Home Freelancers Stop Feeling Guilty About Not Working, Freelancers!

Stop Feeling Guilty About Not Working, Freelancers!

We understand that it is easier said than done. But just because you’re self-employed doesn’t mean you can’t have some downtime. Here’s how to redefine the concept of “time off” to achieve balance.

When was your most recent vacation? When was your last day off working during the week? And did you permit yourself to enjoy your time away from your desk?

If you’re self-employed, you’ve probably struggled with allowing yourself time off. That is understandable! After all, time is money, and when your income is contingent on having clients, it’s difficult not to feel that there’s always something to do: if you’re not working on an assignment, you should be hustling for additional work.

Even when you’re running at total bandwidth (or even above; more on that later), the pressure to “keep up” with business news, opportunities and your colleagues are real—as is the guilt of taking time off.

That guilt stems from two places. Then there’s the sense of impending doom that always seems to creep into the back of any freelancer’s mind: “This may all end at any moment!” Second, there is the belief that just because you can work, you should work—a prevalent idea in our always-on culture.

However, the same guilt preventing you from turning off the computer is also preventing you from performing your best work.

“You’re like a cell phone that needs to charging,” says productivity expert and New York Times best-selling author Julie Morgenstern. “That’s what vacation is for. It is in the best interests of your company to take a break. It will make you a much better, more creative, and more knowledgeable freelancer.”

With that said, let’s look at the strategies to rethink where this nagging, troubling feeling originates from–and how to avoid it!

Reframe the concept of ‘Time Off.’

Morgenstern’s approach to reframing time off is practical. So many independent employees regard to time off as a form of personal comfort—a “gift” you give yourself at the expense of your business and your bank account.

But it is simply not the case. Morgenstern emphasizes, “Don’t conceive of taking time off as a choice between yourself and your career.” “Rather, it is your obligation to your company—to your clients—to take time off. You must recharge to be effective at work.”

Consider the following: According to research, productivity drops drastically after a 50-hour workweek, and time spent working over 55 hours per week is practically useless, with little difference in production between a 70-hour workweek and a 55-hour one. And it’s not just about output.

Working ten-plus hours per day regularly has been shown to increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, causing relationship issues, and interfere with your hormones (more work = more stress = higher cortisol rate, which can cause a slew of problems with your sleep routine, immune system, and more).

There are Reasons Businesses Provide PTO

“Taking holidays away from work means you return revitalized, relaxed, and ready to take on whatever comes your way,” says Courtney Glashow, LCSW and psychotherapist at Anchor Therapy in Hoboken, NJ. “That’s why most firms provide paid time off and sick leave to their employees—they want you to take a break from work and return as your best self.

“Knowing you’ve planned time off can assist relieve the mental anguish of being disconnected for extended periods.”

Giving yourself PTO as a self-employed worker can be a difficult pill to swallow. However, Glashow offers a helpful strategy: figure out your target annual income and how much vacation time you’d like per year. Divide your yearly target income by the number of weeks remaining in the year following your ideal vacation time. “I try to take six weeks off in a calendar year,” she says. “So, when I calculate how much money I want to generate in a year, I count the year as 46 weeks.” Knowing you’ve planned time off can assist in alleviating the mental anguish of being disconnected for extended periods.

Even if you love what you do, treat it like a job. Freelancers, especially creatives, typically get a large part of their identity from their work. As a result, not only is there a sense of guilt from not working around the clock, but there is occasionally a crisis of self.

“This is a normal perspective for freelancers, but it is not a healthy one,” Glashow argues. “Typically, as an entrepreneur, you are a naturally hard worker who most likely enjoys what you do, so working outside of ‘work hours’ may not feel like work at all. However, everyone requires a work-life balance.”

“When you work as a freelancer, no one can tell you when you’re working too much. You must recognize it for yourself and establish your boundaries.”

On a related point, it’s critical to distinguish between self-doubt and guilt for not working “enough.” “Anyone might get down on themselves and believe they aren’t doing their best at work. However, this sensation might materialize as guilt for freelancers if it appears like you are not working enough. “This self-doubt may feel more like guilt in that you drive yourself to want to achieve more,” Glashow continues.

“When you work as a freelancer, no one can tell you when you’re working too much. You must recognize it for yourself and establish your boundaries.”

Examine your work routines and how you get things done to combat this. Are you just going through a challenging period, or are you genuinely wasting your time?

Make your workday serve you.

Similarly, many of these guilty sentiments arise from feeling unproductive as a result of poor time management. If this sounds similar, reconsider your approach to time management. Morgenstern defines time management as “managing your energy and cognitive power for top performance in all you do.”

“The best time managers are tuned into their energy cycles: how long they can concentrate before they glaze over when times of day they’re best at certain tasks, that sort of thing.” 

“The best time managers are tuned into their energy cycles: how long they can concentrate before they glaze over when times of day they’re best at certain tasks, that sort of thing.” “Your value is not in the number of hours you’re willing to work; it’s in the quality of the work you create.” Or maybe you know you need to start your day with a slew of menial but necessary duties while you listen to the news and run some errands before settling down to create in the afternoon.

So be it if your innate productivity does not coincide with a typical 9-5 workday. Morgenstern tells her, “That’s why you became a freelancer in the first place!” There’s no reason to feel awful about not working the typical eight to nine hours every day. “Remember: your worth is measured not by the number of hours you are willing to work but by the quality of the job you produce. That is what will keep you in business.”

Source: Creative Cloud


About Skyhigh.Vip  

Skyhigh.Vip is a global institutional investor with a vast interest in Arts / Construction / Education / Business Services / E-Sports and various other growth industries.  

Several of its popular portfolios include GO Chambers which is the world’s largest business chamber listing provider with over 30,000 active chambers as its members.  

Flexgigzz is the Asia leading marketplace for freelancers service and together with SOHO Learning Hub which is an online platform for short courses and both of them aims to be the number one provider in Asia. For growth industries such as E-Sport Authority which is dedicated to providing independent media coverage to all E-Sport News related from around the world and for the art world, there is Atelier Auction which is an investable art auctioneer and being in the art scene for decades

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