The freedom of freelancing may be what attracted you to freelance work from the beginning. But are you so busy getting each project done and thinking about the next task at hand that you haven’t stood back to reevaluate your situation in a while?
Does something need to change in your work-life balance? Is there less balance than you imagined?
Ask yourself the following questions: What do you want out of your personal life and professional life … today? in the next month? in the next year? five years from now?
Try to think how your professional life and personal life will coexist and perhaps even complement each other over time. You have more control than most over your professional set-up as a freelancer, after all.
Once you’ve identified what’s important to you, consider the following: What are you doing right now to reach these goals? Are you living what you say is a priority?
As you work toward creating the kind of personal and professional life that you envision, what steps are you taking each day or week or month to work toward it? For example, if networking is what you identify as key to growing your business, what are you doing to meet new people online and in person? If only working part-time is what you want out of freelancing, are you failing to make that a reality by working long hours every day? Could you find ways to work more efficiently?
If, like it is for many people, reaching your work-life balance is still a work in progress, what would you need to do to get to those goals? What do you imagine a person at the level at which you want to be does daily, weekly, monthly to attain and maintain those things?
Now that you have a plan in mind, how are you evaluating your success? Do you have a quantifiable goal? For instance, if you identified networking as your focus, do you try to make three new connections every week or go to one networking event each month? If working part-time is your goal, are you really only spending part of your time working? Try keeping a log of how many hours you spend on work each day and you may surprise yourself.
Whatever you goal, the important thing is to try to find the middle ground for yourself to create a sustainable work-life balance. If you push too hard for too long, you may get burnt out or find your personal life suffering. You may also find yourself in a cycle where you take a lot of time off after prolonged periods of hard work, rather than finding yourself putting in steady effort over the long run. Even something as simple as asking yourself each day, “What am I doing today to get toward my goals?” may be the reminder you need to get started on something you have been meaning to work on.
Success by Rx has a wealth of information and resources available for freelance translators and interpreters looking to increase their productivity and build a better work-life balance. There are courses and even one-on-one coaching available to help you. Find out more at the Success by Rx website.
Author: Melissa Kamenjarin
Melissa is a Success by Rx copywriter and Spanish/English translator, writer, editor and proofreader specializing in educational materials, health insurance, non-profits, and published fiction and non-fiction books, blogs and websites. Melissa is the Secretary and blog writer for ATISDA (Association of Translators and Interpreters in the San Diego Area). An American Translators Association (ATA) member, she is also the Copy Editor for the ATA Medical Division’s publication, Caduceus.