Working as a freelancer comes with its own set of interesting challenges. While the benefits of freelance work far outweigh the difficulties, it can become quite overwhelming to wake up on a daily basis to a new set of unique challenges.
This is especially true for those who have recently quit an ordinary job in order to become a freelancer. The challenges these individuals face—as they attempt to establish themselves in a world full of other freelancers—are endless. From learning to practice self-discipline when it comes to scheduling to figuring out how to properly keep financial records, the life of a freelancer can be quite overwhelming, to say the least.
That said, there are plenty of ways for freelancers—both new and seasoned—to make their lives more organized, and therefore less challenging. In this article we will touch on a few ways freelancers can improve upon their work lives with little effort.
Find a Workspace
One of the biggest challenges freelancers face is finding their “zone”—that is, finding the place and practices that help them focus and keep their mind from wandering. For many people the solution is to put on a pair of headphones and listen to their favorite music; for others, a specified workspace is required.
If you are one of the many freelance workers who wishes to have a specified workspace, there are a number of options. Because many people work best when well-caffeinated and surrounded by energy, the local coffee shop could be a good option. However, some people find such places distracting, and those who need to make phone calls for business might prefer to do so in a more private setting.
For those looking for a more secluded workspace, something as simple as a nook in your own home may suffice. You could even hide the office behind a hidden door.
Still other ways to solve this dilemma include dedicating an entire room in your home to an office, or even renting out office space in a local building.
Stick to a Schedule
With your new dedicated workspace all set up, you can focus on getting things done in a timely manner. Still, many freelancers find this difficult to do without someone pushing deadlines on them. For this reason, it is a good idea to set a schedule for yourself and follow it. Remember, freelancing is your job, and it should be treated as such.
A freelancer’s schedule could be something loose that requires only that they work a certain number of hours or finish a certain number of tasks each day. It could also be more rigid with set hours. Some work-from-home folks like to do all of their work in two or three days each week, while others prefer to do a small amount of work every single day. Play with your options and choose a schedule that keeps you as happy and productive as possible, but once you find your rhythm, follow it religiously.
Additionally, it is important to set deadlines for yourself. These deadlines might seem completely arbitrary to the outside world, but they will keep you on top of things and keep your customers happy.
Because a freelancer’s work rarely leaves their mind, it can be difficult for them to truly take time off from work and relax. However, it is incredibly important for everyone to take some time off now and then. After all, one must care for themselves before caring for others if they want their career to be a sustainable one.
Therefore, it is incredibly important that freelancers schedule in time for self-care. This time could include activities such as visiting a therapist, getting a massage, or even just quietly reading a book. Choose what makes you happy and helps you recharge.
But remember to also take the proper supplements to reinforce or support your health. That will be critical in taking care of yourself.
Find More Work
Finding work as a freelancer is difficult. You can browse the best marketplaces for freelancers and still come up dry. When a person cannot find enough work, they can become overly stressed, and often this stress will lead to problems in other areas of their lives. For this reason, it is crucial that all freelancers establish multiple income streams and do whatever they can to bring in a steady stream of work.
One of the very best ways to bring in a continuous stream of work is to have a good standing and an updated profile on a number of freelancing platforms such as Upwork. This will, of course, require you to get a few initial gigs in order to gather some great reviews. It also requires that you update your biography to include any recent work you may have done and update your headshot to something professional.
All of this will improve your image and will likely bring in more work.
Keep Financial Records
Bookkeeping is one of the things that most often scares people away from freelancing. Keeping good financial records can be a daunting task, and unfortunately, it is necessary for legal reasons. However, the task can be made much easier through the use of one of the many bookkeeping softwares on the market today. Many of these softwares make financial record-keeping so simple you won’t even need a CPA to file your taxes.
By following these steps to living well and doing well as a freelancer, you will be well on your way to living the good life.