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Chapter
5

Build in work-life balance

Many people go into freelancing for flexibility — so you may not want to adhere to a strict five-day, eight-hour schedule. Building a framework for work/life balance can keep you on track and avoid burnout. ‍

Decide how many days you want to work

In order to calculate an accurate estimate of how many days you plan to work, work backwards and determine how many days you plan to not work (or days that your clients may also have off). This includes:‍

  • Vacation: How many days do you want off each year. As a reference, the average full-time employee gets 14 days of paid time off per year.

  • Holidays: On top of vacation, there are 11 US holidays, but you can add additional days around the winter holiday season, for example, if you plan to take more time off. There may also be state or regional holidays to look into. 

  • Sick leave: Most full-time workers get seven paid sick days. While you’re in charge of your own schedule, you should build in your own sick days so you don’t feel forced to work while you battle an illness. 

Remember, the averages we gave are for full-time, U.S. employees. As your own boss, you can adjust these numbers as needed and based on your preferences. Once you determine the number of days you want off, you can figure out how many days you’ll be on.‍

Here’s an example:

Vacation days: 21

Holidays: 10

Sick days: 7

Total days off: 38

Days available to work: 327 

(you can get this number by subtracting your total days off from the number of days in a year) 

Use your workbook to calculate your own days available to work. 

Next, figure out how many days you plan to work a week. Most workers work five days on, and two days off, but you can adjust that figure. Let’s say you plan to work five days a week.

Take your total number of days available (327 in our example) and subtract the number of weekend days you plan to take off (104). ‍

327 - 104 = 223 days (this is the actual total number of days you’ll be working)

Next, you'll consider the amount of billable hours you’ll be working on each one of those days. 

Recap

  • You learned about building a framework for work-life balance to avoid burnout. 

  • You decided how many days you want to work.

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