This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.
Freelancing is great! You have complete freedom over the whats, whys, and hows of your work. However, it comes with some serious caveats. From staying social and healthy to achieving financial security, here are some tips that successful, happy freelancers know.
Set strict boundaries
The freedom that comes from freelancing is a double-edged sword. Unlike corporate, there’s no one managing you but you — and this makes it easy to go off track (especially if you’re just starting out).
For instance, I’ve found myself losing out on important personal time to keep up with deadlines and take up more work than I can handle. But now I have strict rules on how much work I take up and block out time for me.
Here are a few things you should consider:
- Find a distraction-free area for work, i.e. a home office or a coworking space
- Block out certain hours of your day for work
- Don’t overload yourself
- Take some time off
Eat right and exercise regularly
With freelancing, there are no working hours. So many people end up working overtime and skipping meals.
But keeping healthy will actually improve your productivity and, over time, help you get more done. What's more, staying healthy is key to living a happy life.
Here are a few ways I fit fitness in my hectic freelancing workweek:
- I work where I eat so that I have easy access to food when I’m hungry. This could be your home (if you cook) or a work cafe that has food.
- Take up bodyweight exercises you can do in the park. So there's no need to get an expensive gym membership or go to the gym.
- Alternate between standing and sitting while working.
Get smart about revenue
I’ve learned to leverage the freedom from freelancing to build passive income businesses like my blog. You see, freelancing isn’t the end goal, but a gateway into other fields (think entreprenurship).
Here are a few ways you can do the same:
- Build a blog: You can treat this as your portfolio site and use it to generate income
- Coach people that want to become a freelancer like yourself
- Diversify into consultancy (takes several years and key skillsets)
Finally, it’s important to get social and have a life apart from freelancing. After all most of your clients and colleagues (if you're in a team) are on the internet — especially if you're a freelancing nomad always on the move.
Here are a few ways I maintain a healthy social life:
- Attend events: There's always something happening. Be proactive.
- Work in busy places: Work in cafes or coworking spaces to increase your chances of meeting new people.
It’s important to have a life outside your work. Stay social, stay fit, and on the whole stay connected with the world.