Freelance Fatigue and How to Beat It

Updated on November 8th, 2020
account-based

When you’re a freelancer everything about work comes down on your shoulders. You do the creating, the bookkeeping, the press, the marketing, and the cleaning up. It’s a heavy load to bear and it can lead to freelance fatigue.

Freelance fatigue is exactly what it sounds like: exhaustion from the need to wear so many hats at once. The pressure to find clients, produce for them, track finances and promote your work can wear you down.

You can beat freelance fatigue with a few changes to your routine. Incorporating systems that work for you and finding time for self-care is the way to the recharge yourself. When you’re a freelancer, you need to keep working to keep making money. Don’t let fatigue get in the way of your money!

Freelance Fatigue and How to Beat It

Self-care

You have to take care of yourself before you can offer your services or expertise to anyone else. Eating right, sleeping enough, and getting at least some exercise and fresh air are just as critical as pitching new clients. After all, what is the point of work if not to create the life you love?

I like to use my lunch break to listen to music I love or to take a walk outside. I live in the American south, so it’s warm pretty much year round here. Getting outside and getting some sun on my face is easy to do. If you’re somewhere that’s dark and cold, think about getting a sunlamp. Take a 15-minute break and stretch.

When you feel best you do your best work. Scarfing down unhealthy food and sitting all day in front of a screen isn’t the beat thing for you. Incorporate real time for self-care and you’ll beat freelance fatigue sooner.

Automation

Automating is the best way to make sure that things get done and you don’t have to be the one doing them. You can set up automated things in your personal and business life. Setting your student loans to autopay is a way to ensure you pay them and you’ll probably catch a small break on your interest rate.

Automate everything that you can to take some pressure off. Your payment systems, your email lists, and subscription renewals are great places to start.

Outsourcing

This is a tip you’ll hear time and time again from other freelancers. There simply comes a point when you can’t do it all by yourself. It can be hard to reach this point, especially if you think you can’t afford to hire help.

By piling everything on your own plate you’re only hurting yourself. Your productivity suffers, your burnout rate increases, and you’re probably not earning as much as you actually could be.

If you’re putting off outsourcing, take a step back. You can make it work for you. You can outsource the necessary evils in your life (like bookkeeping or accountant work) or you can outsource the minutia, like social media management or virtual assistant work.

Taking at least one time-consuming task off your plate will change your life. I like to think it’s how people felt when the microwave came out: no more sweating over the oven or stove? Just zap this in minutes? Yes, please!

Take On Work You Want to Do

I used to offer social media management as a part of my freelancing packages. It paid well, and there’s always someone who needs help with their social media. I have a steadily growing social media following, and I knew I could put my money where my mouth is.

The only problem was that I hate social media management. Being good at something and enjoying something are two very different things. Spending my time managing other people’s social media left me frustrated and annoyed.

Even though it was work that paid, it wasn’t worth the paycheck. I procrastinated doing the work because I disliked it, and I resented my clients each time they added a new account or referred someone my way to bring me more business.

I eliminated my social media management offerings a few months ago and referred my clients on to someone else. It was a huge load off my shoulders and helped me to feel energized about my freelancing all over again. remembered why I enjoyed being my own boss, and I focused on finding more work that I actually enjoy. By eliminating the work I didn’t want to do, I had more time to cultivate the work I did want to do.

Freelance fatigue comes for us all at some point, but we don’t have to let it beat us down. We can create the job of our dreams and stay sane at the same time. I’m writing this from my small porch, where I’m getting some sun on my face as I check things off my to-do list. Two points for beating fatigue for me! What do you do when work has you feeling down?

Kara Perez

Kara Perez

Kara Perez is the founder of Bravelygo. Kara discovered her love of finances courtesy of her quarter-life crisis. Broke, underemployed and saddled with student loan debt, she realized that her lack of financial education was crippling her adulthood. She now connects individuals with how to save and make money. She freelances in the areas of personal finance.

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