Navigating the Freelance Life
Freelancing is by no means the easiest professional path to follow, but for those who find themselves drawn to the freedom of running their own business, it can be an incredibly rewarding decision.
Between the thrilling hustle of managing your own clients, juggling an ever-changing workload, and calling the shots on critical business decisions, it’s important to remember to carve out time for self-care and planning for your future, too.
To help you find and maintain balance in your freelance life, check out these articles from the Hiring Headquarters—Upwork’s resource for businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs.
Foster professional creativity
Regardless of your particular area of expertise, creativity is a vital ingredient many freelancers need for day-to-day projects.
Without inspiration and energy to pour into your work, the quality of your output will suffer—which can turn off clients and cause other problems down the line. That’s why burning out and losing your creative spark can be a catastrophic setback.
“5 Tips for Staying Creative While Running Your Own Business” explores the value of taking time to spark your creativity and offers tips to help you stay in the right mindset when you need it the most. It’s a valuable read for any entrepreneur who struggles to stay charged amidst a busy workload and rolling deadlines.
Here are several suggestions the article prescribes for maintaining your creative flow.
- Find passion projects. Pouring all of your energy into your work can be exhausting, but working on passion projects that interest you when you have downtime can help recharge your engines.
- Stay on top of your cash flow. Stressing out about money can put a damper on your creative streak. Managing your income carefully to ensure you’re not worried about missing bill payments can free your mind to focus on the creative side of your role.
- Share your insights with peers. Teaching others is an effective way to boost your creative energy since inspiring and helping others can fuel your ideas down the road.
Prepare for your future
If you’re in the midst of making the leap from a day job into freelancing full time, your focus might be on surviving the transition unscathed and expanding your client base to stay afloat. Retirement considerations might be far off on the radar—but if you don’t put a plan in place early on, you might wind up in a financial pickle later.
“How Freelancers Can Save for Retirement” digs into a handful of the more freelancer-friendly do-it-yourself options for building a savings nest egg for your elder years. The article looks at a few common scenarios, covering everything from what to do if you’re just starting out to working with subcontractors. It’s filled with options and tips that are well-worth taking a look at, whether you’ve already begun saving or have yet to get started.
Carve out crucial downtime
In much the same way that letting your creativity fall to the wayside can negatively impact your freelance life, overworking yourself can be equally destructive to your physical and mental health. Unfortunately, finding the balance between having too much work and too little is a tricky, ever-fluctuating dance for freelancers. When you’re in the fray with a busy workload and bills to pay, making time for yourself is often the first thing that gets thrown aside.
If this is something you might be guilty of, “4 Ways Busy People Can Make More Time for Themselves” might be just the thing you need to steer the ship around.
This article underscores the importance of carving out regular personal time outside of your freelance work schedule, which can be a challenge for people with an entrepreneurial mindset. But sliding that time into your schedule isn’t necessarily as difficult as it might seem.
Here are a few ideas:
- Don’t be afraid to delegate. If you have flexibility in your budget, it’s worth sorting through your to-do list to see what you can delegate to other professionals.
- Focus on the top task. Each day, start by picking one important task on your to-do list and make completing that task by the end of the day your primary goal. Stay focused, and you’ll soon knock more tasks off of your list faster.
- Place a premium on your time. Valuing your time can encourage you to cut time-consuming tasks that don’t pay off. Identifying the biggest drains can help you decide what’s worth changing and what you can gain by making tough decisions about how you spend your time.
Eager for more freelance tips to help boost your creative career? Check out the latest articles for freelancers on the Hiring Headquarters.
A long-time freelance writer, journalist, and author, Nathan's work has appeared in more than 40 print and online publications, ranging from IGN and GameSpot to Forbes and Mac|Life. Beyond traditional writing pursuits, his passion extends to creating killer content marketing of all kinds in the tech, games, business, and publishing worlds.View Nathan Meunier’s other articles