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Setting Realistic Work Hours as a Freelance Designer

by | Oct 3, 2014 | Articles, Freelancing, Graphic Design | 0 comments

Why Setting Work Hours is Important

Starting your own business is one of the hardest things you will ever do. It’s scary, because you’re responsible for everything. You have to handle acquiring new clients, as well as all the administrative tasks that go on behind the scenes. In the midst of all that, you also have to find some time to actually do the work. With everything that you have to do, it can be tough to set realistic work hours. Let’s take a look at why it’s important to set working hours as a freelancer.

setting realistic work hours as a freelance designer

It gives you a Personal cutoff point

If you’re like me, you’re a workaholic. You are ambitious, and you want your business to succeed. With this in mind, you can essentially work around the clock. This is bad, not only for business, but for your personal life as well. You have to hang it up sometime.

It Helps You Focus

If you know that the day ends at 5 o’clock, then you’ll work faster and more efficiently to get your work done. You won’t spend more time than needed on any particular task. You also won’t waste valuable time goofing off when you should be working.

It Gives Clients Boundaries

If you don’t post dedicated work hours, your clients will take advantage of this, trust me. Those of you who have owned your business for a while, know exactly what I’m talking about. Have you ever had a client call you while you were in the middle of dinner with your family? Not only is this annoying to you, but if you’re married like me, your spouse isn’t happy about it either. If you set and enforce work hours with your clients, you and your family will be much happier. Boundaries are the key to success.

You Will Avoid Burnout

You can’t pull 14 to 16 hour workdays every day. You can, but it won’t last long. Eventually, you’ll hate the site of a computer or your office. Eventually you’ll dread even going in. Remember, one of the reasons that you own your own business is because you want to do what you love. Don’t work yourself to death and sour your relationship with the field of design.

Work Hours: Keep your sanity

It Helps You Keep Your Sanity

Have you ever seen The Shining, which is a movie based on a book by the Stephen King? It’s one of my favorite movies, and one of the phrases from it is “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” In other words, you can’t sit in front of a desk all day or you will go nuts. You have to break away from the office and enjoy life. If you work all the time, you’ll become a bitter old man or woman.

work hours and balance

It Helps You to Keep a Healthy Balance

Setting a cutoff time for work each day will ensure that you keep a healthy balance between work and life. If you don’t set dedicated work hours, you’ll find yourself working way too long each day. Part of the perks of owning your own business is that you get to do what you want to do with your life. If you want to work all day and all night, I guess that’s your business. One thing you want to keep in mind is that your work will be much better if you’re happier as an individual. This means that it’s better for you to get out of the office every once in a while and do some of the things that you really want to do.


I realize that some days you have to put in more hours than others. You have to get everything done that’s on your agenda. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to forget about work and let your responsibilities go. However, if you budget your time wisely and work diligently, you should eventually be able to get your work hours under control. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you have any tips? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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