Thursday, 21 May 2009

Work-life balance for freelancers

Here is a round-up of what to my mind were particularly relevant points made by Siobhan Soraghan, business coach and director of Active Insight Consulting Ltd., during her presentation at the recent ITI Conference. Her presentation set out to uncover the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance throughout one’s career as a freelancer. Freelancers (and not just freelancers of course) are constantly faced with the challenge of adopting a disciplined and balanced approach to managing their time. Developing this skill is very relevant to them, especially if they also have second jobs, or (like me!) juggle work and family commitments.

Siobhan Soraghan: "Deliberately build in slack in your everyday life."

I am presenting these points in a bullet point format as I have just picked out a few precious "golden nuggets of advice or fact" from Siobhan’s presentation:

- It is vital to set yourself limits, instead of constantly wanting to push them.

- It is a fact that job burnout is a growing phenomenon in our society, as involvement tends to give way to cynicism.

- It is another fact that most diseases are caused through stress.

- It is worthwhile thinking about which activities give us energy and which tend to drain us (also taking into account whether you are an introvert or an extrovert), and consequently adjust our daily activities accordingly.

- We should focus on what is within our control, and not worry about things that we cannot control.

- It can make a huge difference to your well-being if you decide to deliberately build in slack in your everyday life.

- Even doing too much of what you love doing can have adverse effects on the work-life balance.