Most people don’t realize that being a freelancer involves running a company entirely on one’s own. It seems like you are just working for a client or clients but the reality is that you have to wear a lot of different hats and do it all. This means you have to do the actual work you are getting paid to do plus be a marketer, customer service representative, and CEO. It can be very time-consuming and often leads to burnout.
This affects your ability to make money as well as maintain relationships. It is unhealthy to allow the factors leading to burnout to continue. Luckily, there are ways to avoid burnout from happening in the first place. In this article, we will go over several ways that you can prevent burnout before it happens when you’re working as a freelancer.
1 – Outsource
It is very tempting to try to handle everything yourself when you are freelancing. This is because there is usually nobody else to delegate certain tasks to. Outsourcing is exactly that. You will delegate some of the tasks that take too much of your time or that you are not that great at so you can focus on other aspects of the job.
Many freelancers resist outsourcing since it costs money to hire people to help. However, when you are able to get more work done then this added expense usually pays for itself.
You can hire a virtual assistant to cover some of the easy but menial work that you are doing without them needing to be an expert on anything. For instance, there is this awesome image converter that is easy to use and allows you to make better images for your content. Instead of doing it yourself, have your VA do it for you even though it technically doesn’t take much time.
Those little things add up and by taking them off of your plate you have more time for the important things that bring in revenue.
There are also tasks that should be outsourced that are time-consuming or will be done better by others. For instance, having somebody else do your bookkeeping is a great idea so you can save a lot of time and be sure that it is being done correctly.
2 – Manage your time
Even when you’ve successfully outsourced some of the work and freed up your time, you do still have to manage it. Having a schedule that you can stick to will increase productivity but also make your days much easier. When you are on a schedule that uses your time wisely, you will avoid being frantic all day trying to get things done.
Try to be disciplined when it comes to how much time you spend on a certain task so you can get things done in a timely manner. This also involves sticking to a schedule that tells you when it’s time to quit for the day. Many freelancers try to work until things are done. The reality is that things will never be done so you have to stop yourself in time to be able to get other personal things done during the day.
Stop at a certain time so you can spend time with friends and family and even get your errands done.
3 – Say no
A common problem that many freelancers have is clients that start asking for extras. They agree on the terms of a job with a client and those terms end up changing constantly. They end up working far too long on a project and the pay usually stays the same. This is a leading cause of feeling burnt out.
The key is to say no to clients. When they ask for changes to a project you should direct them to the agreement you both made. If they want changes then they will have to agree to pay more money for your time. Before you start any work for a client you should have a very detailed contract that stipulates a maximum number of changes to the project. After that there are penalties.
You should also be able to say no to future clients. It is very tempting to take on any job that comes your way. This will inevitably lead to burnout, especially if the jobs are low paying. Make sure to be picky about the work that you do and say no to jobs that will take too much of your time.