So you’re going freelance? Congrats! It’s an exciting time, but it can also be a hellishly busy time, especially if you allow the work to pile up around you. If your reasons for going freelance were to create more work life balance, then here are 3 things you can do from the outset to make sure you stay in the zone when you need to be, and out of the zone when it’s time to chill:
Spend a little time outside every day
Out in the fresh air is where it’s at! ‘It’ being the inspiration and calm. If you’re cooped up in the house all day and feeling like you’re going just a tad insane, then it could be because you haven’t spent enough time breathing in actual real-life air and moving around. Whether it’s a walk, sitting in a beer garden to work, or organising a mid-week bike ride, getting outside will keep your brain working properly.
Eat a balanced diet at regular intervals
Going from a routine commute and office setting to a lonely career fueled by sporadic hunger cravings, can lead you to snack all day long. In reverse, being busy with clients and taking on too much work can lead you to avoid eating altogether in favour of getting in a few more minutes of work. Both scenarios are not good for your body, so stick to a meal plan or routine that’s going to see you eating a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner, instead of wolfing down any old snack at your desk.
Plan with your clients, not for them
When you’re planning your week, you may start to realise that you have taken on about triple the work that any human being is capable of doing in their lifetime. It’s easily done; a client asks you to do something and instinctively, out of a fear of not getting the job, you say yes. Start to take a breath before you accept a contract, and ask yourself: a) do I realistically have time to do this (and do it well), and b) if I do, when is a deadline that would suit both me and the client? If you have to go back to a client and tell them that you’ll be busy for the next few weeks, but that you can fit it in at the beginning of next month, that’s not the end of the world. If anything it makes your services look more sought after. Your client will appreciate your honesty, and could even align their other deadlines to suit you. If not, then that’s OK too.
Starting off in the freelance world can be very fast-paced, so don’t forget to slow it down each day and take care of your mind and body. Your work doesn’t have to suffer just because you’re taking a break.
Photo by Christin Hume via Unsplash Christin Hume