As a freelancer, I have the ability and freedom to work whenever I want…to a point. Of course I have to meet deadlines for clients and extra things crop up occasionally that are urgent, but for the most part, I can work to my own schedule.

In the past, this has been both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I can make my own hours and fit my business around everything else in my life.

A blessing because I can make my own hours and fit my business around everything else in my life.

A curse because I’m a bit of a perfectionist. That means I can spend hours and hours longer than necessary trying to make something 100% perfect.

For a while, I was working during the week and topping up on my work at weekends. I was fitting in about half a day of work on a Saturday and another few hours most Sundays.
reclaiming the weekend, work harder

But I wasn’t getting a real break. There weren’t any real days off. Every day I was writing a to-do list, vigilantly working my way through it and always thinking about work.

Whilst I (almost always) love the work I do, I wasn’t enjoying working every single day. It was too much being switched on to work mode pretty much every single day. I was beginning to resent my work rather than adore it.

I knew something had to change. So, I decided to reclaim my weekends.

I decided that (barring any unexpected circumstances), weekend working needed to be a thing of the past for me. Sorry to be quite so cliche, but I realised I needed to be about working less and living more. I needed to reclaim time away from work, time with my family and friends and time doing the things I love.
reclaiming the weekend, travel blogger emma gray

Working smarter, not harder became a big thing for me. Instead of spending 4 hours on tasks I could complete in 2 hours, I simply get it done in 2. It’s amazing what you can get done when you manage your time better. I’m stricter about dividing up my work time and try not to get distracted by emails and social media when I’m working on a big task.

I also got rid of a draining, negative client who was more hassle than they were worth. It literally felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders when I terminated our contract and I was so relieved. Ending working with a client who was sucking my time so badly really helped cut down my hours and focus my efforts.

The result of reclaiming the weekends has been that I love my work more than ever before. I’m grateful to be doing something that I’m passionate about and have a new found appreciation for sitting at my desk on a Monday morning after a really fun weekend away from my laptop.
reclaiming the weekend

This past weekend, I went for a lovely lunch in Glasgow with my family on Saturday then hosted everyone at our house for drinks and a takeaway dinner. On Sunday Thomas and I decided to make the most of the sunshine and went for a visit to The Kelpies and The Falkirk Wheel. We ended the weekend in our friends garden having drinks and making plans for some future trips in Scotland together.

I didn’t find myself thinking about work all weekend (beyond sharing some snaps on social media…but I don’t really count that as work!) and felt refreshed and happy at the end of it. Now, it’s Monday morning, I’m slaying work and I’ve been so productive already. What could be better than that?

Are you a freelancer who has reclaimed their weekends? Or do you wish you could?