on both days at the weekend. Yes, its great that I love the job I do and therefore enjoy working but sometimes when you are your own boss you can be a lot harder on your self than any other boss would.

A common problem many of my creative colleagues encounter is knowing how and when to stop working! How do you balance your life so that you are not constantly working? How do you recharge, switch off and not let work take over your life?

So, here a few things that have really helped me. I’m not always so good at sticking to all of them but at least I try!

  1. The fist thing I do is make sure I do practice yoga every day. This allows me to create time for myself every day no matter what.
  2. I have a very clear space that I work in, I mainly work in my studio but if I work from home I work in a room that is not my bedroom. This creates a clear distinction between work space and living space.
  3. Something I have started doing recently is putting my phone on flight mode when I get home. This is a bit radical I know but for a few hours each evening it stops me from checking my emails or social media which gives my brain a break from screens. I actually find this helps me sleep a lot better and I am defiantly clearer the next day and more refreshed!
  4. I am also trying a new technique of only checking my emails when I am at work! I don’t believe the computer is very good for me so I try to manage my time so that it is as focused as possible when I am on the computer.
  5. I never eat in my work space. I think it’s really important for me to have a clear boundary between where I am working and where I am eating. When I eat I want to be focused on the food I’m eating not who has liked my posts on Instagram.
  6. I try not to stay in my studio past 6:30pm. If I work too late I don’t have time to decompress at night. For me, it’s really important to have some time away from thinking about work. I like to spend time reading a book, hanging out with my boyfriend etc. I tend to draw a line at 6:30ish and pick up from where I left off the next day.

I hope you find this advice useful. I have heard the term ‘curse of the self employed’ being mentioned many times and it is true, we do tend to work ourselves very hard but I always need to remember to allow myself time away from work so that when I return to work I feel energised, refreshed and clear!

Tasha x

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