One of the biggest myths around being a freelancer is that it is a stress-free environment. No boss is breathing down your neck, no dress codes that restrict you from working in your undies, and no need to worry about being late.
Apart from those amazing benefits, you are also free to manage your own time and work at your pace – sneaking in a few minutes of social media and gaming while you can. Unfortunately, that is precisely when you realize that freelancing is not such a hot idea after all. Soon enough, you will find yourself in an endless race against deadlines – being crushed under the weight of all the responsibilities that all self-sustaining freelancers face.
To keep your sanity in check, below are 30 activities you can do as you keep up with the freelancing life:
1. Eliminate Social Media
Before you work, deal with the nasty elephant in the room that is social media. Close all social media tabs in your browser and put your phone out of reach.
2. Get Some Help
Whenever possible, try to outsource help to meet the demands of your growing client base.
3. Power Up with Breakfast
Skipping the most important meal of the day will make you feel woozy.
4. Create Small Chunks of Objectives
Rather than seeing your goal as a whole, focus on the small steps that will get you all the way there.
5. Establish a Schedule
About #4, having a time-bound schedule will keep you on track en route to your goals.
6. Use a Project Management App
To keep your schedule organized, use productivity apps like Trello.
7. Brainstorm with a Group
Regardless of your field, having a group to help you brainstorm ideas will yield better results.
8. Capture Ideas on the Fly
Sometimes, inspiration hits in the most unexpected of circumstances. Make sure you have a notebook or a note-taking app like Evernote ready.
9. Give Bad Ideas a Chance
Have an idea that seems too crazy? Write them down first and see if certain parts are viable later.
10. Break Bad Habits
Simply put, bad habits are disruptive to your productivity and therefore need to go. In addition to avoiding social media, use an app like StayFocusd to block websites that distract you.
11. Build Good Habits
The best way to break bad habits is to form better ones to take their place. For example, you can practice simple stretching exercises once every 30 minutes.
12. Take 30-minute Breaks
Take advantage of your body’s ultradian rhythm to maintain your energy and productivity levels throughout the day.
13. Drink Coffee
Not only will it keep you awake, but coffee is also a mild brain stimulant that can keep your creative juices flowing.
14. Build an Online Portfolio
As a freelancer, you may experience influxes of creativity when you should be resting. Don’t waste these opportunities and pour your creativity in an online portfolio.
15. Write Clear Terms & Conditions
Make sure to write clear T&Cs to make transactions with clients a lot smoother.
16. Clarify Your Fees First
Whenever you work with a new client, always remember to agree on your rates first.
17. Manage Procrastination
If you cannot eliminate procrastination, then manage it. If needed, allocate an hour or two throughout your workday for procrastination – preferably in the morning or evening.
18. Take a Day Off
Occasional days off are good as they help you fully recharge your energy and motivation.
19. Ask for Feedback
The best way to identify your weaknesses as a freelancer is to have your clients point them out.
20. Get Insider Intelligence
Working with a long-term client? Get to know them real closely to extract information such as when is the best time to send invoices.
21. Learn to Refuse Work
Finding freelance work can be tough, but that does not mean you should take on any job even if it is clearly underpaid.
22. Learn to Chase
Late-paying clients are, unfortunately, a commonplace in freelancing. Just remember that customers who do not pay on time deserve to be <href=”#259288b4584d”>nagged, and you deserve to get paid for your hard work.
23. Prevent the Creative Block
The creative block is nearly impossible to overcome, but it can easily be prevented by having a line-up of creative ideas from your notes or the thought-leaders in your industry.
24. Commit to Being Reliable
Having a track record for reliability has its perks. For one, you can send out invoices earlier even for new clients.
25. Learn to Follow Up
To make meetings with prospects as impactful as possible, don’t forget to follow-up; at least through email.
26. Learn to Network Offline
Aside from building a professional online presence through social media, don’t forget to learn how to network everywhere you go. A business card goes a long way for this particular tip.
27. Hold Your Events
If you want to network but can’t find the best opportunity to do so, try hosting your event.
28. Manage Your Money Better
To lessen money-related stress, learn to use money management tools and stick to a monthly budget.
29. Buy Better Equipment
If you have the budget, consider upgrading your gear to make freelancing more manageable and satisfying.
30. Don’t Multitask
Remember that there’s no such thing as multi-tasking – there’s only knowing how to prioritize.
Freelancing can be disappointing and very stressful. However, it is also one of the most fulfilling careers – as long as you keep in mind the tips listed above.
Are You Ready to Become a Freelancer?
If you are really serious about becoming a freelancer, you should first start with the tools of the trade.
I will make your life easier by handing you more than 30 of the latest and greatest applications, software and websites that I, and even some of the most amazing freelancers, use on a day-to-day basis to become a more productive freedom entrepreneur.
This article is a guest post by:
Christopher Jan Benitez is a professional freelance writer who provides small businesses and startups with actionable content that engages their target audience and increase conversion. Subscribe to his blog, ChristopherJanB.com, and follow him on Twitter for tips about freelance writing and content marketing the right way.