It is becoming a much more common way of life, but that doesn’t mean that freelancing is becoming any easier to understand as a beginner. If you are thinking about turning to freelance as your next career move, or you have recently done so and you are wondering what you might need to do to make it work, then there are plenty of things that you are going to want to consider on that front. The truth is that managing the lifestyle of the freelancer takes time, practice, patience and no small amount of skillful understanding. You can’t expect to perfect it early on, and you should be prepared to have to wait for things to come together over time – sometimes over a very long period of time indeed. Nonetheless, it is always possible to improve, and you should bear that in mind when you are hoping to be able to make it work out well.
In this post, we are going to look at the freelance lifestyle from a number of angles, each of them an important part of the puzzle which you will need to try and solve. The more aware you are of each of the things that we will look into here, the more likely it is that you can make it all work out, so it’s important not to overlook any of this if you can help it. You might discover that you can easily make it work for you, and hopefully even get to the bottom of what you are doing wrong along the way.
Arguably one of the most central issues of all is time management. The more that you are able to manage your time, the more likely it is that you will end up producing great work, avoiding too much stress, and basically mastering the whole thing surprisingly well. Time management is really just a practiced skill like any other, so don’t go thinking that it is not something you have within you. Anyone can learn to manage their time more effectively, and you should absolutely bear that in mind if you are going to be able to make the most of this kind of career and this way of life. If nothing else, it will mean that you can get a lot more work done, and that you won’t have to worry about not being able to make it all work out.
So what do you need to do to make sure that you are managing your time effectively? As you might appreciate, there is a lot that is often involved in making this a reality, but overall it should be simple enough if you look at it in the right way. In order to manage your time effectively, you have to draw up some kind of schedule, which of course requires that you know exactly what work you need to do by when, so that alone is an important thing to think about here. Once you are sure of that, you can then draw up your weekly timetable, and you should find that you are going to have to focus on that pretty well to make it work.
As well as the timetable, you should make sure that you are managing your days in such a way that you are actually allowing time for work in the first place. It can take a long time to get to the bottom of how to do this, but as long as you make a point of doing so, you should get there eventually, and you will hopefully feel that it’s not actually that hard anyway. Remember too that time management is about much more than just making sure that you are doing all of your work on time. It is just as important to ensure that you are giving yourself a chance to rest. If you don’t have enough of a break in the day, then it is unlikely that this way of working and living will be sustainable at all. As such, you need to find that balance between the two – something that a lot of people really do struggle with for a long time.
Of course, as we have alluded to already, you are also going to have to make sure that you can keep your workload at the right amount. This is something that can take a long time to get right indeed, but as long as you are making sure that you focus on it you should be able to make it work ultimately. In truth, at first you will probably find that you are going to have to start off with a relatively small workload, and you can then work your way up over the years. Many people start off far too big or in the deep end, and ultimately this does not lead to the kind of success that you might be hoping for. Instead, you need to make sure that you are not overburdening yourself, but merely doing whatever you can to keep the workload at a steady level.
When the work is your sole income, that can be difficult, because you need to ensure that you are able to manage it well. Otherwise, you won’t be able to make ends meet, and that is not the kind of situation you want to find yourself in. That’s why it takes time and practice before you can hope to get it just right, so you should allow yourself plenty of patience in order to be able to get this just right. Getting your workload right will ensure that you are going to be able to make the rest work out pretty well too.
Finding A Workspace
This is something that a lot of freelancers struggle with for many years, and it’s not hard to understand why. After all, everyone has their own specific best way of working, and if you have not yet discovered yours then you are going to find that this is something of a struggle for that reason alone. Finding a workspace that you can be happy with and which is going to offer you the kind of space you really need to work in is going to be important, and will take you some time and effort to do. But once you do so, you will be able to do more work and you will find that your freelancing is going to be moving in the right direction much sooner.
So what are your options? You have the option of working from home, and that is the first place that most people try. It is also likely to be the place you return to time and again, and with good reason, so you should definitely try it out at the very least. But you’ll have to work hard to make this work too, as you might be surprised at how easy it is to get distracted when you work from home. You’ll have to carve out your own little space somewhere, even if you live alone, so that you can have a kind of office area that you always go to in order to work.
Alternatively, you could look into finding a temporary office space in your area which you can use. There are many of these, sometimes in a co-working situation and sometimes where you can have a private space, and they are a wonderful way to get out of the house and find somewhere decent to work away from the home or any distractions. This is certainly something that you will want to think about if you are looking for somewhere good to work, but it is of course not your only option either.
If you want to try out something very tried and tested, consider your local library. These are good because they are quiet and they tend to have areas you can work in – along with wi-fi and, often, even coffee making facilities. So the library is definitely something you will want to consider if you are looking for somewhere good to work.
A good workspace and a decent routine are not the only things you have to discover. You are also going to have to make sure that you can find the motivation to keep on working, even when the going gets tough and you feel like giving up. One of the more challenging aspects of freelancing is this fact that you have to keep yourself going. There is nobody else out there to spur you on during the days, so you have to just rely on yourself. For many people, that sounds like a nightmare. But as long as you start to practice this from day one, you will soon develop the ability to push yourself forward, and you will find that you are going to be able to motivate yourself in many other parts of your life too as a result of this practice. It’s worth it for that reason alone.