Working from home and freelancing is often seen as the best job ever. So why wouldn’t you want to work from home and make your own schedule? Well, that’s precisely what most people think, but it is not always as great as it sounds, especially if you don’t make an effort to plan ahead. Do not fear, though. This article will give you 10 simple tips to avoid burnout as a freelancer.
How to Plan and Avoid Burnout as a Freelancer
Working as a freelancer or remote worker can be very challenging, especially if this is your first time doing so. You need to be very organized and self-motivated and have the right tools to succeed in this work environment. Freelancers often burn out or get burned because they put too many eggs in one basket or take on too much work they cannot handle. So how do you avoid burning out when working freelance? Here are ten tips that will help you avoid burning out when working freelance:
Organize Your Day and Weeks
The first thing you should do is to organize your days and weeks, so you can have a mental image of how much work you currently have and how much work you could possibly take in the near future and to help you prioritize your tasks to stay on top and optimally complete them.
You can use a calendar, planner, or an online calendar such as Google Calendar or Microsoft 365 to organize your days and weeks. You’ll also want to create a to-do list of the tasks you need to complete each week so you don’t forget anything.
Organize your To-Do list
A to-do list is essential for everyone, but people often don’t use it in their daily lives. A to-do list will help you stay organized and focused, so you don’t take on too much work when you are overbooked and don’t have enough time to complete them all. It will also help you see what needs to be done so you don’t get overwhelmed when looking at your calendar.
You should enter your deadlines into your calendar and add the task to your list to help you focus on the most important tasks and reduce the dreaded burnout effect.
Set Deadlines for Each Task
Deadlines help you stay on track and focused on the work that needs to be done. It is recommended to set shorter deadlines for tasks with which you have less experience and more extended deadlines for jobs with which you are more familiar. That will help you stay on top of your duties and ensure you have enough time to complete everything. Deadlines can also make you more productive as they give you a sense of urgency and importance concerning the task, thus helping you avoid distractions and stay focused. They also show your clients your seriousness and prompt them to pay you on time if they want you to finish the job.
Take Breaks During the Day
Make sure you take breaks during the day. Working without breaks is unproductive and can lead to burnout. In addition, working for hours on end will make you less productive and make mistakes. You will also feel less motivated to work and feel like giving up.
Taking breaks will make you more productive and help you avoid adverse health effects. We recommend taking 5-10 minute breaks every hour. Also, don’t forget to stretch or even go for a walk to refresh your mind and boost your motivation.
Don’t Take on Too Much Work at Once
When you are offered new jobs or projects, ensure you don’t take on too much work simultaneously, as that is a big mistake many freelancers make. They take on all the work they can find and start working on too many projects at once. That can lead to burnout, poor-quality work, and frustration. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, as it will hurt you and your clients in the long run.
Taking on too much work at once can be very stressful and make you feel like you have too many things on your plate. This will also make it harder for you to stay on top of your tasks and make more mistakes than usual. Therefore, always try to take on less work and be selective with your jobs. You should only accept work that aligns with your skill set and only take on work you are confident you can complete. You should also have realistic expectations about the time frame to complete each project.
Use Tools to Help You Out
You can use many tools and apps to help you stay more organized, focused, and motivated when working from home. Here are a few tools you can use to help you stay more organized and on your game when working as a freelancer:
- Evernote – Evernote is a digital notebook that you can use to capture your ideas, make a to-do list, and even take notes when you are on the go.
- RescueTime – RescueTime is a productivity app that will track your time on each task and website.
- Slack – Slack is a great communication app that lets you talk to your team members while working remotely.
- Trello – You can use Trello to make a to-do list, track your projects, or organize your life.
- FocusBooster – You can use FocusBooster to get inspired and energized with quotes and images.
- Headspace – Headspace is a mindfulness app that will help you focus on the present moment.
- Pomodoro – The Pomodoro technique is a time management technique that will help you stay focused and motivated.
Build Good Habits
Another thing you can do to avoid burning out when working freelance is to build good habits. That will help you stay consistent with your work and ensure you are always on top of your tasks and never falling behind. In addition, a set working schedule with regular hours is recommended, so you know when you need to work and when you don’t.
You can also make it a habit to clean off your desk at the end of each day. This routine will help you mentally check out from work once you’re done for the day and give you a much-needed mood boost, especially the next day when you “clock in” at work.
Don’t Strive for Perfection
When working as a freelancer, you must realize that you cannot always be perfect. You must let go of the idea that you need to be perfect, as this attitude will introduce unnecessary angst and time-wasting, which will lead to you burning out pretty quickly. “The art of good enough” should be something freelancers should practice more often.
Don’t Be Afraid to Turn Down Work
You need to know when to say “NO” when a potential client offers work. You don’t have to do everything you are offered, and you should turn down work that doesn’t fit your skill set or any other work you don’t have time for.
Also, you should not be afraid of turning down any additional tasks on your current project that you did not agree to at the start of the project. If you don’t have enough time to complete the work or don’t feel like you can do it well, don’t take it. Remember, “NO” is every successful freelancer’s friend.
Set Boundaries With Clients
Working as a freelancer lets you be your own boss. However, that also means you have the responsibility to set your own boundaries with your clients. You need to set boundaries, so you don’t burn out and end up not getting paid. You also need to set boundaries, so you will not get stressed out and frustrated. You can set boundaries with your clients by letting them know how long you will take to complete the work, what times you work best, and what communication method works best for you. You should also tell them how you handle revisions if they are part of the project.
Working as a freelancer or remote worker can be challenging and stressful. You need to make sure you stay organized, focused, and motivated at all times. However, you can avoid burning out if you follow these tips. Organize your to-do list, set deadlines for each task, don’t take on too much work at once, and build good habits. Don’t strive for perfection, and don’t be afraid to turn down work or set boundaries with your clients. Finally, you can use tools like Evernote to help you out.