The + and - of Living a Freelance Life
If there isn’t a book titled The Perks of Being a Freelancer somewhere out there, then someone should definitely write one. Freelance life can be absolutely fantastic. First of all, you do not have the pressure of picking out your clothes in the morning, since working from home gives you the opportunity to be in your pajamas all day long, if that is something you are into. Or you can go for a full-on glam makeup look, if that makes you more productive.
As most freelancers do not have a nine-to-five routine, another perk of this lifestyle is that you can sleep in, whether you are the type person who generally likes their long bed-stretching routine or you simply did not get enough sleep the night before and therefore need to recharge your batteries. In any case, you know that you can make up for lost time by simply working till a later hour.
This also brings us to yet another advantage and that is – you have the freedom of planning your day. If you have a doctor’s appointment, are suffering from a migraine on a particular day, or simply wish to have a cup of coffee with a friend at a time that is suitable for them – you can do so and still manage to get things done, the day is long, (and the night is young when it needs to be). There are several other advantages, so whether you are considering becoming a freelancer or you have been on this rodeo for quite some time, check some other conveniences of this type of employment here.
However, if you turn the page, you might just discover that all the benefits of leading a freelance life can easily be interpreted in a different way and turned into drawbacks, and help create and unhealthy lifestyle and behavioral patterns. Therefore, it is crucial that you become familiarized with the worst case scenario and then, of course, develop habits that will ensure you avoid said scenario with all your might.
Spending the day in your pajamas is great, liberating to some extent. Nevertheless, it is also the gateway to misery. Although it is ok to be out of formal attire, spending countless days in your sweats exposes you to the risk of becoming a careless slob, and before you know it, you have lost all will to dress up and the next thing you know – you are the person showing up to a social gathering in a wrinkly shirt and god-awful trainers. Do not become this person. Even though you are a freelancer, and there is no one to see your outfit, make the effort to look decent at least, even if your living room is the only ‘thing’ that gets to witness that. Don’t stop shopping for pants just because you are not forced to wear them day in and day out.
Stretching out your work, sleeping in, can be useful at times, as previously mentioned, but actions such as these also come with a potential trap. If you make oversleeping a habit, you will spend your days feeling groggy, tired and ultimately way less productive and concentrated. So, if you are on the verge of becoming this person, shake it off immediately.
Steps to take
- Edit your alarm clock from 11:30 to 8, have a decent cup of coffee, and get busy. The same goes for stretching out your workload. Yes, if you have an errand to run or a family emergency of any sort, sure, use your freelance perk. On regular days, however, make it a habit of completing your tasks in one or two sittings (coffee breaks and time to do some stretching are perfectly ok; you are a human being not a machine after all). Still, make it your goal to be done with work by a certain hour. That way you can have the rest of the day to unwind and spend some quality time with yourself or the people you care about.
- When on the subject of delaying your work, there is another major potential setback to that – you run the risk of becoming a shut-in, and that is the worst thing you can bring upon yourself. So, get things done in a timely manner, so you still have the time and will to go out and mingle with the real world. Your computer is not your only friend. Freelancers need fresh air and people more than anyone. Finally, if you set your own hours properly, you will have a sense of accomplishment and will not feel like you have been working all day. Keep reminding yourself that you need to leave the house – while working more often means earing more for a freelancer, you do not want to be facing burnout. You will only get yourself into a box which is very hard to get out of.
- Sitting at a desk, hanging out with your best buddy – your laptop – for several hours a day, several days a week can be quite straining on your body, particularly your back, and even more specifically the neck area. This is why it is essential for every freelancer, and generally anyone who punches in long desk hours, that you keep your body healthy and strong. Do not forsake the benefits of healthy nutrition, and to take things a step further, do not forget to join a gym. Hit the gym, it does not hit back. Ok, it might in the beginning, but if you make working out a regular thing, and invest in quality protein drinks that will not only help with post-practice sore muscles, but also make sure you get maximum results from your workout in the long run. The benefits of exercising go beyond helping with back issues. A good workout also helps you sleep better, feel better and contributes to the levels of concentration and creativity. It is a win-win deal!
We hope you will employ these tactics in order to avoid the possible pitfalls of freelancing, and make the most of this lifestyle. Remember that you in a way have it harder than the people working the nine-to-five, but also have the luxury of tailoring your own career anyway you please. Don’t forget to have fun!