Quitting your 9 to 5 might sound tempting, but being a freelance creative in the industry takes a lot of self-discipline and dedication to your craft. It may sound easy to be your own boss, but you would really have to keep your self in check. And more importantly, you need to find your purpose. What drives you to pursue this? Is it a passion for the craft? Is it to spend more time with your family? Or is it simply for your well-being? This will be your compass in making decisions that will lead you to your own successes in life.
And for that time that you take that leap of faith, here are 5 pieces of advice that will help you.
Set Your Workspace
Don’t even think of bringing your work to bed. You need to be able to work without getting tempted to take a nap. A workspace is as simple as a desk, or if you feel like you can’t work at home, find a co-working space, or just a favorite cafe with good coffee to keep you up.
Calendar blocking is a technique that uses calendars—preferably digital ones like Google or ICal—to reserve time slots for specific tasks. Seeing your blocks of time taken up by writing articles or meeting potential clients gives you a visual sense of how much time each task takes. Digital calendars are preferable as it is easy to move around as schedules can become very dynamic. But once you’re familiar with it, you’ll have your life on track.
Eat The Frog
This concept started with Mark Twain but was expounded on by Brian Tracy in his book, Eat That Frog! Eating a frog is a metaphor for tackling a task that you find extremely difficult or tedious. Looking at the frog won’t do you any favors so the best way to go at it is to tackle it head on. And if you have to eat two frogs, you might as well go for the uglier one. Managing the most difficult task of the day makes everything else seem like a breeze.
This rule is also known as the Pareto principle. It reveals that 80% of results come from 20% of the cause. So if you’re marketing through social media—Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Reddit—only one of those platforms is giving you 80% of your results. So you might as well focus more of your time on the cause that gives you the most results. This is extremely important as it helps every freelancer decide what to put most of their capital, time, and effort on.
Some people claim that they can multitask, but the most effective way to be efficient is to put all of your focus into one activity. A good trick is to follow the Pomodoro Method, which directs you to use a kitchen timer and set it to a specific number of minutes. And for the duration of that time, you will put all your resources in one activity without distraction. This can be set to different tasks throughout the day. So if it’s only replying to emails for 15 minutes, that’s all you’ll be doing for the entire 15 minutes. Breaks in between are encouraged.
Featured image via @heyclaire