The Perfect Balance: How To Manage Full-Time And Freelance Jobs

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Feb. 16 2024, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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Balancing multiple jobs at once can become challenging, but it is not impossible. In fact, USA Today reported that 5 million Americans are managing several jobs. With so much on your plate, there will be times when you question whether you can handle the load. Here are four tips on how to manage full-time and freelance jobs.

Set Your Work Bandwidth

VPM describes bandwidth best as the amount of work an employee can handle at one given time. When balancing multiple jobs at one time, understanding how much your body and mind can take each week is crucial. Evaluate how many hours of work you can handle before experiencing burnout.

Schedule your freelance work accordingly. If a client you work for fails to accommodate your needs, consider finding another source of income. After all, there is always another opportunity to take advantage of.

Maintain Discipline

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The last thing you want to do when balancing several jobs is to over-exert yourself. Most employees over-exert themselves by piling on more responsibilities. Once your required work hours are completed, it’s important to have enough strength and discipline to turn down overtime hours.

Per Indeed, employees should exercise discipline by keeping an open line of communication with their employers. Make your bandwidth clear. That said, if you push past barriers and attempt to over-extend yourself, your employer will recognize it and help you navigate.

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Prioritize Your Mental Health

When we get into the rhythm of work, eat, sleep, and repeat, it’s difficult to find time to relax our minds. VeryWellMind even warned that this unhealthy cycle could lead you to experience depression. Whether you want to treat yourself to a day at the spa or enjoy a work-free day at home, try to carve out time to take care of yourself. Spend time alone and take a breather. Your mind and body will thank you later.

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Take On Clients In Different Time Zones

It’s common for some employees to complete freelance assignments during their full-time job work hours. And while it may seem wise in theory, this move can backfire, since you can struggle to meet the demands on both sides. It may be time to consider taking on freelance clients in different time zones. This setup provides you with the extra time to complete freelance work — outside of your full-time job — without the stress of possibly missing one or multiple deadlines.

Always Put Your Full-Time Job First

Although some freelance jobs offer competitive rates, it’s paramount not to neglect your full-time job. For many employees, their full-time job allows them to handle most/all of their financial responsibilities. In addition, full-time jobs typically provide benefits that freelance jobs don’t offer. That said, it’s not worth losing focus on your full-time job and possibly risking your employment by slacking off. 

Learning how to manage a full-time job with freelance work can be stressful. However, implementing proper practices and maintaining discipline allows you to find the perfect rhythm for desired productivity. Good luck!

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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By: Je'Kayla Crawford

An entertainment journalist, Je'Kayla loves to incorporate her love and extensive background knowledge of pop culture into her work. Currently, she is a weekend entertainment writer at Distractify. You can find her watching the red carpet live stream of an award show, or rambling about the latest Disney movie.

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