As wonderful as life as a freelancer is, it’s undeniable that it’s a working life that tends to involve an absence of structure. There’s good reason for this, of course— many people are drawn to the freelancing world because there’s no structure, and they love the freedom and flexibility that being able to set their own hours offers.
However, human beings tend to need structure, especially if we’re on a deadline or trying to ensure we get the most out of our work-life balance. That’s why it’s well worth all freelancers taking the time to make sure that they do these five things every working day…
#1 – Interact with other people
As lovely as it can be being able to stay at home all day to work, the need for social interaction is something that most people tend to crave. Joining freelancer coffee clubs or choosing to use a co-working space can allow you the social interaction that you need, while still enjoying the freedom of being able to dictate your own working hours.
#2 – Tidy your email inbox
A huge number of freelancers use their email inbox like a “to do” list; after all, it’s right there, it’s unavoidable, and it allows you to keep track of all the client communication you need to respond to. However, it can also get out of control, which is why a daily tidy-and-archive session is vital to ensure that you’re always responding to clients in a decent timescale.
#3 – Stretch for 10 minutes
The vast majority of freelance work tends to involve spending hours sitting at a computer. Continual computer use puts you at risk of developing conditions such as lower back pain. To combat this, spend 10 minutes stretching each day, oxygenating your muscles and helping to stave off any postural problems that might develop from continually being hunched over a computer.
#4 – Schedule in breaks
Many freelancers simply don’t take breaks during the working day. They sit down in the morning and work through until they have completed the work they have scheduled for that day. It’s easy to see why this is attractive — the sooner you’re done, the sooner you can relax, right? — but it’s a method that isn’t going to allow you to be as productive as you can be. Take a 15-minute break every two hours to give your brain the chance to relax; you should find that regular breaks actually improve your productivity levels.
#5 – Inquire about future work
Freelancers have to find their own work, so getting into the habit of looking for more work is a great way to ensure a steady stream of income. You can send your resume to an opportunity you find online, contact an old client to touch base, or tweak your service’s advertising— anything that helps you further your chances of receiving work in the future is beneficial.
If you can get into the habit of doing the above five things for every day of your career, you’ll be able to enjoy professional freelance success and ensure your mind and body are well cared for too. Good luck!