How to Avoid Freelance Burnout and Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance?

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How to Avoid Freelance Burnout

The work-life balance of freelancers is reportedly more favorable today compared to when they had a 9-5. However, freelancing comes at a cost as well – freelance burnout!

Recently, there have been particular work-life balance issues that keep affecting freelancers or independent contractors. Needless to say, the risks of burnout are quite significant.

Typically, the harmonious balance between an individual’s professional and personal priorities is a perfect work-life balance. This means prioritizing your family, wellness, passion, health, and relationships exactly as you prioritize your job.

It’s a blessing in disguise to work for yourself. The best part is you get to create your own schedule, wear pajamas to work, you get to be your own boss, take extra work to earn some extra cash and become a serious workaholic. 

However, what happens if you work longer than you actually sleep?

How does it feel when your schedule is so jam-packed with work that you lose all memory of what a work-free life looks like?

Well, this is exactly what happens when you face freelance burnout. This guide discusses a brief impact of overwork and how it affects your health.

By the end of the blog, you will also learn how freelancers can avoid burnout and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Importance Of Balancing Work And Life

The most significant reason to achieve a healthy work-life balance is to gain more job satisfaction. You begin your project and activities of the day with new vigor and concentration when you can prioritize rest and relaxation.

Did you know 64.3% of freelancers and consultants experience burnout due to a lack of work-life balance or insufficient time off, with 78.6% stating that improved work-life balance would alleviate their burnout?

Additionally, freelance burnout, something that’s becoming increasingly common in contemporary fast-paced workplaces, can be avoided by maintaining a strong work-life balance. 

Moreover, when speaking of freelancing particularly, the distinction between work and personal time can be all too easily blurred while working remotely. Nevertheless, preserving a healthy work-life balance is also essential to building a rewarding personal life.

Maintaining a proper equilibrium between work and life results in increased pleasure and fulfillment, better mental and physical health, peace of mind, doing things you enjoy with your family and friends, pursuing hobbies, or just taking a well-earned break.

Why is Work-life Balance Challenging for Freelancers?

Why is Work-life Balance Challenging for Freelancers

The inability to separate personal and professional lives is one of the main obstacles freelancers must overcome to avoid burnout and attain a healthy work-life balance. As a result of putting in long hours in front of the screen and risking their psychological and physical well-being, freelancers realize that their situation might be unsustainable in the long run.

Another challenge freelancers face is the absence of a defined framework and a timetable. Without a defined schedule, it is evident why most of them become overwhelmed by the amount of work at hand and overlook taking breaks or participating in pursuits outside of work. This eventually results in freelance burnout and lower life and job satisfaction simultaneously.

If you’re planning to start your freelancing career but are not sure about it, you must read the reasons that make it a career choice!

Upsides of Balancing Work and Life as a Freelancer

Having a balanced work and life allows you to be prosperous in the workplace while retaining the time and energy to devote yourself to taking pleasure in your personal life.

Here are 5 advantages of balancing work and life as a freelancer. 

  • Negligible tension: You may experience lower stress levels when you are more deliberate about work-life balance. You can easily handle your challenges in an upright manner. 
  • Less danger of burnout: Being overworked can cause emotional exhaustion and disengagement from work. Better balancing can lower the danger of burnout from work-related strains and demands.
  • Enhanced creativity and productivity: A well-balanced work schedule that includes regular breaks increases interest and makes room for fresh concepts. 
  • An improved feeling of well-being: A more appropriate equilibrium of work and personal goals may contribute to increased contentment with life, overall well-being, and feeling successful. 
  • Higher rate of retention: Bear in mind that balanced employees are happier employees for any supervisors and employers that are reading this. The happier they are, the higher rate of retention.

How Freelancers Can Avoid Burnout: 4 Strategies To Gain Work-Life Balance

How Freelancers Can Avoid Burnout?

Being a freelancer, you must have been in a phase where you’ve not taken a break in ages; your cell phone keeps ringing on the weekends, you check emails past work, client meetings beyond 6 p.m., and whatnot. However, it’s time to let go of that habit.

Besides strategies like creating a schedule and sticking to it, setting realistic deadlines, taking regular breaks, and spending quality time with loved ones,  here are 4 other strategies on how do freelancers deal with burnout.

1. Establish Your Priorities

It all comes down to deciding what is most important to you in every aspect of your life. Consequently, establish clear boundaries to help you get there.

Ensure that your work contributes to your life goals rather than detracting from them. Taking the time to consider what you would like from your life and your profession in the times ahead. Prioritize. 

2. When Necessary, Delegate or Contract Out Duties

This entails delegating work to experts in the domains of web design, bookkeeping, social media administration, or your field of work to avoid freelance burnout.

Break down your work, make a team, and assign duties to them. Keep in mind that outsourcing or delegating responsibilities does not signify ceding control.

3. Create a Dedicated Workplace 

It’s crucial to have a dedicated workspace that is beyond your living area and is dedicated to work only.

Avoid working in settings where the border between work and home is blurred. It will only lead to a lack of focus, creating burnout.

Try working in a collaborative workspace or coffee shop instead of using your common room. 

4. Establish Purposeful Contacts

Freelancers often end up being in solitude. Make an effort to build relationships, as you won’t have coworkers to rely on for frequent human interaction.

Connect with other independent contractors in your area or online by joining a common group. Hire a coworking space once a week to mix things up and meet new people.

Wrapping It Up

With overcommitment and overwork, it seems impossible to imagine having movie nights, dinner dates, fun evenings, or simply chatting over a cup of coffee. However, it’s not too difficult.

Schedule your work days in advance, go on vacation, put your phone on airplane mode for at least three minutes, and resign if a customer fails to acknowledge your boundaries.

If you follow through, you will hopefully prevent freelance burnout and will gain the ability to work for a lot longer. Considering this, implementing the abovementioned strategies will help you manage your social life better, even if you are overburdened with work. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it stressful to be a freelancer?

This idea varies from person to person. Freelancers are frequently observed to struggle with solitude and loneliness. While many people embrace solitude, others find the diminished or absent social life to be a hindrance. 

2. Are freelancers happier than employees?

Yes. According to several studies, freelancers are happier than employees. Factors like remote work, setting their own schedule, job flexibility, complete autonomy, no boss, and much more lead to higher job satisfaction and retention rate in freelancers than traditional employees. 

3. Is freelancing good for mental health?

Yes, freelancing can be good for mental health. It offers flexibility, autonomy, and the ability to work from anywhere. However, freelancers may also face challenges like isolation, financial uncertainty, and the need for self-discipline.

Maintaining a work-life balance, establishing routines, and prioritizing self-care are important to ensure a positive impact on mental well-being.

4. Can freelancers quit at any time?

Yes, freelancers generally have the freedom to quit their projects or freelance clients at any time. Unlike traditional employment contracts, freelancers have more flexibility and can choose the projects they want to work on. 

However, it’s important to maintain professionalism and fulfill contractual obligations or agreements with clients before ending the working relationship. Effective communication and proper notice can help maintain a positive reputation within the freelance community.


Himani is a digital marketer who has 4 years of experience in blogging and SEO. She started her journey as a freelancer at the age of 18 in 2020 and made $350,000 by working with different high profiled companies and clients. She shares her insightful knowledge and learnings to help people make money online.

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