How to Balance Freelance Proofreading with a Nine to Five

Doing some freelance proofreading alongside another job is a great way to earn a bit of extra money. But balancing two jobs simultaneously is no mean feat. In this post, then, we’re going to share some tips to help you balance freelance proofreading with a nine to five without burning out.

Plan When You’ll Do Your Freelance Work

Scheduling and planning your freelance work is the first step toward working two jobs successfully. To make the most of your time:

  • Plan your freelance work around your most productive times of day. If you’re a morning person, try and get some work in before your main job starts (and vice versa).
  • Try not to take on too much freelance work if you know you have a busy time coming up at your regular job. In most cases, it’s your freelance work that will have to fit around your main job, not the other way around.
  • Block out specific times in a calendar (physical or digital) for freelance work, and make sure to keep track of your deadlines. Seeing these in writing will help to motivate you and keep you accountable when you don’t have a manager to do so.

With a bit of organization, then, you should be able to effectively balance your freelance work with your main job.

Be Organized About Your Free Time

Planning your time off while managing two jobs needs just as much forethought as your work. If you have personal commitments, or simply wish to maintain a social life, you’ll need to plan out your routine a bit more than most people.

To do this, prioritize the things that are most important to you. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to take on freelance work without sacrificing your free time in some way, so just try to keep hold of the essentials.

If getting plenty of quiet time is important to you, then make sure you set aside the time you need. Alternatively, you might need to give up a few hours of relaxation in the evenings to maintain any hobbies or social activities you enjoy.

Use Automated Tools to Save Time on Admin

Don’t waste your precious time getting bogged down on admin. There are loads of great tools out there that can automate some of your admin workload. To help you balance freelance proofreading with other work, we recommend:

  • Using an accounting tool such as FreshBooks that offers income and expenses tracking, invoicing, and tax calculation tools. Many freelancers use accounting tools because they save time, hassle, and brainpower.
  • Making the most of digital project management tools. These can be a great way to keep on top of your deadlines, track your projects, and collaborate with clients.
  • Using automated social media management apps like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Tailwind. These services operate across a variety of social media platforms and can help you save time on your self-promotion. Take a look at the options available and see which one works best for your business (and budget!).

Using these tools will help you to balance proofreading with a nine to five without getting overwhelmed by the admin side of freelancing.

Communicate Well

While planning is important when trying to balance freelance proofreading with a nine to five, you also need to manage the demands of your clients, bosses, family members, and friends.

To keep things from getting on top of each other, you’ll need to keep everyone in the loop. This will mean:

  • Making it clear to clients when you will (and won’t) be available to take calls and answer emails.
  • Being clear with clients on deadlines and timelines for projects (and letting them know well in advance if you think you’ll be delayed in delivering any work).
  • Keeping your friends and family updated about when you’re due to work and when you’re free for social plans.

Maintaining clear communication with your clients will also help you maintain positive relationships with them and thus make future work more likely.

Know When to Say No

Balancing two jobs is demanding. So you need to be honest with yourself about when you need time off. It may be tempting to keep taking on more freelance work, but failing to take a break can end in burnout.

It’s in everyone’s best interests for you to (politely) decline work than to take it on when you aren’t feeling up to it or don’t have the time to ensure you can do it well.

This advice also extends to your social life: sometimes you just need a proper rest! Your friends and family will understand if you’ve been working yourself to the bone and need to skip the occasional gathering in favor of some me-time.

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