Most freelancers are freelancing by choice and happy about it. There is more flexibility than in a permanent job. They can choose their own schedule. It does take a lot of self-discipline, though, to be a successful freelancer and wearing your PJ’s all day isn’t part of it. If you want the independence, here are some tips to help you make it work:
Create a routine
Having flexible work hours is a great benefit of freelancing, but spreading your work out over a long day can just mean working longer than your office counterparts. Plan your work time and your breaks to maximize productivity and minimize overtime.
Every performer knows that a significant amount of a character can come from wearing their costume, especially the shoes. It doesn’t take a suit or tie to have a successful day or a successful business, but getting ready for work in the morning can make a significant difference in mindset, especially if you have meetings over the telephone or computer with clients. You never know when a client will call to discuss a project!
Some of your friends may assume you are free to do whatever you want when you are a freelancer and they might wonder why you can’t go out on a moment’s notice. TThe rules of your school years apply just as well here: homework before playtime. If you want to keep your clients happy and get referrals to others, keep your deadlines in mind. No one knows if you are working through lunch or going to a picnic except you. Choose wisely. Your friend will call again.
On the other hand, of course, the freelance lifestyle means you can take time for yourself and your family when your workload permits. Don’t spend all your time staring at the screen. Your creativity will suffer! Especially when you have a little lull in your schedule, take advantage of it and enjoy!
Independence is a wonderful feeling but it does come with responsibilities–to yourself, to your clients, and to your family. When independence and responsibility are in balance, the freelance life is a very happy one.
Artisan wishes you and yours a very happy–and safe–Independence Day!
Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative