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Work-Life Balance

Balancing Projects and Personal Time: Nigeria’s Freelancers

Last Updated on August 2, 2023


Freelancing refers to an individual working on their own, often on a project-by-project basis, rather than being employed by a company. It offers the freedom to work on projects of one’s choice, set personal schedules and earn a good living.

However, maintaining a work-life balance can be challenging for freelancers. This is because work and personal life often intertwine and it can be difficult to separate them from each other.

Maintaining a personal life while freelancing is crucial to avoid burnout and ensure success in both aspects of one’s life.

Nigeria’s freelancing industry is growing rapidly, with more and more people choosing to work as freelancers. The country has a young population with a growing number of tech-savvy individuals who are looking for flexible and innovative ways to earn money.

Read: Creating Healthy Routines: A Nigerian Freelancer’s Guide

Factors Affecting The Balance Between Work and Personal Time for Freelancers in Nigeria

The Struggle of Balancing Work and Personal Time for Freelancers in Nigeria

Freelancing has become a popular career choice in Nigeria as it offers flexibility and the ability to earn income according to one’s skills and availability.

However, freelancers in Nigeria struggle to balance their work and personal time due to various factors:

Lack of Structure in Freelancing

The absence of a structured work environment and routine can make it challenging for freelancers to manage their time effectively. Without a clear plan, the lines between work and personal time become blurred, leading to burnout and unproductivity.

Difficulty in Finding Clients

Freelancers in Nigeria often struggle with finding clients due to insufficient demand or stiff competition in their respective industries. As a result, they spend a significant amount of time searching for work, which can affect their personal time.

Pressure from Clients to Complete Projects within Tight Deadlines

Clients often place strict deadlines on projects, leaving freelancers with little time to work on their personal life. Failing to meet deadlines can lead to a loss of business, making clients prioritize their work over their personal life.

Need to Develop Relevant Skills

Freelancers need to continually update their skills and knowledge to remain competitive in their industries. However, learning new skills takes time, leaving less time for personal life activities.

Demands of Personal Life

Freelancers in Nigeria also face demands from their personal life, such as taking care of family, running errands, and attending social events. These commitments can cause freelancers to struggle with balancing their work and personal time.

How Freelancers in Nigeria Can Balance Work and Personal Time

While the challenges of freelancing in Nigeria seem overwhelming, freelancers can take steps to improve their work-life balance. Here are some tips:

Create a Schedule

Creating a schedule helps freelancers manage their time effectively and prioritize tasks. It helps to set specific work hours, limit distractions, and allocate time for personal life activities.

Diversify Client Base

Freelancers can reduce pressure from clients by diversifying their client base. This involves targeting a broader audience and finding clients in different industries, enabling freelancers to accept work on their terms.

Set Reasonable Deadlines

Freelancers can prevent burnout and prioritize their personal life by communicating with clients about reasonable deadlines for projects, which accommodates their personal lives.

Invest in Professional Development

Freelancers can remain competitive by investing in professional development and learning new skills regularly. Learning new skills increases their value in the market, and they can charge more for their services.

Take Breaks

Freelancers often work long hours and forget to take breaks, leading to burnout. Taking breaks is essential for productivity and mental health and allows freelancers to recharge, spend time with loved ones, and take care of personal errands.

In short, Freelancers in Nigeria struggle with balancing their work and personal life due to various factors, but they can improve their situation by creating a schedule, setting reasonable deadlines, diversifying their client base, investing in professional development, and taking breaks. T

These tips can help freelancers achieve a healthy work-life balance, cultivate personal relationships, and lead happier lives.

Read: The Reality of Freelancing and Family Time in Nigeria

How to Balance Projects and Personal Time as a Freelancer in Nigeria

As a freelancer in Nigeria, balancing projects and personal time can be quite challenging. The line between work and personal life can easily get blurred, and if not managed properly, can lead to burnout and decreased productivity.

Here are some tips on how to strike a balance:

Setting clear boundaries between work and personal life

One of the biggest challenges for freelancers is separating work from personal life. To achieve a healthy work-life balance, it’s important to set clear boundaries.

This means having a defined workspace where you work and a dedicated time for work each day, and communicating this to family and friends. When work time is over, switch off and focus on personal time.

Creating a schedule that includes time for both work and personal activities

Creating and sticking to a schedule that allocates time for both work and personal activities is crucial. Prioritizing tasks on a daily or weekly basis will help you to manage your time effectively, complete tasks on time, and avoid burnout.

