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Get Better with Boundaries: 5 Tips for Freelancers to Establish Healthy Boundaries

by Melissa Bell
4 minutes read
Get Better with Boundaries

The world of freelancing is dynamic and challenging. Keeping a healthy work/life balance is key to ensuring you’re able to flourish in your career and in your personal life. Striking the right balance is not always easy, though. To help you in this tricky endeavor, we’ve developed five tips specifically targeted at freelancers. Read on to discover how to establish healthy boundaries:

1.  Get Out and About

It can be hard to separate work and personal life when you work from home all the time. You start to associate your home with work, making it increasingly difficult to switch between work mode and relaxation mode.

Working in coffee shops, investing in a serviced office package, or even checking out a hot desking facility nearby could help you separate work from personal time. Walking away from the desk helps your brain make that mental switch, replicating what the daily commute once did for you mentally before you went freelance. You don’t have to do this every day, but mixing it into your schedule a few times a week can help you maintain a sense that your home is a sanctuary, not an office.

2.  Manage Expectations

Freelancing is exciting, especially when you have a lot of clients and a lot of work coming in. However, without clear boundaries, you could find yourself on call 24/7, answering emails and inquiries at parties and during family time.

To avoid this boundary creep, it’s important to manage client expectations from the start. Communicate your email hours, response times, and limits. Then stick to them so that clients know exactly what to expect from you.

3.  Don’t Overshare or Allow Oversharing

One of the biggest causes of boundaries being crossed between freelancers and clients is information oversharing. As long as it is customized for individual relationships, honesty can be necessary and helpful. However, in general, it’s best to be cautious and skip chat about politics or intimate subjects. Avoiding gossip about colleagues is also a good idea. Friendly, honest, and polite communication is the best way to maintain good client relationships.

4.  Limit Your Workload

Statistics show that the work opportunities for freelancers soared by over 25% post-pandemic, and those figures are still on the rise. This is fantastic if you’re trying to make lots of money and grow your business. But it could be problematic if you don’t have boundaries as to how much work you take on.

Prevent burnout by growing gradually, taking on new clients over time, and ensuring you can manage each new project well. When you find yourself feeling exhausted, putting out lower-quality work, or neglecting your personal life, cut back on your workload. As tempting as it is to take on tons of work, you have to look after your health, emotions, and work quality to ensure your business remains a success.

5.  Restrict Oversharing on Social Media

Most freelancers need social media for work, which is why it’s one of the most important areas you need to place boundaries around to protect your business. Over 94% of people say they have seen somebody overshare on social media, and the scary part is that it’s shockingly easy to overshare if you’re not careful.

As a general rule, avoid sharing information about clients and projects. You should also steer clear of trolling, sharing private information, and airing divisive opinions. That way, you’re not at risk of offending any clients who check your social media presence.

By establishing boundaries like those described above, you can maintain a thriving freelance business built around fruitful client relationships.

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