When you are a freelance worker, it is important to take steps to avoid burning out, especially in the creative sector. You may not have a strict finish time and the anxiety of not knowing when the next job is coming can be daunting. As a freelancer, it is imperative that you account for your own time, finding positive ways to keep yourself happy and healthy. Here are some of the best ways to manage the stresses that come with freelance employment.
1. Set Yourself Boundaries
Freelancers might find there is less of an established work-life balance. As you are your own boss, it can be difficult to let go of work and unplug from the “office”. Tips for establishing a better work/life balance can be as simple as creating a calendar and blocking off time for your personal life. The trick is sticking to it! If you generally work from home, you can also designate a physical workspace. Make a rule to leave your work mind-set in that space.
2. Take Breaks
In theory, the longer you work, the more money you make. Pressure to get through projects to take on new jobs can lead to fatigue, anxiety and feeling ‘creatively-drained’. Establishing break times in your day, like you might as a salary employee, can help keep things in perspective. We recommend a tea break and 10 minutes of downtime to clear the mind and reset!
3. Say “No”
“When it rains, it pours.” Freelance work can sometimes be all or nothing. The nature of the work can make it hard to turn down projects when they are offered. Say no when you need to, and yes when you can.
4. Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others
Other freelancers are your professional network (not always your competition). They will have different ways of working at almost every stage, and that is OK! In the creative sector particularly, differences are key. Cheer on diversity!
5. Take a Holiday Once a Year
Give yourself a proper break and leave your laptop at home! You’ve earned it.