I purposely avoid replying on weekends. It's why I stay invisible and the idea of getting notification when someone sees a message makes me rage and tell the dummy suggesting it to sit down and shut up. I deal with my screamers on Monday. I'll respond to some clients if it's a quick thing and they've been with me for a while so I know it won't be a big thing.
For a time, I was trying to take weekends off but it's the best time to work. Nobody really expects a response, lots of people don't even work weekends, and I can get more done.
But then normal people with normal lives go out on Fridays, so if you want to keep friends you have to be available. So here I sit after carbing it up and wine drinking last night and now I hurt. I hurt reeeeel bad like. And I ponder why I do this to myself as I nurse a hangover.
Not very. My ongoing clients know that I usually need at least 7-10 days notice to get their projects on the schedule. I definitely don't interrupt writing to respond to email notifications, and I almost never answer my phone except for a scheduled call or one of my kids.
Part of the battle is setting realistic expectations from the start. A lot of freelancers start out responding instantly and sort of building immediate turnaround into what they're selling when they don't have much work, but it isn't sustainable when you have a regular flow of clients, and by the time that happens, those early clients have been trained to expect you to be standing by for them.
Another part is getting to the point where you can just opt not to work with the "everything's an emergency" crowd.