As freelancers, we often overestimate the amount of time that we truly spend “off” of work. Even though we may be at a coffee shop with friends, the phone could still ring at any moment, and we often wait anxiously for new leads and contacts, even on weekends! It’s essential as a freelancer to recharge our freelance batteries on a regular basis (especially if you’re a introvert freelancer), so that we can consistently deliver high-quality services or products, and enjoy the unique benefits that our lifestyle has to offer.
However, it doesn’t always mean that you need to take a vacation. Sometimes, simple professional actions can give us a much-needed refreshed outlook within the daily schedule.
Attend a Workshop in Your Field
Search for workshops in your industry, and find one that is either in your city or somewhere that you would like to visit. Make sure that you are interested in the content of the workshop, or it will be a waste of time or money. Think about what question you have been trying to answer for yourself, and find out if there is an expert delivering an event on this topic. Budget for it, and make it happen!
Professional workshops allow us to connect with other people in our industry, and also put us in novel situations where our minds can de-stress from the repetition of the daily schedule. Additionally, learning new skills and getting a new outlook on familiar situations can help us become stronger, more knowledgeable members of our industries!
Choose a New Workspace or Refresh the One You Have
This may be a systemic problem for you. If you feel stressed or unmotivated, it may be where you to choose to work. If you work from home on your couch, a new workspace is definitely in order – even a coffeeshop would be an improvement. However, even if you have a home office, it’s a good idea to hit the pavement every day or several times a week to get into a different headspace.
It can be beneficial for freelancers to work outside the home as much as possible, in order to separate “home cues” (taking out the trash and vacuuming the living room) from “work cues” (prioritizing clients and projects). You can even do this within your home workspace by creating boundaries around your desk or redecorating your home office.
Develop a Passion Project and Work on It Regularly
Feeling burned out or stuck with your current projects? Without ditching your clients or workload, decide if you could include a “passion project” in your daily or weekly routine. Have you always wanted to write a book, develop a product, or create a workshop?
Spend a little time each day or a “retreat morning” each week to cultivate this aspect of your work. Otherwise, you can lose the spark of joy that you have for your industry. Remember what you love about your work, distill it into an idea that captivates you, and then run with it. Creativity helps to re-fuel our engines, and during dry spells, that energy is much-needed.