Have you ever had one of those days where everything was going wrong? You missed a deadline, you lost a good client, an oft-promised cheque still hasn’t arrived, final notice on your cable bill came today, the client isn’t buying into the concept, your spouse is upset, your dog has fleas, and to top it all off – you just dropped your bread, and it landed butter side down. Worst Monday ever.
Here are 5 tips to help you blow off some steam before you climb up to the bell tower.
- Me Time – Go for a walk, go have a coffee, get extra sprinkles on an ice cream, whatever. Take 30 minutes for yourself. You’ll be amazed at how hard it is to explode when you’re halfway through a peanut buster parfait. Unless you’re allergic to peanuts.
- Buddy up – Before you get to the worst day ever, find a friend/coworker/distant relative and make an agreement to allow each other to vent – occasionally. Having someone that can listen and understand can help you refocus on your priorities. And hearing someone else whinge and whine about their piddly problems can be cathartic.
- Shout it out – Find a safe and quiet location – quiet as in no one can hear you, not quiet as in your local library – and then let it out. Hoot, holler, yell, cry, scream, speak in tongues. Say what’s on your mind until you can’t say anymore.
- Write it down – Write an email to yourself. CAUTION – write it to you, and to you alone. Make sure your name is the only one in the “to” field. Pour everything into the email. Construct cohesive thoughts, and organize your frustrations from terrible to horrible. Read this email. Do not save this email. Delete this email – do not send this email. If your email client has a self destruct option, blow up this email. This can be applied to any of your favourite communication channels – but like Thursday says in her recent article – be careful of burning bridges.
- Take inventory – Sure, everything sucks today. But you still get to live in a nice place, and you’re going to be able to find more clients. Make a list of all of the great things in your life. Like reading FreelanceSwitch every day – does it get better than this?
I’m sure exercise works for many of you, but I think I’ve been clear on my beliefs around that topic. What do you do to blow off some steam?
Sometimes being a freelancer means finding ways to get the most out of your 168 hours each week. This probably applies to everyone, but it seems that freelancers have to worry more about self promotion, client billing, finding clients, and having a life.
To get more done each week, some will:
- Sacrifice sleep
- Give up on family life
- Let your work standards slip
- Employ a virtual/physical assistant
- Use plug-ins and extensions to turn off internet distractions
- Use available tools to maximize productivity while maintaining creativity
What are some of the tricks that you a have learned to help you get the most out of your week? What do you do with your hard-won free time?
I’m still struggling to find the right work/life balance, so I’m hoping I can learn a bit from the great minds here at Freelanceswitch.com. Thanks for sharing! Continue Reading
I’ve been married long enough to have a spouse that is comfortable enough to notify me when my stress level is getting too high. She says that she does this just before the feeling to “put me out of her misery” becomes more than just a fantasy. Usually her notification isn’t initially well received, but after a few moments/hours/beers, I come around to her way of thinking and try and figure out what’s causing me the stress and how I can get rid of it. Continue Reading
Most readers of this blog provide creative services of some kind, largely as designers or as writers. And if you are contemplating a switch to the freelance life, you may be wondering about your own creativity, about your ability to constantly come up with new and better ways to do things for your clients.
While there are many different kinds of freelancers offering many kinds of services, all the freelancers I have known have been able to demonstrate outstanding creativity in at least one aspect of their work:
Avoiding it! Continue Reading
Staying productive is one of the hardest parts of being a freelancer, we all run into some small road bumbs once at a while. So to keep you all on track, help you out a bit and to give you all some tips – here they are, the three best productivity articles from WorkAwesome, our sister site dedicated to productivity and work tips.
- 5 Efficient Ways to Share Files by Mike Vardy. Ever had the trouble of sending large files within e-mails? Read this magnificent post on 5 Efficient Ways to Share Files online with your clients, friends, family or maybe you just need a little storage for your own. Either way, enjoy!
- 5 Incredibly Useful Gmail Features by Susan Johnston. Ever sent an e-mail you wish you wouldn´t have sent? Or maybe you just forgot to attach the file you were supposed to send? Either way, this post might help you a great deal and make you even more productive.
- 8 Ways to Kick Distractions Out Of Your Office by David Pierce. Ever get distracted when working? Get some tips on how you could kick out some of the most annoying distractions from your office. I for one found this post very useful, and it has helped me a great deal to becoming more productive. Maybe it can serve you as well?
