Being a freelancer can be an exceptionally liberating and satisfying experience. For many, it is the pinnacle of their career and one they would never turn away from. However, for many others, freelance work can be lonely, frustrating and disappointing. Finding happiness as a freelancer depends upon many factors. Like any skill set, whether it is long-distance running or graphic design the biggest battles are often played out in our minds.
Must Be Happy as a Freelancer to Maximize Productivity
Here are some helpful tips to keep you victorious in the mental battlefield of freelance work.
1. Develop a Morning Routine
This is, by far, the most overlooked aspect of a freelancer’s job. Because your schedule is liberated from the 9-5 office grind, a rebellion from such cookie-cutter time slots is likely the next step. This is even more crucial for those working from home, where distractions abound. The key is to treat your morning as if you were going to the office. Know what time you want to “arrive” at work, so you can plan accordingly. This alleviates the stress of feeling like you should be working from the moment you jump out of bed or the constant putting-off of the beginning of your workday. If you are having difficulty developing a successful morning routine, get help. Many people have turned to the 2012 book The Miracle Morning, authored by Hal Elrod. However you decide to develop your morning routine, make sure you have one and that it is working for you.
2. Detachment from Technology
By now we have all heard we are on our phones too much. You may have read that on your phone waiting in line at the coffee shop. But beyond the push to increase our followers and the mindless games that occupy our waking hours, it is most fun to watch your real-world business “level-up”. So the tendency becomes to be constantly monitoring your phone for new clients, emails and business while out. This can become as addictive as Candy Crush, but it is your profession, not a hobby. Just like your cell-phone, you cannot always be “on”. Stepping away from technology allows your brain to flow from one idea to the next without interruption. The brain needs stillness to develop new thoughts, not constant alerts that interrupt the generation of new ideas. Your focus will increase when you recognize that as much as technology aids your professional life, at times it is a creative drain. Which leads to the next point.
3. Set Boundaries
This is not only in relation to your smart phone. As a freelancer, you set your own hours. So it is easy to feel guilty if you are at home, where you work, not working. It is impossible for you not to take work home. But setting boundaries, and sticking to them, can help you achieve the proper work/life balance. Try things like not opening emails unless you are ready to respond to them. This will curb your addiction to checking your inbox before bed, and keep your work out of the bedroom.
4. Plan around big meetings or events
If a meeting lands right in the middle of your day, plan other tasks around your meetings so you can be more efficient. This means that you should prioritize what is second most important after your meeting, what is third and so on. The most urgent tasks should get done first. As you do this more, you’ll notice that you feel as though you have more control of your day than you did before.
5. Jack-of-All-Trades, Master of One
You have your unique, sellable skill. You are a true master of that skill. In a normal, office environment, that would be enough. However, to find happiness in the freelance world you must also schedule and keep appointments, pay bills on time, manage your income and so on. Being a happy freelancer means willfully wearing many hats, embrace the new opportunities, don’t shirk them.
Final words :
Managing your time doesn’t have to be done with one huge sweep. It is a process that you can start by making small changes and eventually, it will reward you in a big way. You’ll realize that you are now more productive than ever before and you’re getting far more done in the same amount of time you were before.