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Tips for the Freelance Animator: Balancing Your Work and Home Life

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Tips for the Freelance Animator: Balancing Your Work and Home Life
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Set aside time every day for other activities.
Your life should consist of more than work, and you’ll be more likely to finish your work-related tasks in a timely fashion if you have other things planned for the day. Whether it’s walking the dog, meeting your sibling for coffee, or cleaning the garage, give yourself something else to do.

Don’t turn non-work activities into work activities. This includes eating at the computer (my guilty crime). Step away from the computer, drafting table, or other work-related materials for meals; stop thinking about your work, relax, enjoy your food and any company you may have. If you’re watching a film with the family, don’t bring your laptop or your sketchbook to the TV room with you. Leave it behind. Multi-tasking is a great skill to have on the job, but you have to know when to turn it off.

Give yourself at least one day off a week.
Here’s another case where I have to take my own advice and relate a little personal experience. Between my own side projects, working for About, and my clients, I was working seven days a week when I really didn’t need to – and wearing myself out. I still work six days a week unless I manage a little productivity boost and finish a day early; however, I always have at least one day a week that’s pure Adri-time.

I may go out to a film, relax at home with my partner, have a “boys’ day out” with my friends, or just take a day to enjoy a good book - but whatever I’m doing, above all I’m not working. I’ll clean house on my day off before I’ll turn on my computer, even if I don’t exactly look forward to spending my day with a toilet brush.

Whatever you do, just be sure to step away for a day and don’t think about work. It’ll help you clear your head and approach your work with a fresh eye and a calm, rested frame of mind.

Don’t worry, all this regimenting doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy working from your home office. My standard work attire ranges between comfy pajamas and ripped jeans; I can’t think of many offices that would allow that, and I’m pretty sure that my cat isn’t an acceptable part of the dress code. From the loud music blasting in the background to the DVDs occasionally on repeat nearby, all are perks that I couldn’t enjoy in a regular office.

Enjoy the freedoms of freelancing, but learn to balance them with responsibility. No one said you can’t keep a tight schedule while wearing fuzzy slippers.

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