Being a freelancer means that you make your own schedule. It’s important to make and maintain one, but you’re not taking advantage of your situation if you don’t take a day or two just to relax and loosen up that tie a bit. After all, isn’t that the reason you became a freelancer to begin with?
The other day was a bit rough. Between deadlines, client meetings, and a 7-month-old baby who didn’t let me sleep the night before, I was exhausted. According to my usual routine, the following day is about focusing on two of my clients specifically. But instead of setting the alarm for 6 a.m. and doing the usual, I decided to turn off the alarm and sleep in. When I did roll out of bed, it took me a full three hours to make my way to the shower, and I spent some of my morning in my boxers in front of the computer. Later in the day, I spent an hour catching up on my TiVO’d programming, and then I went to bed later than usual. It was liberating.
Understand that in that time I still got all of my standard work done. None of my clients were neglected, and I still accomplished what my goals were for the day. But instead of being as strict as usual, I let it all hang out.
This is important for a few different reasons. As a freelancer, it’s important to remember why you took the plunge in the first place. For most people, making their own schedule was something they had always dreamed of doing, but never knew how to do it. As a freelancer, you should make a schedule – but break it every now and then to experience life.
It’s also important to mix things up a bit to see if a change in your daily routine could increase your productivity. By shifting a few things around the other day, I discovered that my morning routine could use a bit of tweaking. It gave me a 15-minute increase in work time, without doing anything more than moving around a few things.
Finally, understand that you break the rules only every so often. Breaking them every week means that it’s now a part of your schedule, and it becomes counter productive. Instead, maybe aim for once a month or once every few months.
My skip day was liberating for me, and it helped me get more done than expected. Next time you feel like you’re in a rut, give it a shot and see what happens. You never know, you just might find it works to your advantage.
About the Author
Kevin Whipps is a writer and photographer based in the Phoenix, Arizona area. For the past 10 years, Kevin has been writing for various print and web publications, while carving out a name for himself in the industry. Although he writes about a wide variety of topics, he tends to focus on the automobile and tech industries. He is also the editor of Splashpress Media’s Apple Gazette.
Read Kevin’s previous guest post: The Importance of Keeping a Schedule.
Useful suggestions. The striking point was to remember why we took the plunge in first place! That summed it up for me. For quite some time, I was exactly feeling the same way but whenever I thought of taking a break, something or the other came up and i kept repeating to myself, ok, this is the last time but…well…
Thanks for reminding.
Debra Stang says
I’m glad I found this blog post. I don’t feel half as guilty now for taking Sunday off to watch football and sleep in.
I did make it a point to get everything under deadline accomplished, but if it wasn’t due that day, I put it on the back burner.
I couldn’t believe how relaxed and soothed I felt at the end of the day, especially since my hometown team, the Chiefs, won their second game in a row!
Christina Crowe ( @CashCampfire ) says
I completely agree. Several weeks ago, I made simple changes in my schedule (showering in the morning instead of at night and opening the blinds in nearby windows to let the sunlight in an otherwise gloomy room). All of these little (and what many people would consider minor) tweaks helped me to be more productive than I ever was.
Having a schedule is fine, but a little variation can go a long way. Great post.