If you are to review your life for the past years and ask yourself what relationships have you forged, what could your answer be? How do you make non-professional relationships last?
Probably, your list would include clients, prospective clients, co-collaborators, web design colleagues and basically, professional relationships.
But are these the relationships you want to spend your life with?
Web Designer Who Is Alone
In the course of our careers as web designers and developers, we have focused on forging a lasting professional relationship. This is essential because you should have continuous opportunities to earn. Establishing and sustaining such relationships opens more opportunities to earn money.
I will give you some ways for you to effectively foster non-professional relationships. I will also help you balance and juggle your time int sustaining said relationships while keeping your work on track.
Don’t Be Workaholic
The problem with creative people, including web designers, is that they have difficulties on two things: turning the work switch on and turning it off.
At times, you get too motivated that you don’t realize you have been working the whole day.
Of course, you make money quicker because of this and it may have been your motivation. Or perhaps, you have more than one project that you want to finish everything on time. Or maybe, you simply have lots of time and you know that it would be wiser to work and earn than just procrastinate.
But what does this do to you?
How Do I Know I’m a Workaholic?
If you are not one of the people who openly admit that they are workaholics, you may have difficulties in sensing whether you really are a smash-my-face-on-work guy or not.
US News gave 17 signs that may help you in determining whether you are workaholic or not. Here are some of them:
- You’re the first to arrive in the office and the last to leave.
- You work through lunch hour. Every lunch hour.
- You get stressed when you’re not at work.
- You can never be satisfied.
- You tend to devalue your personal priorities.
- Your mind is always at work even if you are not at work.
- You work when you’re sick.
- You’re always accessible.
- You always overbook.
How is Workaholism Bad for Me?
Being a workaholic is not entirely wrong. In fact, at some levels and in the professional perspective, working heavily makes your more productive. The faster you finish your projects, the more projects you can take, and consequently, the more money you will earn.
However, in a personal-life standpoint, too much work is not healthy. Most workaholics tend to give too much time and focus on their professional lives to a point that they no longer talk to their families and friends.
Because of this, workaholics tend to be detached from the people who care about them. This could lead to emotional and psychological problems in the future.
In the long run, health becomes an issue too. Most people who work long hours tend to forget exercise and just eat fast to eat food or whatever they pick up in the fridge. Rarely do they prepare their own healthy and balanced meals.
These small but gravely important matters are what workaholics sometimes forget. Now, if you are one, what are you going to do?
How to stop being a workaholic?
If you think you are already a workaholic and you are worried that it might affect you in the future, let me give you some tips. Listed below are few of the many things you can try to finally become free of workaholism. Here are they:
- Give yourself a work-time – If you are working for an agency that is open from 8am to 5pm, use that period to work. Stop working and leave the office once work ends. Remind your office to stop calling you after office hours; don’t check your emails or don’t text your co-workers about work.
If you are freelancing, save some time for rest times. Work at a specific period of time. Example, you can work on designing for only 10 hours a day. The remaining hours left should be allotted into personal activities.
- Spend your free time freely – this is one of the struggles of being a workaholic. Even in your free time, you tend to think of work. Of course, this can really affect how you spend your free time.
If you really want to stop being a workaholic, spend your time thinking less about work. Go out on a vacation, grab a drink with your friends or maybe even try out a new hobby.
- Relax – You’re always on the go. To stop being a workaholic, you need to relax. Breathe in, breathe out. You’ll get things done, don’t rush. Now, if you’re not a workaholic yet, be sure to try these tips from Zentips before you even become one.
Learn to Say NO to Work
The reason why you are having difficulties in establishing and sustaining meaningful personal connections is that you can’t say no to work. You are the type of person who has multiple side- jobs. You’re always working and in the zone.
This is quite good because you are always productive and will always find ways to earn. However, it can be stressful in the long run.
To establish non-professional relationships, you have to say no to some professional relationships. Think of this, we all have 24 hours each day.
That means we have 24 hours to divide for all the activities we need to finish. Now, if you spend around 10 hours taking rests, and 14 hours working, how can you even find time for your personal life?
When was the last time you hung out with friends? When was the last time you had fun? Went to the park? Had a run?
If you feel like you haven’t done the things these activities, like, in forever, then maybe you’re not saying no enough.
How Can I say NO Without Offending My Client?
- Say No politely
- As much as possible, use emails to turn clients down
- Explain your situation
- Refer someone who can replace you
Here Are Some Phrases That You Could Use in Your Emails When Turning a Client Down:
- “I would love to accept the task. However, I really have to… [insert your reason here]”
- “I am already working on a project right now and my schedule will not permit me to work on additional tasks. Fortunately, I can recommend you to… [insert referral]”
- “That is great but I have already committed to… [insert name]”
- Inasmuch as I would want to say yes to your proposal, I really can’t work on it right now as I am… [insert reason]”
Start a New Hobby
If you want to foster personal relationships, you can start with a hobby. Hobbies are great ways to meet new people, share the same interests and connect at a personal level.
However, if you are going to start a new hobby, I would personally recommend to choose something that doesn’t involve computers.
Start a hobby that is far from what you do because it will give you a fresher look at things. If you are a web designer and would start a hobby, say, digital art, you’re not going away from your routine, your simply following the same routine towards a different destination.
Try hobbies that involves meeting people at a physical level. Remember that most long and lasting relationships start with personal conversations.
Here are a few hobbies that you could take on:
Go on a Vacation
Image from: Depositphotos
Your phone can’t work properly if its battery is drained. Same is true with your laptop computers. And so are you.
At times, you need to charge, unwind and replenished the already-depleted juices. Try and go out some time, go away and find inner peace.
Traveling can sometimes teach you things you can use for your everyday life.
Before traveling, remember the following:
- Leave your worries home.
- Travel light.
- Talk to new people.
- Travel alone.
Be a Family-and-Friends-First Guy
The best way to create lasting personal relationships with people is to be a guy who actually wants to create such relationships. All these tips will be put to waste if you don’t want to do it. Be the guy you who is open to people, loves talking to people and will welcome them with open arms..
Don’t be the sour cat who bites the people who feed them. Be a warm, loving person who will show affection to every person who cares.
Don’t be a person who wants to die sad and alone. Be the person who would want to die knowing that he was loved.
And lastly, be the kind of person you would want to meet.
There is more to life than web design. As a professional, you have to remember that aside from the professional life that you are living, you also have a personal one.
If you are not going to identify that thin line between the two, you will live your life in stress, chaos and ultimately, sadness. As early as today, invest on the people that really matters. They might not give you cash, but surely, they’ll be there for you when you need them the most.