One of the main reasons you probably decided to become a freelancer was the idea of having more free time on your hands which you could spend with things that mattered to you more, like family. Sometimes though, you can get a bit carried away with your freelance career, and end up designating more time than you ever have to your work. This is why it is important for you to establish good working habits that allow you to expand your free time, because who wants to sit at a computer all day, huh?
Efficiency and etiquette are the key here. Your focus is to work for less time, without compromising on the quality of said work. A way of doing this is become familiar with a set design technique you use (as an example for a freelance designer). Routines to start work happen with all freelancing jobs. Let’s say you’re a freelance writer, the first thing you may do is open up Microsoft Word, make yourself a cup of tea, and start reading your favorite blog to get yourself into the mood of things. This could be your set etiquette when getting down to
writing an article. For a designer, it could be taking a short walk in a park to get the creative juices following, and then sitting down with a pencil and paper, and just sketching out a few concepts whilst you develop an idea which you’ve come up with. Your method of getting
into work, however, should not induce procrastination and time-wasting. There’s nothing wrong with taking a 10 minute walk for inspiration, but once you start pushing 30 minutes, you start to run the risk of procrastinating the work, rather than preparing for it.
Etiquette is also extremely important, as it is etiquette which decides how efficient you are. If you like to spend hours upon hours just speaking with your clients over your favorite messaging client, before starting any work, then you’re going to have end up wasting a bunch of time that day, and end up working through the nights. Your goal needs to be to avoid working nights altogether. Yes, it may be fun to know that you can choose to work when you want, which means it doesn’t have to be during the day, but working late nights have very negative effects on ones health and well-being – including stress levels. Stress is a cause of a lot of health problems, so you want to be as stress-free as possible, so it makes sense not to work into the night, but rather have a set schedule during the day which you can follow every day in order to get the right amount of work done on a daily basis. Spreading your work-load across the week, rather than doing it all during one night proves much more relaxing, and effective as you’ll spend quality time working on your projects, rather than rushing them, only to produce ill quality work.
I guess the best piece of advise I can give is: Work Hard, Play Hard.
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