Every day you wake up, take one glance at your Insta feed and it seems that everyone is living the ‘freelance dream’, wining and dining and sunning and cheersing and laughing and flat-laying and literally just laying all over the world. You sigh in disbelief because you are living the unfiltered reality version of freelancing. It’s time-consuming, self-sacrificial and can be super costly at first as you go out on a whim, put your best foot forward and give it a red hot go.
The perils aside, you know that once you’ve set yourself up and built a name for yourself, running your own show can be the most rewarding gig out there. So, to help you a make that freelance dream a reality, we’ve rounded up eight habits that promote a successful freelancing career.
DRESS THE PART
Your daily commute to your office is now just a hop, skip and a roll out of bed, and with the risk of sounding like a motivational speaker, believe us when we say that how you present yourself on the outside, tricks your mind into feeling that way on the inside.
Don’t listen to that cheeky voice in the back of your mind that says, “who cares, it’s only you and your assistant/dog anyway, you can wear your g-damn trackies if you want”, which is technically true, wouldn’t you rather give yourself a head start by mentally (and physically) preparing yourself to look and feel ready to kick-ass at whatever the day throws at you? Getting yourself into the healthy habit of showering and dressing every morning means you will feel much more human and ready to work.
Think of this as part of maintaining a touch of professionalism, even if you are working from home, you never know who’s going to want a last minute coffee meeting or Skype call!
CREATE YOUR WORK SPACE
Something all freelancers are guilty of (even if they don’t want to admit it), is to work from a not so ‘work-friendly’ space in their homes. The couch/the bed/the “insert soft, cushy surface” that’s not-so-great for one’s spine or mindset, may seem fine but it’s so important to set up a space in your home that feels professional, comfortable and inspiring no matter what kind of work you do.
Create a killer space that makes you not only want to work but makes you feel completely focused, productive and up for anything. By doing this, you will be able to separate your work life from your home life and hopefully avoid both over-working AND distraction from things like the laundry that’s piling up, the Netflix shows you’re missing, the floor that needs cleaning etc, etc.
If we’ve learnt anything from the T.V series, Tiny Houses, it’s that you can make even the most teeny-tiny, one-bedder fit a nice little sanctuary for you to get down to business – For the most part, all you need is a small desk and chair, a laptop, a candle (hey, treat yo’self) and some sweet tunes to get those creative juices flowing and feel super profesh!
CLEAR YOUR SPACE, CLEAR YOUR MIND
Marie Kondo was onto something when she made a career out of it. She even wrote a New York Times best-selling book after it: The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up. If her testimonials are anything to go off, then the magical thing about cleaning is the state of mind it propels you into.
By keeping your space neat and organised, this will allow your mind to wholeheartedly focus on the task at hand, leaving no room for cluttered thoughts or negativity. Next time you’re feeling like your creativity is at an all-time low, try tidying your surroundings and feel the positive energy this creates. We bet you’ll have a mind full of free-flowing ideas in no time at all.
MAKE YOUR OWN SCHEDULE
Do you like to rise with the sun? Or stay up late? Do you like to get stuck in then have a sneaky siesta around 3pm? Well, there’s no judgments here, that’s the perk of being a freelancer. Leave your 9-5 mindset at the door, because you determine your own hours of work, and ain’t nobody gonna make you feel guilty about it. Discover when you’re most productive and form your days around a schedule that not only works for your lifestyle but promotes an effective working cycle, meaning you are on the clock when you are at your sharpest.
One of the main reasons I decided to go freelance was because I wanted the freedom of working to a schedule that allowed me to have time for my nearest and dearest, which means that I can fit in time to enjoy breakie with mumma bear, knowing very well that I’m way more productive in the evening. Once you’ve worked out your ideal schedule, the most important part is actually sticking to it! Remember you are a one-woman (or man) show so if want to be paid, you’ve got to put in the time. Discipline is key.
TAKE A BREAK
As good as it feels to ‘get in the zone’, try to remember that a good break will rejuvenate you and make you even more productive, and when you’re your own boss, this is of utmost importance. If you’re making the transition from the daily grind to a freelance life, it can be hard to remember to take that lunch break without your colleagues to remind you. Walk out onto your balcony, wander to your local for a pastry, take the dog to the beach, call a fellow freelancer to say hello! Whatever gets you moving, relaxed, and in a refreshed frame of mind.
CREATE ON THE DAILY
How does Beiber hit those high notes? How do Kimmy’s contours look so flawless? And how did Beyonce get to rule the world? The answer; Practice. Well, that and a good assistant in Kimmy’s case. We all know that practice makes perfect and if you create for the love of it, not the dollar bills at the end of it, then you will find the better you are at your craft, your creative juices will be flowing, resulting in more and more work coming your way. So what should you work on when you’ve got no ‘work’? Create for yourself and the clients you want to attract. Refresh your portfolio, write a blog post, throw a mate a freebie or better yet, create some original content for Instagram and starting building that personal brand.
GET OUT AND ABOUT
It’s 4pm and the only thing you’ve consumed the whole day is two bites of your avocado toast, 3 coffees and a half a block of Cadbury because you’re on deadline. Deadline or not, that’s probably a really great way to burn out!
Do yourself and your work a favour and get out of the house and take your laptop to your local cafe — a change of scenery can really do wonders. If you realise you’ve not seen another living soul for three days because you’ve been ‘in the zone’, why not invite some other freelance friends over for a working bee? We guarantee that the inspo will flow! Another good way to combat the solitary confinement is to schedule meetings at places that get yourself out of the house. If you’re meeting clients, suggest a brainstorming session at their office. This can be great to have a little taste of office life, even if it’s only for an hour or two.
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