A popular bon mot is that programmers are machines that convert caffeine into code. This also applies to many other freelancers. The high caffeine requirement is due to the fact that freelancers all too often work exactly when their brains prefer to switch to stand-by and go to rest, namely at night.
There is even a book that deals with this phenomenon and its causes (“Why Programmers work at Night”). Night work is not healthy, just as the constant too much work and a few other work and living habits that many freelancers have.
According to Karol Krol, a Polish blogger, programmer and internet entrepreneur, many freelancers are on the brink of burnout without realizing it. We tell freelancers how they can tell that their work-life balance has become imbalanced.
Humans are not owls and not bats, but biologically clearly diurnal animals. You see well during the day and badly at night. Persuading yourself that you are most productive at night or that you can “just work best at night” is usually self-deception. Those who find no end at night either have too much work overall or fail to avoid distractions during the day.
Of course: take a cold shower, have a quick coffee and sit at your desk 20 minutes after the alarm clock rings – very few people can do that. But those who are unable to tackle the first things on the to-do list two or three hours after getting up have a problem. One reason can – of course – be chronic fatigue, another reason is that you don’t view your work day as a limited, eight-hour period. You are actually always in work mode – and therefore never have any free time.
Never switching off is extremely dangerous to health. People in particular, who can and want to achieve a lot, absolutely needed recovery phases in order to maintain their strength. It is not enough to lie on the sofa and think about the next job. Because the brain also needs relaxation. Anyone who never grants him is a burnout candidate for this reason alone.
How many times did you last say: “I can’t, I’m just in a stressful situation” when a friend wanted to have a beer with you? If you haven’t done anything other than work for three weeks or more, then something is wrong. A life consisting entirely of work cannot be your goal.
Of course, this can have very different reasons: too much work overall, poor organization, poor briefing by the client, etc.
The most common and dangerous reason, however, is closely related to item two of this list: Because they are always in work mode and their working day feels like 24 hours, the subconscious pretends that you have an infinite amount of time for everything. So there is no reason to start anything right away.
Being a freelancer means having freedom. For example, pushing your own projects alongside the jobs for your customers. But starting such a project is one thing, then pulling it off is another. If you have at least one project that you believe in but has been waiting for six months to pursue, you should ask yourself why you originally wanted to be a freelancer.
Or you have, of course, but you haven’t been able to do it for ages. The piano has been so out of tune for a year that it is no longer fun. Call the piano tuner? No time. The fitness club costs you seventy euros a month, but you have no idea when you were last there.
Sure, many employees don’t either. But for almost everyone, reading falls into the category: Things I wanted to do again for a long time. Whoever reads books proves to himself that he would like to get other thoughts at least occasionally. And that he is determined to relax sometimes.
You haven’t spoken to several people you love and dear for months. Decide to pick up the phone once a week and call people they care about. Or that was once important to you with good reason.