Be sure to check out WorkAwesome for more daily tips and tricks for an awesome work day! What do you do to stay productive? Have any suggestions or tips to share? Send us a comment and share your tips & tricks.
If you are like most freelancers, the concept of taking a day off from work is pretty wonderful. But in reality, it can kind of put you in a whirlwind. It can even be downright stressful.
I was thinking about how grateful I am to be self-employed today, when I remembered what a friend said in her Facebook status message. She said she was confident it would be a great day because she had a day off from work. This friend works a full-time 9-to-5 gig. I remember what it used to be like to have a day off. I lived for days off. Now, I sometimes have to force myself to take days off. Sometimes when I decide to take a weekday off, I sometimes have to battle an insane amount of guilt.
The question is: for what? Continue Reading
From file management to accounting, invoicing to time tracking, there’s a web app for pretty much everything in a freelancer’s life. Over on our sister blog Web.AppStorm you can find a huge roundup of half a hundred web apps freelancers will find useful!
Amidst all those decisions that have to be made, you also have to choose what tools you’re going to use to actually do your job. And the web is both a blessing and a curse in this regard. It’s a blessing in that it gives you a plethora of choices for the different categories of applications. But it can be a curse because there are so many good options to choose from.
What’s a poor, green-behind-the-ears freelancer to do? Well, you can start by letting us whittle down the list a little for you. Separate some of the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. You’ll still have find which of the tools below best fit your needs and style, but this is the right place to start.
If you’re a Mac user you’ll also enjoy Mac.AppStorm’s much shorter list – 12 Essential Mac Apps for Freelancers. Yep it’s app overdose
Photo by Sphinx the Geek.
Some professions can be dangerous to your health. These include fire fighters, oil riggers, those serving in the armed forces, and even electricians. These professionals don’t take the danger for granted. They use special equipment and procedures to minimize the risk.
As a freelancer, you also spend your days doing activities that risk your health: sitting on a chair, typing, using a mouse, and looking at a monitor. Fortunately, the risk of injury when doing these seemingly safe activities for a prolonged time is becoming better known. And like those more dangerous jobs, there is equipment and techniques that help you minimize the risk.
Ergonomics is the science of work. It looks at ways of fitting the work to the user, rather than fitting the user to the work. Chris Adam’s simple definition is that “ergonomics makes things comfortable and efficient.” He goes on to say, “Ergonomics is commonly thought of in terms of products. But it can be equally useful in the design of services or processes.” In this article, we will look at both products and techniques that help.
The science of ergonomics is a very young field, and is subject to a lot of variability. Every person is built differently so it is hard to develop universal guidelines. I’d love to have your input in the comments about what works for you and what doesn’t.
Nearly five years ago, I said goodbye to the day job and hello to the work at home lifestyle. I’ve never regretted it. I don’t miss commuting, office politics, kowtowing to the boss or the lack of control over my time.
However, there are some things about office life that are worth keeping. A sense of structure, interaction with other people and a feeling of security are a few perks of the day job that many freelancers feel like they’ve lost. Here’s how you can have the best of both worlds.
Photo by orphanjones.
Freelancers, like their artist and writer predecessors, such as Vincent Van Gogh or Virginia Woolf, may be prone to depression, starving, and self-obsessing. To combat the freelancer blues, you need to schedule some sunshine into your calendar.
Here is a list to save your mind, body and soul from the snake pit.
Photo by ReefRaff.
True or false: freelancers tend to be relatively adventurous people, given that they’ve eschewed a “regular” job to live a more free work/life style? I vote for “true,” so it wouldn’t surprise me if a large proportion of freelancers suddenly decided that they wanted to live the lifestyle of a Digital Nomad – a person who utilizes technology to combine work and travel.
Photo by riot jane.
The new year is always a good time to reflect upon your business practices of the previous year. Did you perform as well as you’d hoped as a freelancer? Or did you get rejected more often than you were expecting?
When you’re turned down for a freelance gig, how does it make you feel? It stings, right? Even when you have a few years of experience. It’s tough enough being a lonely freelancer, tougher still being rejected for a gig you were hoping for – or worse, counting on.