Freelancing isn’t a fairytale. Just ask a freelancer. For the most part, freelancing consists of tough, exhausting days spent working to the limit. Is the lifestyle flexible? Sure. Is it independent? For the most part. But it sure isn’t restful.
If you’re a freelancer (or thinking of trying the lifestyle out), here are a few tips and hacks to help you stay focused and keep your energy up through the long, grueling days that will inevitably come at times.
Eat the Right Food
Many freelancers work from home and on their own schedules. When this happens, it’s easy to get distracted by things like food. You may find yourself snacking too often, skipping meals, and even simply making poor food choices.
This can cripple your ability to focus and sustain your energy. Believe it or not, skipping breakfast, drinking six cups of coffee, and then downing some Cheetos for lunch is not a recipe for cognitive focus or physical gusto.
Instead, take some time to learn about healthy eating habits. Build a dietary plan that is best for you, and then do your best to stick to it throughout your workdays.
Regular exercise is a critical part of productivity. If your days consist of rolling out of bed into your work chair, from there to the couch, and then back into your bed, you’re going to find yourself feeling tired, lethargic, and underproductive.
Instead, find ways to work out. Start your day with a run. End your day at the gym. Take five-minute breaks throughout the day to slip energy-boosting exercises into your routine. You get the idea.
Get on a Sleep Schedule
Sleep is one of the most important parts of productivity. Not only should an adult get at least seven hours of sleep a night, that sleep should also be high quality and uninterrupted whenever possible.
Use a sleep calculator to start tracking your sleep. Additionally, look for things that might be throwing off your circadian rhythm, such as:
● Napping during the day
● Feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious
● Drinking too much caffeine too close to bed
● Spending too much time in front of a screen
● Eating poorly
Sleep isn’t just an essential part of life. It’s also good for business. Make sure that you’re giving yourself enough quality rest to stay focused and energetic throughout the day.
Clean Up Your Workspace
Everyone says to dedicate your workspace. Especially if you work from home. However, not everyone mentions the fact that, as a freelancer, you also need to keep your at-home office clean and tidy.
Lack of clutter is linked to focus-friendly benefits like fewer distractions, greater productivity, and less stress. On top of that, if you go beyond decluttering and actually clean your workspace regularly, it can help you stay healthier — which comes with its own energy-boosting benefits, as well.
Take That Break
Breaks are a key part of working productively and staying focused. This is particularly true with freelancing, where you’re your own boss. If you want to stay focused and get things turned in on time, you have to build breaks into your day.
This can help you in two different ways. On the one hand, if you’re a procrastinator, knowing that a break is coming can help you stay focused in the here and now. On the other hand, if you drive yourself too hard, a break can help you avoid exhaustion and burnout.
Stay Positive and Invite Challenges
Finally, remember that it’s difficult to stay focused and energy-filled when you’re feeling down and out. Thinking positively is a crucial part of success.
Taking the time to do things like being thankful and looking on the bright side can help you stay focused on your goals. It can also feed your passions and fill you with energy.
At the same time, it’s also important to avoid falling into a rut. This can happen all too easily if you don’t challenge yourself regularly. Freelancing isn’t just about taking control of your professional life. It’s also about setting your own course.
This is an activity that should never revolve around the easiest option. Instead, always be on the lookout for the next challenge. If you invite these as they come along, they can help keep you alert, on your toes, and at the top of your game.
Finding Energy and Focus as a Freelancer
Freelancing may not be inherently energy-filled. Nor does it automatically equate to sustained focus for hours, days, weeks, and months on end.
Whenever you feel that focus faltering and your energy emptying, remember the tips above. It’ll happen regularly, so don’t get discouraged.
Instead, review the list each time you find yourself struggling. Then implement a tip or two and find which ones work best for you. As you discover these, you can incorporate them right into your workdays to keep you happy, focused, and energetic over the long haul