SPOILER ALERT: This article doesn’t belong to the ''one size fits all'' kind.
Anywhere you look you will find gurus, people that physically are fully human, but behave like semi-gods. Even though you never talked to them, they know about your feelings and issues and they can share with you all their secrets to overcoming your frustration. For free.
I am a rather skeptical person, plus I don’t trust people saying they know me when I barely know myself. Also, one thing I enjoy the most is dispelling myths.How in the world could a solution be ideal for everybody? Humans are complex creatures and if there are no chance twins can have the same personality how can it be the case for people having completely different backgrounds?
Of course, there are feelings and sensations that all freelancers encounter on their path even multiple times, like frustration, fear, helplessness, and so on. There is one thing in particular that we all have in common, and that is unpredictability.
We are not machinery resulting from mass production, each of us has our personality and the sooner we understand our nature, the better we can learn how to manage our time and skill set.
That’s why I’m telling you that frankly the special formula that ensures all of us can succeed doesn’t exist. What exists are good methods that can help or be an inspiration to create your own. Here are 6 tips that I hope will help you find your way inside the world of freelancing.
- LISTEN TO YOURSELF. I am a morning person, but I know some people perform better in the afternoon or even at night. One joy of freelancing is the ability to set your own schedule. When possible, follow your needs and don’t force yourself to do something that is not urgent when you are not in the right mood.
- LEARN TO ACCEPT YOUR LIMITS. We are constantly bombarded with messages full of positivity, where they invite us to go beyond our limits and constantly face challenges to become the best part of ourselves. Whereas perseverance and determination are two cornerstones in my life, I think every one of us has our own limits, and admitting them is the first step to gain some peace of mind. Also, it’s not such a bad thing, as you can focus more on what you are good at.
- DEMAND OF YOURSELF ONLY WHAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE. Imposing yourself to be great in everything you do and/or gain a thousand skills won’t be of any help. And the same goes for imposing yourself to reach important achievements during tough times. You can’t be in control of anything, that is something I keep repeating myself as well. Congratulate yourself on your effort.
SET UP A FLEXIBLE ROUTINE. Being a freelancer means being in charge of all the aspects of your business, from financials to marketing, from performing your actual job to devoting time to your continuing professional development. You know there’s a lot to do, but with no set schedule, it's hard to stay focused. My advice is to create your flexible routine-choose what you need and want to do every day, but don’t impose yourself specific timeframes. The most important thing is the quality of the time you spend on a task, not the quantity.
DECIDE YOUR DAILY WORKLOAD. One perk of freelancing is that you can decide how many hours you are going to work each day. I often work at my laptop for 10 consecutive hours; I’m sure this scenario it’s quite common to anyone familiar with working on rush jobs. Work is work, but your physical and mental health are no less important. I’ll be repetitive but please, listen to yourself. When you don’t have urgent tasks to do, work fewer hours and give yourself time to rest.
PLAN AHEAD. Even though not all freelancers are creative by nature, we all need some creativity and inspiration from time to time. Effective resumes, portfolios, presentations, and posts don’t come out easily. Don’t force yourself to be inspired every day, but each time you are write your ideas down and take advantage of the creative flow of that moment. It will help you save time in the future and always have something in stock even when you don’t have time or are not in the right mood.