From Flickr user sanctumsolitude

When you work for yourself as a freelance writer, professional blogger, or some other kind of entrepreneur, there is always the opportunity to make some more money. The computer is always there beckoning for you, because there is always more work that could be done and this work could translate into more money in your bank account. It’s a very tempting proposition, because you’ll get that much closer to buying that dream car, paying off that mortgage, or otherwise achieving your dreams. It is also through this temptation that you could end up working too much.

Freelancing Is Still a Job

Nearly two years ago, John Chow wrote a post on trading hours for dollars. This is the most common way for people to make money. They get a job and trade their time with their employer in exchange for a paycheque. This is also true of freelancers, even though they officially work for themselves. More likely than not, if I’m not working, I’m not making any money. There are exceptions, to be sure, but that’s the general rule.

One of the critical differences between a conventional job and a freelance business, as I’ve mentioned, is that the latter is able to make money at any hour of the day, on any given day. With a regular job, the work ends the moment you clock out on Friday afternoon. In this way, freelancers may feel compelled to work longer and longer hours. This was the case for me when I first started out. I’d put in significant hours on evenings and weekends, either working on actual projects or taking care of related tasks like administration and seeking out additional gigs.

What’s Your Time Worth to You?

Lately, I’ve started to dial down significantly on how much work I do in the evenings and on the weekends. For me, there is greater satisfaction to be enjoyed through some well-deserved leisure time than there is through the extra money that I may be earning during that time instead. My breaks have generally been too short and I’m working (no pun intended) on rectifying that.

Yes, adhering to a more “normal” work schedule may result in a slightly lower income level each month, but my time and my sanity are worth more to me. This past weekend, I didn’t work at all with the exception of putting up a couple of blog posts on Beyond the Rhetoric. Instead, I spent my time enjoying Dot Com Pho, playing Rock Band, and having a pleasant Father’s Day dinner with my dad. Those sure beat sitting in front of the computer.

Are you working too hard? Not hard enough? Do you obsess over your blog income all the way up to the time you go to bed?