The millennial generation is reinventing the workplace, and that means that the 9-5 is out and the create-your-own-schedule is in. If you’ve decided to forgo the cubicle for creativity, here are some tips to help ease your transition from full-time work into a freelancer schedule.
After the initial burst of motivational energy from making the leap from full-time to freelance, many new freelancers find themselves in a bit of a rut. The first few months of freelancing can elicit feelings of restlessness and a loss of motivation.
Take advantantage of your flexible schedule by taking a mid-afternoon cycle class or late night yoga. A few extra classes in your workday routine will get you out of the office and deliver a fresh burst of endorphins for a natural boost.
Join a community that looks out for one another (it's free!)
Become a Freelancers Union member
2. Walk it out
Walking for the sake of walking has fallen out of favor over the years, but it’s an excellent way to change your perspective and jumpstart your creativity. If you find you’re stuck, get out and go for a walk. Studies show that walking significantly increases creativity.
3. Optimize your workstation
Now that you’re running your own business, it’s time to invest in the business’s number one asset: You!
Ergonomically friendly products not only improve productivity, but they also protect your body from caving to the daily wear and tear of desk grind.
Don’t just stop at function: A visually appealing workstation will make you a happier, more peaceful worker. Remember, your workspace makes a statement about yourself and the meaning you find in your work. Add some photos, a plant or two, and if you can’t keep it neat, at least try to keep it clean.
4. Co-working spaces
Although you’re probably strapped for cash, membership to a co-working space can be an invaluable investment. Not only will working in a different environment for a few days a week shake up your routine and make you more productive, but it’s also a great way to meet people!
One of the biggest shockers that comes with going from freelance to fulltime is your severance from a daily office social life. Suddenly you’re all alone all the time. Even the introverts among us get antsy!
Look for co-working spaces that encourage community. It’s a great way to meet like-minded individuals, source connections, and supply new job prospects.
Yes, that’s right: I’m giving you permission to go out with your friends.
All work and no play puts you in the fastlane to burnout town. It’s important to get out and play. And, believe it or not, having a little fun has its own professional bonuses. You’ll quickly find that freelancing is all about who you know – and the best way to meet new people is to get out and socialize!
Now that your work life isn’t quite as separate as your home life, it’s important to know when to unplug from the work. When you’re first starting out, sometimes eagerness (or sheer anxiety) gets the best of you and ‘yes’ is the most common word. While giving it a go on every project can be helpful to stay productive (and profitable) it’s also your first learning curve as a new full-time freelancer to know when it’s too much. When you already may be feeling lonely or unsatisfied, social media has its way of creeping its ugly head – Becoming Minimalist found that it’s best just to say “no” sometimes and simply unplug.
Transitioning from full-time to freelance can be a major shock to your schedule and system. Soften the blow by incorporating these habits into your work and life. In time, the change won't feel so strange and you'll realize why they put the "free" in freelance. Best of luck!
Meaghan Clark is a San Francisco-based writer focusing on hyper-local content. She's been published in xoJane, The Bold Italic, 7x7, and UpOut._