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Work-Life Balance

Living the Dream: Freelancing and Life Balance in Nigeria

Last Updated on January 27, 2024


Living the Dream: Freelancing and Life Balance in Nigeria is a topic that touches on the lives of many people in Nigeria today. Freelancing refers to a self-employed professional who works on a contractual basis.

Life balance is the equilibrium between work and personal life. Freelancers in Nigeria face many challenges such as unpredictable workloads, payment delays and difficulties in finding work.

Finding balance while freelancing is crucial to a freelancer’s mental and physical wellbeing. It is important to take care of work and personal life to maintain a healthy and productive lifestyle.

The purpose of this blog is to give tips on how to manage work and life balance in Nigeria while freelancing.

Freelancing in Nigeria

Freelancing is becoming increasingly popular in Nigeria as more people seek alternate work options. Here’s a look at the history of freelancing in Nigeria, the current state of freelancing, its advantages, and the challenges faced by freelancers in the country.

Brief history of freelancing in Nigeria

Freelancing has been in existence in Nigeria since the 1980s when professionals offered their services as consultants.

However, the concept of freelancing as a career option gained popularity in the early 2000s due to the internet and the rise of digital platforms. Today, freelancing spans across various sectors, including IT, writing, design, marketing, and more.

Current state of freelancing in Nigeria

According to a report by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, there are over 37 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

Many of these SMEs rely on freelancers to supplement their workforce and cut down on overhead costs. The freelance industry in Nigeria is estimated to be worth $500 million, with an annual growth rate of 6.1%.

Advantages of freelancing as a career option

  • Flexible working hours allow freelancers to create a work-life balance that suits them.

  • Freelancers have control over their workload and can choose projects that align with their skills and interests.

  • Freelancers have the opportunity to work with clients from all over the world and access a global talent pool.

Challenges faced by freelancers in Nigeria

Payment and financial security are a major concern for freelancers in Nigeria, with many clients either not paying on time or refusing to pay altogether.

The lack of government policies that regulate the freelance industry leaves freelancers vulnerable to exploitation by clients. Many freelancers struggle with self-promotion and finding a steady stream of clients.

Freelancing is a viable career option in Nigeria, as it offers flexibility, control, and access to a global talent pool.

However, freelancers in Nigeria also face various challenges that need to be addressed by the government and industry stakeholders to ensure that the freelance industry continues to grow and thrive in the country.

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

Common Misconceptions About Freelancing

As with any profession, freelancing has its own set of misconceptions that can prevent individuals from taking on this type of work.

However, understanding the truth about freelancing can help people take advantage of the benefits it offers. Here are some common myths about freelancing:

Myths Regarding the Profession

  • Freelancers don’t make enough money to sustain a living.

  • Freelancing is unstable and unreliable.

  • Freelancers are always working alone and have no social life.

  • Freelancers have no benefits, such as health insurance or retirement plans.

Reasons for These Misconceptions

These misconceptions arise from a lack of understanding about what freelancing entails. Many people think of freelancing as a fall-back option for those who can’t find a “real” job. Additionally, freelancing is often portrayed in media as a solitary and lonely profession.

Solutions to Overcome Them

The best way to dispel these myths is to educate people about the realities of freelancing. This can be done through workshops and seminars or by sharing success stories of freelancers who have been able to make a living while enjoying a flexible work-life balance.

Freelancers can also connect with one another through groups and social media to build a supportive community.

Benefits of Clearing Up Misconceptions for Freelancing in Nigeria

  • Attracting more people to freelancing: Educating people on the benefits of freelancing can lead to more individuals considering it as a viable option. This can help diversify the Nigerian workforce and create more job opportunities.

  • Increased income for freelancers: If more people are interested in freelance work, the demand for their services will go up, which can lead to higher wages.

  • Higher quality of life: Clarifying misconceptions allows freelancers to enjoy the lifestyle they’ve chosen without having to constantly defend their profession or their choice to work independently.

Overall, misconceptions surrounding freelancing can be harmful to those who work in the industry, but it’s important to remember that they can be overcome.

By sharing our experiences and educating others, we can pave the way for future generations of freelancers and create a stronger, more supportive community of independent workers.

Read: Succeeding as a Nigerian Freelancer Without Sacrificing Life

Importance of Work-Life Balance while Freelancing

  1. Definition and explanation of work-life balance: Work-life balance refers to the equilibrium between work demands and personal demands.

  2. Benefits of work-life balance to freelancers: A balanced life leads to better physical and mental health, increased productivity, and a better quality of life.

  3. Examples of how work-life balance can be achieved while freelancing: Freelancers can set boundaries, schedule regular breaks, practice self-care, and maintain a healthy work environment.

  4. The negative effects of neglecting work-life balance: Neglecting work-life balance can lead to burnout, decreased motivation, and damaged relationships and can harm physical and mental health.

As a freelancer in Nigeria, there is a feeling of being in control of your own life. The ability to create your own schedule, dictate your client base and choose your projects is an appealing prospect.

However, with this level of control comes the responsibility of maintaining a healthy balance between work and life.

Definition and explanation of work-life balance

Defining work-life balance can be a subjective exercise. It means different things to different individuals, and there is no one-size-fits-all definition for it.

Simply put, work-life balance refers to the balance between work demands and personal demands.

It means giving equal attention and importance to your career or business activities and personal needs like spending time with family and friends, hobbies, and other leisure activities.

Benefits of work-life balance to freelancers

Incorporating a work-life balance lifestyle into your work as a freelancer is essential for your physical and mental health and overall well-being. Here are some benefits of work-life balance to freelancers:

  • Increased productivity: When you have a good balance between work and personal life, you tend to work efficiently and produce quality work.

