It’s been a whole entire year since my freelancing days began and I LOVE IT. I love it, I love it, I love it.
That said, there are things I sure do miss about the traditional 8-5 lifestyle: Receiving tax refunds instead of paying an arm and a leg to Uncle Sam every three months. Consistent income on a consistent basis. Interacting face to face with co-workers. Leaving the house every single day. Having a reason to put a little effort into my look (as stylish as workout clothes are…). But really, being able to create my own schedule and take on assignments that appeal to me is the greatest thing ever. I’ve learned a ton over the past twelve months and there are many ways that I’ve become a better, more efficient worker and in many ways, I still struggle. Oh boy, do I still struggle.
For example, getting organized and staying organized seems to pose the biggest issue. I made it my goal this year to focus on getting my act together and staying on top of my to-do list, even if it kills me (which it just might). There’s also a constant feeling of work intruding upon my personal life when I spend all day at home. The dogs need to be let out, the dishes need to washed, there’s a giant stack of of magazines in the corner calling my name…but there’s work to be done! Separating work from play when they coexist in the same space is a definite challenge that I have yet to master. And finally, the e-mails. Oh, the e-mails! Will I ever get to all of them? Probably not, but I’ll keep chugging along until then!
I’ve recently gotten hooked on The West Wing (thank god for Netflix!) and always end up feeling equal parts amazement and pity for the White House staffers who dedicate a minimum of four years of their lives to the needs of the president and their country. Of course, this is the case for many fields (medical, military, and journalism, just to name a few), but I must say: that lifestyle is so not for me. Oh man, I NEED my freedom. I NEED time alone. I NEED that white space to disconnect and recharge and scroll through Pinterest for a solid uninterrupted hour. But I think that’s okay. Because really, if I could only offer one piece of advice from my twenty-six years, it would be to KNOW THYSELF. Identify what fills you up and what zaps your energy. Figure out what time of day you are most productive and what time of day you are not as motivated. Find out if you work better amongst others or if you get more work done independently. Then act accordingly.
Clearly, I am no expert on freelancing. In fact, sometimes (okay, most of the time) I just make it up as I go and hope for the best! Here are a few links worth checking out from people who actually know what they are doing (and inspire me tremendously!):
- Breanna Rose on using Google Calendar to your benefit.
- Elsie Larson on working from home and planning blog posts.
- Any advice that Bri Emery has to offer. Seriously.
What are your thoughts on this? Freelancers + non-freelancers alike, share your tips!