30 Work-Life Balance Tips For Solo Creatives

In our Designers Roundtable Retreat in Nashville 2015 – we had 5 creative solo business owners come on stage and share their best work-life balance tips. As entrepreneurs and freelancers, the most common frustration we here is that “we can never turn off work”. Work is always on, even in our personal lives. We have to set clear boundaries for so many reasons, but most importantly for our own sanity.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, try these tips to start to bring balance into your own life. Remember, live is constantly evolving and changing – so what works today might not work tomorrow. It’s a constant battle we have to fight, but it’s worth it to be happy and successful.

  1. Exercise, stay active to take your mind off it
  2. Work from different locations to mix it up
  3. Be clear about your office hours and stick to them to manage expectations
  4. Take control of your schedule and stick to it
  5. Write down and revisit your goals often
  6. If personal issues interrupt work (or vise versa) write it down then come back to it later
  7. Have a ritual to start/end your work day
  8. Allow your process to be flexible and evolve
  9. Give yourself a break, nobody’s perfect, it will be ok
  10. Remember clients are people too. Be honest with communications, deadlines, etc.
  11. Plan for personal time and put it on the calendar (outings, dates, home things, breaks)
  12. Make time to work on your business and treat yourself as your best client (don’t be a cobbler with no shoes)
  13. Meditate or reflect in silence daily, even a minute a day
  14. Trial and error is ok, give yourself 30 days on a new process/tool and love it or move on
  15. Make your to-do list before your start your day
  16. Practice time blocking based on list & goals
  17. Find your natural rhythm to your routine, find when you are most productive and embrace it
  18. Don’t confuse being business with being productive
  19. There are set tasks, work and unplanned tasks – only half your unscheduled time is available for work
  20. Plan your schedule around the things that are important to you and commit to it
  21. Be your own version of success. Don’t let fear of failure stop you and don’t compare yourself to others
  22. If you have something you don’t want to do, try Pomodoro or similar technique to start the grove
  23. You can minimize distractions but also make time for randomness and fun
  24. Set inspirational reminders/affirmations as well as just schedules to help feel good or do good things
  25. Designated office space, whether in your home or outside. Either way, give yourself separate mind space
  26. Don’t be chained to your desk. Be flexible. Coffee shop, backyard, library, change can help creativity
  27. Keep your to do list short – 3-4 things only
  28. You can schedule DO NOT DISTURB on your phone to help set boundaries (it can have expectations for personal)
  29. Not only keep business stuff out of personal times, but keep your personal stuff out of business time
  30. Need an extreme work/life hack/intervention? Keep a phone bin, surrender them during personal time

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