It brightened outside the window. A minute ago, I finished my new client promotion strategy and closed the laptop. My back aches after a night of work marathon. I pick up the phone: 5 am. I set the alarm and try to go to bed, but WhatsApp receives a message from the client. Then everything is like a daze: a “burning” problem, solving problems with a client until 7 am, and then you can put a kettle on coffee and start a new day. This is how I lived six months ago.

this is fine

Sweet expectations

A year ago, I left the office for freelancing. I wanted to try something new in life – for example, a free schedule and a lack of corporate culture. Under the “free schedule” I imagined the following picture: I want – I work today, I want – I do not work, no sleepless nights and early waking up.

Harsh reality

But, like many beginning freelancers, at first my schedule was not only not free, but irregular.

Why is that? I have identified 4 reasons:

  1. Lack of personal boundaries in communicating with the client… If you do not inform the client at the beginning of cooperation that you do not answer after 6 pm, and do not listen to voice calls and do not pick up the handset, if they call without warning, then the client may never know about it. There are clients who, even after a warning, still unexpectedly call and write after 18, it is better to be firm here, otherwise after a couple of cases it will become the norm.
  2. The feeling “without me everything will collapse”… After a working day, you read work chats – what if what? This feeling is inherent in anxious people, and I understand you! But it will not collapse. This may sound terrible, but most likely nothing terrible will happen if you don’t monitor your work chats outside of business hours. But you will rest.
  3. Inability to organize the workflow… Set a framework for when you’re online and when you’re not. When you work, when you rest. After talking with freelancers, I realized that many do not have at least one day off a week – that is, a day when they are not in touch with peace of mind and do absolutely nothing. Do not do this if you do not want to catch burnout and hatred for work and all clients in the world.
  4. Not knowing when you’ve done enough for today… How many work tasks do you need to complete in a day? How to measure the working day in general – in tasks or in hours? A difficult question with no general answer. You will have to try to work this way and that, before figuring out which is more convenient for you.
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To sum up, freelancing is, in fact, about comfort. It makes it possible to build work the way you want, when you want, and where you want. But no one, except you, will provide this comfort.

Author: Sofia Tarasova