9 Ways to Enjoy Freelancing More
Photo by ericmcgregor.
Freelancers are always facing the need to find new work and keep moving forward in their business. Most of us read a lot about productivity, marketing, pricing, customer service, and these aspects of business are all important. But it’s also important to enjoy the work that you do.
Being a freelancer is a great opportunity that allows you to shape and customize your ideal workstyle. Here is a look at some things you can do to help make your work more enjoyable.
1. Work with Clients that You Like
It’s pretty obvious that your clients can have a substantial impact on how much you enjoy your work. Try to avoid accepting or rejecting work solely on what you will be paid. If you have clients that you enjoy working with, try to get more work with them. Developing long-term relationships with your better clients can make your work more rewarding and give you less headaches. If there’s a client that makes your life miserable, consider passing on the job even if it pays well.
2. Specialize in an Aspect that You’re Passionate About
No doubt there are certain types of work that you just naturally enjoy more than others. Why not make this an area of focus or specialty that helps you to spend more of your time on these types of projects? In the case of web designers, maybe you enjoy creating WordPress themes. Or maybe you like building e-commerce sites. There may also be certain industries that you enjoy working in. You could specialize in building websites for open-source products, non-profit organizations, or any other industry that you choose.
3. Be Organized with Your Time
Better organization leads to more productivity, which can result in less hours of work. Reducing your hours of work without reducing income will almost certainly allow you to enjoy freelancing more! You’ll have more time off to spend however you choose.
In addition to just the amount of hours that you work, organization can also help to reduce stress throughout your days. If you’re always feeling the pressure to scramble to meet deadlines, maybe some improved organization can help to keep you on track and reduce the constant stress that you’re facing.
4. Schedule Vacations
We all need some time away from work every now and then, but for freelancers it’s often overshadowed by the need to keep the income flowing. For me it helps to schedule vacations far in advance. That way I know it’s coming, so I can easily prepare for the time off and get into the right mindset to leave work behind for a while.
5. Live Within Your Means Financially
Finances are a leading cause of stress for many people regardless of what they do for a living. While it’s not always an easy solution, reducing the amount of money that you and your family need to live can lead to less stress and more enjoyment of your work. If you’re always feeling the need to take on extra work because of the financial decisions you’re making, take the time to evaluate your expenses and see what can be eliminated or reduced.
One of the great things about freelancing is that many of us can make the same income regardless of where we live. If this is the case, we can live in an area with lower costs and essentially earn more by reducing our cost of living. Obviously this isn’t an option for everyone, but it’s something to consider.
6. Have a Plan for Your Downtime
Most of us experience slow periods from time-to-time. Maybe it’s seasonal or maybe you just aren’t getting as many inquiries for work as you usually do. Whatever the cause, downtime happens and it’s best to have a plan. What will you do to find more work? Or, will you just take some time to relax and enjoy the downtime? Maybe you’ll want to use the opportunity to catch up on finances or paper work. If you’re prepared for these situations you can still be productive even when work is slower.
7. Work on Your Own Projects on the Side
Many freelancers enjoy working on some projects of their own between client work. When you’re used to working for clients and doing whatever needs to be done to keep them happy, it can be a nice change of pace to do something yourself and do it however you want. I know many of our readers maintain their own blogs, which can be a marketing activity, but it also gives you the chance to pursue your own interests and call your own shots.
8. Outsource What You Don’t Enjoy
If you get frustrated with your projects that require you to do some type of work that you don’t enjoy, find another freelancer that specializes in that type of work and collaborate. You can outsource certain parts of jobs or you can work together in other ways.
9. Explore Diversification
I know in one of the early points I suggested that you consider specialization, and diversification is doing just the opposite. Well, the truth is that in order to enjoy freelancing more there is no right or wrong approach. Maybe you would enjoy specializing in a particular aspect, but if not, maybe you would enjoy branching out and offering some new services. If you’re a web designer maybe you’d like to offer freelance writing services or do some SEO work?
Of course, diversification requires you to have some skills and knowledge in those areas, but most of us have more abilities than we’re currently using.
What About You?
What do you find helps you to enjoy your work more?