When the computer is on, it means that I have the opportunity to hop in front of that keyboard, pump out a couple of articles, and make some more money. I am certainly not opposed to making more money, but it cannot come at the expense of my happiness and my health. As such, one of the simplest ways to find a better work-life balance is simply to walk away from the computer. Unfortunately, that’s not so easy, especially when you are virtually addicted to the Internet. So, what is a freelancer to do?
As it turns out, our computers have a built-in mechanism for getting you to step away from them: battery life. Naturally, this only really applies to the notebook users in the audience and not so much to the desktop users, but if you use a laptop as your primary computer, it could (ironically enough) easier to walk away.
Let’s say, for example, that your laptop is able to get about four hours of battery life. If you think that you are going to have trouble shutting it down and calling it quits for the day, simply unplug your laptop from the wall four hours before you want to walk away. When the battery runs out of juice, you effectively force yourself to stop working for the rest of the day. It’s almost like you are trying to schedule your spontaneous leisure time, since you are using a mechanism that can (help) make the world of work go away.
If your laptop is able to achieve a monstrous 22 hours of battery life, like the image depicted above, this strategy might not be very useful for helping you overcome burnout. However, most laptops don’t get that kind of battery life, so you are able to step away whenever you run out of juice. For a myriad of reasons, you probably shouldn’t come to rely on the laptop battery life strategy for life-work balance, but it can be a useful tool to try.
Go ahead, take the night off… even if you can’t get yourself to do it voluntarily.