Working from home is a dream come true for many aspiring entrepreneurs that wish to leave their 9-5 behind and start a new career from their laptop: freelancing means you can work from anywhere in the world, anytime, doesn’t it sound ideal?
Beware though! It is very easy to drown in a vicious circle of non-stop assignments and work deadlines, in a reality full of distractions and the many different tasks a freelancer as a business owner has to take care of.
- I remember when I was just starting out as a freelancer, I would take on as much work as I was offered, in need to reach my desired income goal and take care of all financial aspects of my job (not to be taken lightly). However, I soon realized that this led to the beginning of a burnout and poor quality of work to my high standards at least.
My solution: accept less work proposals and organize my time better. After all, time management is half the success in freelance work.
- At the same time, I would be open for phone calls all day long, even when I was working – from my mum, my friends, logging into social media, answering e-mails at the moment they arrived, you get the picture. This was a disaster for my concentration and led to longer working hours, when I could have finished my translation projects in a lot less time, and go on with my day, meeting friends and family (before quarantine era, when meeting people in person was really an option) online shopping etc.
My solution: take your time seriously. Don’t be available for long phone calls during your working time and if you have to answer work calls/e-mails, tell them you will send your quote or answer their questions in 1hour for example. If the matter is more urgent, they will let you know and then you can decide if you can spare a few moments/break your concentration to answer. Make sure it is worth it.
- Also, being a freelancer means much more than working for yourself. You have to take care of paperwork, issue invoices, keep track of your finances and also run a home. You can’t do all that alone, or if you are just working out and have the time, try to have a routine, that will make meal preparations and invoice issuing as short as possible. It helps very much to have set processes that you can follow each day/week/month that will save you time.
My solution: take some time to create processes that you can follow to save time and/or invest in a network of professionals i.e. a VA or an accountant to help you with tasks that you tend to avoid ?
These are but a few things I wish I knew when I was just a beginner freelancer! I will give you many more tips in future articles, what would you like to know? Do let me know in the comments or drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you!
Have a lovely weekend everyone!