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How to achieve work-life balance as an independent support worker

Young woman working on her small business with a laptop while sitting at her kitchen table at home

As an independent support worker, you might follow different working hours compared to those in different industries and your weekly hours may vary. For many people, a flexible working style might be extremely beneficial, but if you’re unsure about how to achieve a comfortable work-life balance, we’ve got some essential tips:

With so many diverse roles within the aged care and disability support sectors, it may be difficult to discover one that suits you and your lifestyle. However, the Mable platform can enable workers to build their own business and work independently, so flexibility and choice can become a reality.

Know which days suit you

To get an idea of what work-life balance could look like for you, you should start thinking about which days you’d prefer to work.

Firstly, think about how many hours you spend completing errands and tasks related to your lifestyle such as housework, caring for family and relaxing. The hours or days you don’t allocate to errands can be reserved for work.

Becoming an independent support worker on the Mable platform allows you to easily communicate your availability and preferred work hours to potential clients. With Mable, you can create your own profile which displays your availability to potential clients, your preferred areas of work, skills and flexible payment rates – these are also known as indicative rates.

Plan for upcoming weeks

To ensure you’re experiencing a balanced lifestyle, it could be helpful to look at the big picture.

Planning your schedule for the following week or fortnight may enable you to enjoy an equal balance between work and downtime. For example, preparing your own weekly meals on your day off could help you save hours of time throughout the week. Or, contacting your clients in the beginning of the week to check when they require your support means you could better prepare for future support sessions.

Be on top of your work hours

Being an independent support worker can mean consecutive weeks look extremely different. Sometimes, your work arrangements can change at the last minute – if you’re looking to become a support worker, a diverse week-to-week schedule may become a regular occurence.

To ensure you don’t confuse your working hours, you may want to keep a diary, start using an app to help you keep track of your daily schedule, or sign up to Mable to ensure your timesheets, communication with clients and independent business is all in one place.

Use a reliable management system

Working independently comes with many benefits, including allowing you the ability to work at times that suit you. However, without a reliable management system to help coordinate your activity and your clients, it can be difficult to keep track of your income and work schedule which could potentially lead to loss of financial stability.

With the Mable platform, you can get noticed by clients in your local area and spark a conversation with them, send agreements for support and organise unique support sessions. After you provide support to a client via Mable, your client can process a payment to you via the platform.

The best part is, your messages, work history and details of your income can be viewed at any time via Mable – the platform also provides a clear summary of your business income and deductions so you can be on top of your tax requirements.

Give yourself time for self-care

As an independent support worker, you’re most likely a compassionate person and enjoy supporting those in your local community. However, in the process of helping others, it may be easy to push aside your personal needs. If you can begin to recognise when you need to spend time for yourself, that is the first step to practicing self-care

Establishing a balance between work, family, friends, leisure and health begins and ends with you and your wellbeing. Exercising self-care can be as easy as going for a walk, enjoying some sunlight, trying out a new recipe, pampering yourself or taking an extra day off of work. Sometimes, it may take some time to discover a method of self-care that works best for you and it can help to change these activities regularly.

It’s important to remember that everyone has different capabilities, work boundaries, skills, qualifications, experience and roles within the aged care and disability support sectors. Often, time is essential to helping you finding work-life balance.

Want to start gaining control of your independent career in supporting others? Mable can help you grow your business, monitor your weekly schedule and connect with more work opportunities near you. Head to Mable to get started.

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