It’s also important to allow some flexibility in your schedule to accommodate unforeseen events.

Prioritizing tasks

As a freelancer, it’s easy to get bogged down with work and personal tasks. Prioritizing projects and dividing them into smaller, achievable tasks will make them more manageable. It helps to focus on urgent projects first and to set realistic timelines for the completion of each task.

Delegating tasks

Delegating tasks to others or outsourcing some work is an excellent way to free up time for other activities. This can include hiring a virtual assistant to handle administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, responding to emails, and bookkeeping.

Delegating tasks to others also enhances productivity while giving you more time to focus on the more important tasks.

Learning to say “no”

Saying “no” to unimportant tasks and commitments that do not align with your goals or that do not add value to your personal or professional life is vital.

It provides the time and space to focus on more important projects or activities that better align with your goals. Knowing your limits and setting boundaries in this way avoids overloading your schedule and allows you to have better control of your time.

Taking breaks

  • Taking regular breaks is vital for recharging and avoiding burnout.

  • Taking a walk outside or doing something non-work-related for a few minutes every few hours can help increase productivity by enhancing focus and concentration.

  • Taking breaks is also necessary to avoid the negative consequences of sitting for long periods, such as back pain and eye strain.

In fact, it’s essential to balance your work and personal life to lead a healthy lifestyle as a freelancer in Nigeria.

Setting clear boundaries between work and personal life, creating a schedule that includes time for both work and personal activities, prioritizing tasks, delegating tasks, learning to say “no,” and taking breaks will significantly help to balance projects and personal time.

Read: Living the Dream: Freelancing and Life Balance in Nigeria

Balancing Projects and Personal Time: Nigeria's Freelancers

Benefits of Maintaining a Work-life Balance as a Freelancer in Nigeria

Freelancing has become a popular career choice in Nigeria, with many professionals opting to work independently rather than in a traditional office setting.

While freelancing can offer flexibility, it’s important to maintain a work-life balance to avoid burnout and achieve success as a freelancer. Here are some benefits of maintaining a work-life balance as a freelancer in Nigeria:

Avoiding burnout

Freelancers in Nigeria often work irregular hours and have to juggle multiple projects at once. Without a set schedule, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and overwork.

Maintaining a work-life balance can help prevent burnout and ensure that freelancers are able to sustain their career in the long run.

Increased productivity

Studies have shown that maintaining a work-life balance can actually increase productivity. When freelancers take time to rest and recharge, they come back to their work refreshed and with renewed focus.

By prioritizing self-care and personal time, freelancers can actually get more done in less time.

Improved mental and physical health

Freelancing in Nigeria can be stressful, with tight deadlines and demanding clients. However, taking time for self-care can help freelancers manage stress and improve their mental health.

Physical health is also important, and maintaining a work-life balance can allow freelancers to prioritize exercise and healthy habits.

More fulfilling personal life

One of the biggest benefits of maintaining a work-life balance is the ability to pursue personal interests and hobbies.

Freelancers in Nigeria who prioritize their personal life are able to spend more time with family and friends, pursue creative hobbies or interests, and travel. Having a fulfilling personal life can actually improve overall happiness and satisfaction with work.

Overall, maintaining a work-life balance is crucial for the success and well-being of freelancers in Nigeria.

By prioritizing self-care and personal time, freelancers can avoid burnout, increase productivity, improve their health and happiness, and find more fulfillment in their personal and professional lives.

Read: Work-Life Balance: How to Work from Home in Nigeria


In a nutshell, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is critical for the success of freelancers in Nigeria. It is important to prioritize personal time alongside project deadlines.

Not only does it help prevent burnout and fatigue, but it also fosters creativity and a better quality of work output.

Additionally, freelancers should establish clear boundaries with clients and communicate their availability and limitations upfront. This will help manage client expectations and prevent overworking.

On a final note, freelancers should invest in self-care activities that promote mental and physical well-being.

This could involve exercising, spending time with loved ones, practicing meditation or mindfulness, or pursuing hobbies that bring them joy and relaxation.

As freelancers, it is essential to remember that personal time is just as important as work time.

By prioritizing our well-being and maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life, we can not only achieve greater success in our careers but also lead fulfilling and happy lives.

So, let’s take the necessary steps to prioritize our personal time and achieve a healthy work-life balance.

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