For the first year of being self-employed, I took very little time for myself. I would work in the morning, afternoon, evening, weekend, and REPETE. My foot was constantly on the accelerator… GO, GO, GO. Don’t stop, or you might fail.
I think many freelancers can relate to this, especially when you’re first starting out. You just took a big leap of faith and now you need to prove to yourself and to those around you that you can succeed.
I feel as if I’ve adjusted to this lifestyle a bit more now that I’ve been freelancing for the past year. I have some wonderful clients, new inquiries are always coming in, and I feel much more relaxed. I’ve chilled out and don’t work CONSTANTLY anymore. BUT, I tend to feel really guilty about taking time off.
Sometimes it feels like I should be working, even if I don’t have much to do at that very moment. Most of the people around me are working, so what gives me the right to take the afternoon off? I still don’t know the answer to this, but I’m trying to figure it out.
Freelancing is not as glamorous as it may seem, but there is one major perk- you are in control of how you spend your time, even though it doesn’t always feel that way.
Here are a few ways to take advantage of your day and spend it exactly the way you want!
Let Go of the Guilt: I remind myself that I work my butt off and I’ve probably put in more time than the average 9-5 worker in order to get here. I’ve intentionally set myself up for this, so it’s okay to take some time away. Setting guilt aside is far easier said than done. I’m a work in progress on this one, but I think it’s a valid practice to work towards.
Get your Own Routine: A regular 9-5 workday may work best for you and it might not. I’ve heard of people setting up a 4 or 5 hour work day and get a ton done in that smaller amount of time. Then the rest of the day is there’s to spend however they want, again, guilt-free.
Get familiar with your Productivity: You might notice that your brain is more sharp at certain times of the day. I say embrace that! Work when you’re most likely to crank out a bunch of tasks, then go do something else. I like to get things done in the early morning and early afternoons. I often times take it easy later in the afternoon and then sit back down to focus on work (or plan for the next day) for an hour or two after dinner.
Increase your Rates: Think about how doubling your rates would affect your business. I increased my rates only shortly before going full time in my freelance career. It was scary because I was afraid I might not win enough work, but it was quite the opposite. Work smarter, not harder. You want to be able to enjoy the flexibility of living the freelance life without having to worry about your finances.
So, is freelancing really a flexible lifestyle? Only if you make it that way.
What work schedule works best for you? Comment below =)
“Either you run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn
Thanks for Reading,