A quick scroll through social media, you'll see that just about everyone has a domain name, is an entrepreneur, and encouraging creatives to enroll in their course because they have the [secret] formula to help you leave your 9-5. But what a lot of people aren't telling you is: entrepreneurship and freelance aren't for everyone—it's hard, being a brand isn't the only way to be successful, and if both are your goals, you can do it while balancing a traditional 9-5. After almost a year off and working non-stop to develop a full-time freelance career, I'm back working a 9-5, and still maintaining the work to grow myself as a freelancer. So, I get it, you have a hectic schedule and trying to [effectively] balance your social life with your work and your side-hustle, and the end doesn't seem near, but with these five tips, you'll be able to develop better balance while working your 9-5.
I. Morning routine
You set the tone for your day by how you begin it, and if you're not following a morning routine, your days are sure to be out of sync. I start every day before 6 am and make it a point to follow my routine that includes: journaling, meditation, coffee, and breakfast; this helps me center myself, gather my thoughts, and begin my day centered around positivity. I also use this time to catch up on any side-hustle work that I didn't knock out the night before—free time is side-hustle time. If you're not following a morning routine and find yourself rushing every morning, I encourage you to create a routine that gives you space to move freely; this will help initiate balance throughout the day.
II. Create a process
If you find yourself without balance, it's because you haven't created a [clear] process. During my year off, I focused on creating a process that allows me to get more work done in less amount of the time. Mornings and evenings are dedicated to research, writing, and editing; weekends are devoted to shooting and editing all images—all have a [clear] process and strategy to get the work done at a higher quality. Give yourself time to create and improve on a process to help you get more work done in less amount of the time—work smarter and harder.
I live by my schedule, and if something isn't scheduled, chances are I'm not doing it—work included. Every Sunday I spend an hour scheduling my week, outlining as many details as possible; this takes the guesswork out of my day-to-day and allows me to focus on getting the work done without having to figure out what I need to do next. Also, because I'm producing two posts a week for the site and daily social content, I need to schedule and outline all content beforehand; having a [clear] outline of content that's created helps me eliminate any decision making in real-time.
Keeping track of what's done and what needs to get done is essential to finding and creating balance. Being unorganized will cause chaos and lead you to overthink about tasks that should be easy. Aside from my schedule, I organize my work and to-do lists in Evernote and Asana; both allow you to organize and color code your content, which is perfect for those of us who are working full-time and trying to maintain our creative project deadlines.
V. Have fun
If you're doing all of this work and not finding the time to have fun, you will find yourself burnt out. Find time to do something you love, whatever it is. We all enter the rat race to get paid, live comfortable, and enjoy life, but many of us know there's more to life than this so, while you're doing all of the work, find time to balance in some fun.