As with any job or career, freelancing comes with a range of pressures and challenges. Nobody is immune from issues at work or at home, but freelancers get to have more fun. All we need to do is accept that life isn’t always easy and have a positive attitude. Freelancing is exciting – we never know what’s coming next. That’s even more reason to live in the moment and have fun while we are doing it. And, whilst freelancers work independently, we don’t have to work in isolation if we don’t want to. Think about making use of co-working spaces.
Find the fun! Discover co-working spaces where other freelancers hang out. Toronto is a friendly city and freelancers need human contact. Why not seek out like-minded people and spend time with them a couple of times a week or month in an environment that serves good coffee (hopefully!). You might have to chip in for some of the rent, but there is great value in a shared laugh and a joke with other creative people. What better people could there be to have not just fun with, but also to synergize and share ideas with? If coworking spaces aren’t your thing now, consider finding virtual colleagues.
Have fun and synergize with other freelancers through social media. The advantage of this is that you can interact when it suits you. Join a Facebook Page for freelancers or start one. For example, freelance copywriters could get together and benefit from getting to hear one another’s experiences. Share memes and jokes on text platforms. Pose questions for the group to think about, for example: How many freelancers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Perhaps do this between assignments. Post your successes or ask for guidance. Freelancers take comfort in knowing they are not alone. We can rely on other freelancers to make us smile!
Finalize your home office
Display your own self-reward system. This could be gold star stickers on a graph plotting your progress towards your business targets or life goals. Put up a picture of someone that you care about. Put up a picture of someone you like to shout at. Talk to the pictures – or at least greet them. Make sure that you have music! You need a playlist of all your favourite songs to sing along to. You should have a playlist for inspiration like African Rhythms. Choose a language that you don’t understand so it’s just there softly in the background and sounds upbeat. You need a playlist to move you along as you concentrate on the work. Light Classical or Chamber music works well for that. Also, use your digital thermostat to regulate the ideal room temperature for work productivity.
There are two inventions that should never be far from your desk. The first is the TV remote for that all-important sports event or the next cliffing hanging episode of your favourite sitcom. The other invention is the mini-bar fridge! There should be an emergency supply of easy to open and easy to consume chocolates, snacks, sweets, fruit juices, and sodas. This is for comfort eating when you are down; filling you up for when you are too busy to walk to the kitchen (and real food), and to feast on to celebrate your victories.
Wear Freelancer Clothes
This is code for wear whatever you like, especially at home. You might need a bit more (or a bit less) if meeting in a co-working space. The point is, wear your favourite shirt or lucky hat every day if you want to. Meet with your virtual colleagues on Zoom and have a crazy hat competition. The possibilities for fun are endless. The point is that we are raised to dress for success. For a freelancer that means wearing what makes us feel comfortable enough to forget about how we look so we can focus on the challenge at hand.
There are two other important things that a freelancer needs. One is a very big “File 13” in their head. Dump the negatives and failures in this trash file as quickly as they come in. Then apply the second thing: Life Rule 62- don’t take yourself or life so seriously!
Continue Reading: 6 Freelancing Truths I Didn’t Believe (But Now I Do)