As a freelancer, maintaining a schedule can sometimes be, well, a challenge. We get it! You work from home, your clients are demanding, and you wear many hats. As CEO, COO, CTO and chief of many other things, it can be hard to put work aside to take care of other necessary things at times. But is that a good thing? We know staying on top of your business is important, but so is maintaining a little balance at least some of the time.
Of course, life is full of surprises. When you’re not working, there are family obligations, friendships, and other curveballs that can throw things out of whack. Here’s the thing: having a schedule can be highly beneficial, not only to living a well-balanced life, but to leading a healthy one. We look at a few ways that trying to stick to a schedule can have long-lasting benefits, even when life’s surprises throw a wrench in the works.
Keeping a regular schedule can help lower stress. For one, you are able to plan ahead, which keeps you on a certain schedule and can also prevent you from over-scheduling yourself. When we have a list of upcoming events and items to do, we can better plan how to accomplish and attend everything most effectively. The need to rush at the last minute is eliminated and there is some buffer room planned into the schedule.
People who have a plan are more likely to make more nutritious food choices than those who do not plan ahead. Having a consistent schedule allows you to prepare healthy meals and plan ahead. It can also keep you from binging on unhealthy food when you find yourself hungry. Meal prepping is a helpful way to prevent junk food binges. Set aside some time each week to do grocery shopping for healthy items and also to prepare meals that can be ready and on-hand throughout the busy week.
Maintaining a regular schedule—especially as it pertains to when you wake and when you go to sleep each day—can help regulate your circadian rhythm and improve sleep quality. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, and it is best to wake up at the same time each day, even if you go to bed a little later than normal sometimes. Be sure you are baking in enough time for sleep when creating you schedule, and don’t skimp out just to fit other things in. Not getting enough sleep can lead to illness from being more likely to catch a cold and ranging to more serious illnesses.
It’s easier to find time to workout when you have a regular daily routine. A balanced schedule allows you to find time to get to the gym or hit the pavement each day. Prioritizing physical fitness can have numerous significant health benefits, including losing weight, fighting off colds, and boosting mood. Build time for exercising into your daily schedule, even if it’s just twenty minutes. Whether you hit the gym hard or go for a brisk walk outside, getting your blood pumping will keep you healthy and happy.
Taking time for yourself is highly important for healthy individuals. No matter how busy work is or how many social or family engagements one has planned, taking time to recharge is very important for mental and physical health. Creating a balanced schedule should include setting aside personal time for yourself, whether it’s to simply rest or do something else you enjoy. Some people take personal time to paint, write, go horseback riding, walk in nature, or take a nap. Setting aside time to do these things is critical to one’s well-being.
No matter what type of schedule ou come up with, consider what you need to accomplish throughout your day. Make a list of all the things you need to do, but also the things you want to do. Consider how to make time for both (or at least one or two things off the want list). This can be the foundation for a workable, consistent schedule that keeps you in balance without letting things get out of control.
When you stick to a routine schedule, you also get the health benefits that come along with it. Why not plan out a healthy schedule with your primary care doctor? It’s one way to keep sickness at bay and ensure you are in optimal physical and mental health throughout the year. If you are in the market for a new health plan that allows you to partner with your doctor on a health routine that works for you, check out Decent’s health plans that are designed with freelancers in mind.