Freelancing can be different. You can become the hero of a famous photo of a young man working on a beach lounger surrounded by the tropics. Or you can turn into a walking zombie who is ready to kill because of fatigue and irritation. Both the first and second options can be the result of your choice and your approach to organizing work. But the first one seems preferable. If you agree, here are ten easy ways for self-improvement: to stay productive and happy with your freelancing lifestyle and creative work.
Stay open to new opportunities
So what makes a freelancer unhappy? That’s right, no orders. The first thing you need to do to feel demanded, productive, and happy is to provide yourself with a job for the weeks ahead.
Right now, as the entire world has realized the convenience, value, and profitability of remote work, productive and professional freelancers have become even more demanded by the labor market. The realization of this fact is already a good reason to become happier and more confident in the future. What is more, right now is a good time to stay open to new opportunities and catch them on the fly.
Do you want to receive more interesting offers from remote customers? Here’s what you can do.
- Analyze your CV, refresh your experience, and publish it on job portals.
- Do the same with your Linkedin profile.
- Add colors to your portfolio.
- Write to your previous customers with a proposal to continue your cooperation.
Stop working with toxic clients
Clients … These are people who bring bread to your table, but sometimes this bread is saturated with toxins. Yes, if you are new to the freelancing game, then working with a toxic client is the initiation task that gives you practical experience and makes you realize your value as a professional. But if you’ve already passed this stage of your self-improvement, then it’s time to move to a new level and learn to say no.
One of the greatest benefits of freelancing is that you can choose who you work with. Toxic customers who don’t know what they want, who are not punctual, inconsistent, and constantly trying to get more from you for less and less money is a direct way to devalue your work. If you want to be happy with your job and lifestyle, you need to stop working with such clients. Find new clients – expand your contacts list.
Take proper care of your health
Even if you are lying on a sun lounger on the beach all day, it is still a sedentary (or recumbent) lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle leads to poor health, and it is impossible to be neither happy nor productive if your health begs for your attention and help.
The same goes for sleep, nutrition, and water intake. If you work from home, then you have no excuse to break the regime. Water, healthy snacks, and soft bedding (which awaits you at night rather than in the middle of the day) are always available. All you need to do is create the right regimen and follow it. And don’t forget about fitness.
Separate your work from leisure
Working from home is great, but full of pitfalls. Therefore, if you do not want to lose inspiration, a sense of motivation, productivity, and happiness, you need to draw a clear line between work and leisure. Here are a few things you can do right now.
- Determine your working hours. Consider your biorhythms – someone feels more productive in the early morning, or after lunch, this is an individual factor.
- Equip yourself with a mini home office. A table, chair, lamp, and laptop in a space where no one will distract you, will be enough.
- Get your current orders in order. Make a work plan for today, tomorrow and the week. Organize it in Trello, Evernote, or even on a piece of paper. The most important thing is to clarify your tasks and the sequence of their implementation.
Delegate non-core tasks
One of the good self-improvement tips is to intentionally choose the difficult tasks to enrich your experience while outsourcing the ones you can easily cope with. Here’s a simple example. Let’s say you have two orders:
- Write an article on how to cook fish in the oven.
- Write an article on how to integrate artificial intelligence into banking business processes.
Yes, the first task is much easier than the second. But there is one but: the first article is just quick money, the second article is a new and interesting experience. Always choose the second option. This will be great for self-improvement: overcoming internal obstacles, becoming more skilled and expanding your horizons.
In order to complete the first, easier task, find a freelancer and outsource the work from there. Some great websites that I’ve found freelancers to hire include, Pick the Writer on the Writing Judge custom writing services reviews platform.
Schedule an hour-per-day to learn something new
Continuous learning and deepening of your knowledge are some of the key self-improvement ideas. The freelance market is changing very quickly and companies are updating their requirements accordingly for the professionals they want to work with.
Plus, the new generation of students no longer want to work from 9 to 5. They want to have their own business, be free, or at least work remotely. This means that a new, competitive generation will soon enter the labor market. Continuous learning, self-study and practice is the best way to maintain your strong position in the freelance market. Don’t forget this.
Allow yourself to change the environment from time-to-time
It’s very convenient to work from home, but even the most committed introverts sometimes feel the urge to change their surroundings, which is a good thing. A change of scenery really works wonders, so allow yourself to work in a café, coworking space or in an office from time-to-time. There is even research proving that coworking is a great place to improve productivity, social skills, and motivation.
Quick hint! If you feel tired of being in the same environment all the time, just move your laptop to the kitchen or balcony. Even such a small change can bring a new surge of strength, inspiration, and motivation.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Feeling overwhelmed with work doesn’t feel that much better than feeling overwhelmed with nothing to do. Balance is important here. Bends to one or the other side are equally bad. That is why you need to learn to accept as many tasks as you can actually do without compromising your health and personal time. Stick to the middle ground.
It’s better to do less work, but do it well and leave time for yourself, than sit in front of a computer day and night, and then correct your mistakes made due to fatigue.
Keep track of your finances
Want to improve yourself even more? Learn to manage your finances and keep strict records of earned and spent. We’ll tell you this in confidence – very few freelancers know how to manage money. This is really difficult, especially if you work with several clients at the same time and each has a different salary schedule.
Payment delays are also familiar to all freelancers, without exception. It is really difficult to plan a budget when there is no clear understanding of when you will receive a certain amount. What is more, the feeling of your money hanging somewhere in the air significantly reduces your level of motivation.
Therefore, in order to stay productive and happy, you need to manage your budget correctly. The most important rule is to set aside a certain amount from each paycheck so that you have a reserve fund in case of delays. This will help you avoid the constant thoughts of money, and the endless waiting that affects your mood and motivation.
And finally, here’s another tip. Staying focused is the synonym for being productive, however, focusing and concentration is one more skill that you need to develop. Procrastination kills productivity and leads to feelings of resentment and guilt. You need to learn how to deal with procrastination, as well as the desire to constantly be distracted by something unimportant.
Therefore, remove all distracting things and factors, close the door of your home office with a lock and start working according to the “Do it now” principle. Discipline is at first a choice, and only then it becomes a habit.
Productivity and happiness are not so difficult to achieve if you really want it. Choose the advice that seemed most important to you and try it today. Minus one toxic client, plus 15 minutes of exercise, and a clear work schedule for tomorrow – just do it now!
Read another article by Anna: SEO Translation: Can It Be a Reality or Is It Just a Myth?
About the Author
Anna likes writing from her university years. When she graduated from the Interpreters Department, she realized that translation was not so interesting, as writing was. She trains her skills now working as a freelance writer on different topics. Always she does her best in the posts and articles.