Working From The Road as a Freelancer: Is It Right For You?
One of the best things about being a freelancer is the opportunity to work from anywhere. If you have the “travel bug” or you just want to see the world, you can make a living on the road and experience a new place almost every day.
While that lifestyle seems exciting and adventurous, it’s not for everyone. If you’re considering working from and living on the road as a freelancer, you must first decide if it’s the best move for you personally and professionally. From there, you’ll have to put some things in place to manage your work-life balance effectively.
So, are you ready to hit the road, or should you keep working from a permanent location?
The Decision-Making Dilemma
As a freelancer, you have to make choices every day. You’re essentially your own small business, which means you’re in charge of everything, from finances to marketing and everything in between.
When you choose to live and work on the road, even more decisions come into play. You’ll need to consider things like:
- The safety of each location;
- Vehicle maintenance;
- The cost of travel;
- Choosing locations that have a strong WiFi connection.
If you don’t have strong decision-making skills, life on the road might not be for you. It could end up adding more stress to your daily routine and distract you from your work. However, if you know you have the skills to make decisions and need a little guidance, consider using a decision model that works for you. The Vroom-Yetton model, for example, focuses on three factors:
- Quality of the decision;
- Involvement and collaboration;
- Time constraints.
Using this framework or another model, you can break down the decision-making process and have an easier time determining how to prioritize your work each day.
Managing Your Motivation
There’s a lot of flexibility that comes with being a freelancer. Many people working in the gig economy get to set their own hours, take on as much (or as little) work as they want, and decide on the clients they want to work with.
While those are all significant benefits, being a freelancer also takes a lot of discipline. It can be challenging to stay motivated when you have that much freedom — especially when you’re on the road. When traveling, it’s all too easy to get distracted by new destinations and fun experiences. To manage your motivation, try the following tips when working on the go.
- Make sure you’re passionate about your work.
- Set short-term goals.
- Limit distractions while you’re working.
- Reward yourself for meeting goals.
- Take frequent breaks.
Having a daily routine can also help with both productivity and motivation. Try to establish healthy sleeping habits, stay physically active, and do what you can to strike a healthy work-life balance. This will help you avoid feeling burnt out by the work you have to do each day.
Working and Living On the Road
In addition to staying motivated while traveling as a freelancer, it’s essential to take advantage of some of the benefits. After all, one of the perks of traveling should be the ability to see the world!
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for freelancers to feel bogged down by everything they have to do. Remember, you’re a business. That means you must deal with your finances, keep up with clients, and constantly ensure you have enough work to get by. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and if you aren’t careful, you’ll end up working more than you should. Not only will that make you resent your career, but it doesn’t allow for a healthy work-life balance.
Set yourself up for success when working and living on the road. Make sure you have the right tools to help you be as efficient as possible, including a powerful laptop, reliable power source, and cloud-based storage. Anything you can use to make your work life easier will benefit your arrangement's “life” side.
The rest is up to you. Consider having strict working hours during the day and cutting yourself off from doing any more when those hours are up. Or commit to exploring your current location at least once a day. Chances are, you chose a nomadic lifestyle for a reason. If you aren’t taking advantage of it, you could end up regretting that choice.
As you can see, working from the road as a freelancer has both benefits and drawbacks. It’s an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to see the world, but you have to have self-discipline, both about your work and your vacation time. Use this as your guide to determine if the lifestyle is right for you and you’ll feel more confident as you step into the next chapter of your freelancing career.