Freelancing may appear to be the perfect job to many people. After all, freelancers work their own hours, act as their own bosses, and do everything from home in their pajamas if they wish.
But there are plenty of ways freelancers also feel job stress. They have deadlines to meet, clients that can be overly demanding, and full schedules to juggle just to name a few.
That’s why it’s important for freelancers to look for ways they can lower their stress levels whenever possible.
1. Learn to Say “No”
Learning to say “no” is one of the ways freelancers can lower their stress levels. When they first begin freelancing they must build their client base. This can lead to accepting every request they receive from a potential client.
But if they aren’t careful, they run the risk of overscheduling themselves. They may overestimate what they can get done in a day or within a week. They may also underestimate the length of time some projects take to complete.
Either one creates stress. A combination of the two can tax a freelancer to the limit. Therefore, sometimes they simply need to turn down some clients.
They should recognize that they can’t do everything. Trying to do all and be all will stress them to the point of mental and physical exhaustion. It’s ok to say “no” when they know they’ve hit their limit.
2. Be Good, Not Perfect
Another of the ways freelancers can lower their stress levels is to allow themselves to be good but not perfect. Trying to strive for perfection is fine, up to a point.
The longer a project takes to complete the less a freelancer gets paid per hour. Certainly they want to keep their standards high and try to continually improve. But there is a point at which each project needs to be completed.
When a client’s request is out of the depth of skills a freelancer has, they may be better off and less stressed to turn the job down. They can always refer the client to another freelancer as an alternative.
3. Schedule Some Downtime
Everybody needs to take some downtime occasionally to recharge and rest. Freelancers in particular need to take the time to be kind to themselves not only for those reasons but also to refresh their creativity.
Creating things calls for originality and imagination. It can also take research and inventiveness. Each article a freelancer creates contains little fragments of themselves. Some projects are more intensive than others and require more effort.
Taking breaks between tasks can help to alleviate some stress also. Other times it may take a massage or weekend away to get the recharge needed to press on again. Freelancers need to make the time to give themselves a break occasionally so they don’t get burned out and overstressed.
4. Raise Their Rates
Raising their rates is another way for freelancers to lower their stress levels. Though they should be cautious not to raise rates so high they scare off their current clients.
However, their rates should not stay the same each year either. Inflation will cause their expenses, both personal and business, to continually rise. Therefore, they must charge more to cover these increases.
Slowly raising their rates in a reasonable but competitive way ensures they get paid what they are worth. Not only that, but it also helps to relieve the stress they may feel from money worries.
5. Ask for Help
Some freelancers forget they can lower their stress levels just by asking for help from friends or family members from time to time. That help could come in many different ways.
One might be for a parent or other family member to care for their children while they work on a time sensitive project. Another request could be for a partner or spouse to help a bit more around the house.
Regardless of the need the freelancer should not be afraid to ask for help once in a while from others to reduce stress levels. It may be the only way to get everything done sometimes and avoid a complete breakdown.
There are a lot of benefits to working as a freelancer. However, there are also many different stressors. Freelancers can use these ideas to lower their stress levels and continue to enjoy the benefits of their hard work.