In this article, I’m going to share five secrets to succeeding in the freelance world. You don’t have to follow all of these tips to succeed – but they’ll certainly help!
Eat Breakfast and Start Early
I think I’d better start with the importance of starting your day early. Because you work for yourself, it can be tempting to leave your work until nine or ten o’clock at night. You tell yourself you’ll do your work after lunch, then after dinner, then tomorrow.
Do yourself a favor and do it now. Get up at a reasonable hour, straighten up your workspace, go through your paperwork, plan your day, and start working. The faster you dive in, the sooner you’ll be done and the more confident you’ll feel. Work is harder to hate when you’re doing it.
You also need to eat a healthy breakfast. Skipping breakfast makes it tempting to eat a big lunch. Eating a big lunch can make you feel bloated and sleepy, thus making it impossible to work without taking a nap. And, even if you don’t nap, you’ll have a hard time staying focused.
By this point, your afternoon will be gone and you’ll still have to worry about making dinner. Make good decisions as soon as you wake up by eating breakfast and getting straight to work. Your body and your brain will thank you later.
Keep Schedules and Make Goals
Make a daily schedule for yourself. This schedule should break down each project you have to complete and how many hours you’ve set aside for it. It can also help to create an hourly schedule, but I’ll leave that up to you.
If making a schedule is out of the question, at least make a goal sheet. Having short term and long term goals will encourage you to meet your deadlines, even if you don’t have a planner instructing you to do so.
Take Frequent Breaks
As long as you spend a good portion of time working, it’s important to take frequent breaks. This does not mean you should work for half an hour and say, “I deserve a break now.” (Unless you’ve done some really intense work.) I usually work until I finish a project. Then I take fifteen or twenty minutes of rest time before I start a new one. This helps me transition between clients and projects. It also clears my head and improves my attitude.
Break Up Large Projects
Large projects are easiest when broken into small, manageable chunks. Otherwise, the quality of your work may suffer. If you aren’t “feeling” the work you’re doing, neither will your audience. You need to be fully engaged. If you feel yourself turn on autopilot, take a break or start cutting the project into sections.
Print, Print, Print
This tip is focused toward writers in the freelance world.
Because we spend so much of our time writing, it can be hard to catch spelling or grammar mistakes. It can also be difficult to catch issues with sentence structure. Your printer is your best friend. Whenever you finish a project (or a chunk of a large project), print out the pages and go through them with your red pen in hand. Your client, and your reputation, will appreciate the gesture.
Succeeding in the Freelance World
These five tips will help improve your experience in the freelance world. There are other tips, of course, and you can find them on Realistic Freelancers.