  • Better mental and physical health: Fine-tuning your work-life balance helps reduce stress and physical workload, which can lead to decreased risk of burnout.

  • Better quality of life: A healthy balance between work and personal life means spending quality time with family and friends and engaging in leisure activities that enhance your overall quality of life.

Examples of how work-life balance can be achieved while freelancing

Here are a few examples of how work-life balance can be achieved for freelancers:

  • Set boundaries: Know when to say no to clients and set limits. This helps manage workload and reduce stress.

  • Schedule regular breaks: Take scheduled breaks to recharge and return to work refreshed.

  • Practice self-care: Allocate time for physical exercise, meditation, and other activities that improve your overall well-being.

  • Maintain a healthy work environment: Create a conducive and efficient workspace that helps you work efficiently and reduces distractions.

The negative effects of neglecting work-life balance

Neglecting work-life balance can lead to serious negative consequences for freelancers. Here are a few examples:

  • Burnout: Overworking and stressing over work leads to burnout and can affect the quality of work.

  • Decreased motivation: Lack of work-life balance over an extended period can lead to a decrease in motivation and creativity.

  • Relationship strain: Neglecting personal relationships in favor of work leads to strained relationships and can lead to isolation.

  • Physical and mental health issues: Overworking can lead to poor sleep, lack of exercise, poor diet, and other health problems which can affect productivity and overall quality of life.

As a freelancer in Nigeria, it’s essential to strike a balance between work and life to help maintain your well-being and build a successful career or business.

Always remember that as much as work is important, so is your personal life and overall well-being.

Tips for Achieving Life Balance while Freelancing in Nigeria

Prioritizing time management

  • Create a schedule that sets aside specific times for work and personal activities.

  • Use time tracking tools to help manage time and make sure deadlines are met.

  • Avoid multitasking as it can lead to decreased productivity and increased stress.

Separating work and personal life

  • Set boundaries by creating a designated workspace and setting specific work hours.

  • Avoid checking emails or working during personal time to reduce burnout and maintain work-life balance.

  • Communicate with family and friends on your availability and schedule to avoid conflicts.

Taking breaks and vacations

  • Take frequent and regular breaks throughout the workday to help recharge and avoid burnout.

  • Plan and take vacations to avoid burnout and promote overall well-being.

  • Utilize the benefits of being a freelancer by taking time off when needed.

Setting realistic goals

  • Create achievable short-term and long-term goals that align with personal and professional aspirations.

  • Break down larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks to track progress and stay motivated.

  • Be flexible and adjust goals as necessary to address changing circumstances or priorities.

Building a support network

  • Connect with other freelancers or professionals in the industry to gain insights and support.

  • Network and attend events to meet potential clients and collaborators.

  • Join online communities or groups to exchange ideas, resources, and support with other freelancers.

In short, achieving life balance while freelancing in Nigeria requires commitment and effort in managing time, setting boundaries, taking breaks and vacations, setting realistic goals, and building a support network.

By utilizing these tips, freelancers can maintain a healthy work-life balance, reduce stress and burnout, and ultimately create a sustainable and fulfilling work life.

Read: Overcoming Freelancing Stress: A Guide for Nigerians

Living the Dream: Freelancing and Life Balance in Nigeria

Freelancing success stories in Nigeria

Profiles of successful freelancers in Nigeria

1. Toyin Onigbanjo – a freelance writer and founder of August Secrets, a healthy baby food company.

2. Olumide Odeyemi – a freelance graphic designer and founder of ShareVentures, a design and branding agency.

3. Oluwaseyi Dada – a freelance web developer and founder of TM30, a web development company.

Lessons learned from their journeys

1. Pursue your passion and turn it into a business.

2. Take calculated risks and be open to learning.

3. Build a strong network and leverage social media.

4. Set realistic goals and continuously work towards achieving them.

Their approaches to achieving a work-life balance

1. Having a structured schedule and sticking to it.

2. Separating work and personal time by setting clear boundaries.

3. Practicing self-care, such as exercise and meditation.

The impact of their success on the freelancing community in Nigeria

1. Inspiring and motivating others to pursue their dreams.

2. Creating job opportunities and contributing to the growth of the economy.

3. Challenging stereotypes and negative perceptions about freelancing.

In essence, these successful freelancers in Nigeria serve as examples of what can be achieved with hard work, determination, and a focus on work-life balance.

By sharing their stories and lessons learned, they have not only impacted the freelancing community in Nigeria but also serve as inspiration for anyone looking to pursue their dreams.

Read: Achieving Freelance Success without Burnout in Nigeria

Explore Further: The Nigerian Freelancer’s Manual for Managing Workloads


Freelancing is on the rise in Nigeria, and it offers many benefits, including flexibility and greater control over one’s work. However, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for long-term success and personal wellbeing.

To recap the main points, freelancers in Nigeria must be intentional about creating a schedule that supports their work and personal life.

They must avoid burnout by taking breaks and setting boundaries. They should also seek out support systems, such as networking groups, to stay motivated and connected to the community.

The significance of balancing work-life while freelancing cannot be overstated. Poor work-life balance can lead to decreased productivity, mental and physical exhaustion, and ultimately, a decline in quality of life.

Successful freelancers understand the importance of taking care of themselves, so they can better serve their clients and enjoy their work.

Final thoughts and recommendations for stakeholders in the freelancing industry include prioritizing the needs and wellbeing of freelancers.

Employers and clients should communicate clear expectations and work with freelancers to establish a realistic timeline. Freelancers should also charge fair rates and seek out opportunities that align with their values and goals.

In a nutshell, as a call to action, we encourage readers to consider pursuing freelancing or improving their own work-life balance if they are already in the field.

By taking care of themselves, freelancers can build sustainable careers and contribute to the growth of the industry in Nigeria.

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