Anyone who has gone through a traditional employment relationship knows that it is easier to tolerate a not-so-fulfilling job under the guidance of a good boss than a dream job where the boss is a bit of a nightmare. When it comes to freelancing, you’re your own boss, so why not be the best you can be?
Freelancing requires a certain amount of self-discipline to deliver work on time and not to forget about self-education. On the other hand, you also need to set some boundaries so that you don’t overexert yourself. That’s why it’s a good idea to first admit whether you’re prone to procrastination or, on the contrary, whether you’re at risk of overexerting yourself, and set boundaries accordingly. What else makes you a good boss?
Stick to working hours
If your boss wanted you to check your work emails and turn in your work assignments in the evenings or on weekends, you’d probably start thinking about leaving. And aren’t you doing it yourself as a freelancer now?
Freelancing attracts you by being the master of your time. This is true, but it can also quickly go away. To maintain productivity and not overexert yourself, it is therefore a good idea to set a time in which you devote yourself to work and are available for clients. In the remaining time, allow time to recharge your batteries.
TIP: If you occasionally work outside of regular business hours, use the “Send Later” feature when replying to emails so that clients don’t get the impression that they can usually reach you at midnight, for example.
Create a pleasant work environment
While you can work from the couch for a short period of time, if you plan to work from home regularly, give your work area some care. Create a quiet workspace where you can concentrate and find everything you need at hand.
TIP: If you can’t stay focused and you slip into procrastination on social networks, help yourself with a tool where you can set how long you can keep each app open.
Learn how to organize
In order not to get overwhelmed with work, you need to learn to plan things. Therefore, always make a list of tasks, assign them priorities and deadlines, and then start doing them one at a time. The moment you just pile up an unorganized pile of tasks in front of you, you will be demotivated and then overworked.
Don’t forget to increase your reward
Just as you would appreciate a raise from your boss every year, you need to increase it for yourself as well. It’s not just about matching inflation, your rate should also reflect increasing expertise. An adequate reward will cover your personal and professional costs, allow you to create a financial reserve and also allow you to have enough free time, including regular holidays.
Relax and go on vacation
Don’t forget to take care of your health. Whether it’s walks (after just 20 minutes in the woods, the level of the stress hormone cortisol drops significantly), sports, or relaxing with a book. And at least once a year, treat yourself to a vacation where you don’t have to deal with work at all.
Before you go on holiday, don’t forget to inform all clients in time and, if necessary, refer them to another specialist who will help them with the most flammable problems during your holiday. We also recommend setting up OOO emails to inform the client about how to deal with your absence.
At work, you socialize every day in offices or the kitchen, which is often lacking in freelancing. Therefore, set aside time to establish and maintain connections with like-minded people. Thanks to this, you can move forward professionally, but most importantly, you will not face the social isolation that often accompanies freelancing.
If you feel that you would like to get out of the rut of home office, consider coworking centers that you can use occasionally or regularly.
Be kind to yourself
Did you do a good job? Praise yourself for it, you deserve it. It doesn’t have to be a million-dollar project, even small successes count.
And that you made a mistake? That’s part of life and business. It’s certainly not worth denying that a mistake was made, but you also don’t have to drown in it more than necessary. The best thing to do is to learn from your mistake and take it as a valuable lesson.