Have you ever felt like you’re overextending and overworking yourself to the point of fatigue? That sense of having to stretch your day to complete your workload?
You’re not alone. I’ve found myself in this exact same shoe.
Considering the monotonous, repetitive and dull tasks that freelancers work on, as well as the seeming lack of social interaction, getting burnt out is fairly common in our work. If not carefully managed, burn out can lead to lack of motivation and stagnation. It’s terrible!
Every now and then, I find myself fending off burnout feelings. When I’m in the verge of falling into this trap, I step back, take some rest and try to learn new things. Just a couple of years ago, I learned how to play the drums while going through a severe episode of work exhaustion. I even bought a drum machine that I read about here at this link. I found it very helpful learning new things, helping me rediscover my lost creativity.
For someone who single-handedly runs a business, I cannot afford to succumb in work fatigue. In this post, I’ll share with you some tips to help prevent freelance burnout.
Avoid over committing.
You might easily get tempted to say “yes” to every project that comes your way, but this can lead to over-committing. Before getting any new tasks, make sure that you have enough time to do all the other commitments you have previously entered into. If you are finding a difficult time meeting your deadlines, you might need to evaluate your time management.
Deal with stress.
Eliminate stressors in your life. Don’t less stress pile up and make your life miserable. Stressors can come in different forms. They can be annoying client or problems at home or financial troubles. Having good stress management skills is an essential trait every freelancer needs to harness.
Ask for help.
As freelancers, we try to single-handedly manage things by ourselves: budgeting, client communications, marketing, project estimates, invoicing, advertising, and many other business-related tasks. But all of this can be a source of stress and burnout. Instead of overstretching yourself, ask help from others. Spending a little is better than sacrificing the quality of your work.
Learn new things.
Doing repetitive tasks can easily lead to burnout. Just like in my experience, I took a few weeks away from freelancing and tried drums. I found hitting the beginner drum set like the one here at http://barkingdrum.com/ a good way to de-stress and regain my creativity. Try to switch things up every now and then. Add exciting experiences in your routine to avoid feeling dull.
Consider freelancing like a regular, 9-5 work. Set schedule so that you won’t overwork. The freedom that our work offers can also work against us, especially if you are poor with time management. Often times, we spend most of our waking hours on tasks that are unrelated with our work thus requiring us to work too late in the night. Moreover, with the goal of earning more, we tend to overstretch to the detriment of our overall well-being. It’s essential for every freelancer to learn how to say “no” to avoid burn-out.