Freelancing can be a grind.
Finding the right balance between work and home can be just as difficult as a regular 9-to-5, if not more so since many freelancers work at home. Working from home blurs the lines between work and personal time so that you fall into the trap of never really “clocking out”.
As with any job, freelancers should learn to identify the signs of burnout and take steps to recover. Here’s what you need to know:
Signs of Burnout
If you notice one or more of the following signs, there is a good chance that you are overworking.
Headaches, lethargy, upset stomach, body aches, insomnia and low libido are all physical signs of stress, and signals from your body that you are overdoing it.
Being a Homebody
When was the last time you went out for a drink with friends or had a date night with your spouse? When work interferes with your personal relationships it might be time to take a step back.
Avoiding work is a sure sign that you probably have too much of it to do or the work you are doing is not fulfilling.
Procrastination is one thing, missing deadlines is another. Repeatedly blowing off assignments can be detrimental to your career as a freelancer.
Lack of Self-Care
Has it been two days since you brushed your teeth? If you are working so much you aren’t taking care of the little things—that’s a problem.
Strategies For Combatting Burnout
Once you recognize that you have burnout, you need to be proactive about changing course so that you can enjoy a more sustainable freelancing career.
If you feel like burnout is taking its toll, you need to come up with a game plan on how to recover.
That means you might need to turn down new assignments and check with clients to see if any are flexible on existing deadlines so that you can give yourself a much-needed breather.
Raise Your Rates
If you are getting more work than you can handle, it might be a sign you are devaluing your services by charging too little. Wouldn’t you rather take fewer jobs for more pay, than more jobs for less pay?
Start a Studio
Who says you have to do it all your own? Launch a freelancer studio where you can manage a team of other freelancers. That way you can divide projects into smaller tasks and delegate them to others.
Give Yourself More Time
Remember that there are only 24 hours in a day and seven days a week.
Going forward, don’t take on more than you can handle. Think about how many hours you want to work a day, and be realistic about how long it will take you to complete projects.
Sharpen Your Skills
Another cause of burnout is taking on jobs that are outside your area of expertise.
This creates an intimidating learning curve to overcome as you race against upcoming deadlines. Fiverr offers courses for freelancers to help expand their skill sets so you’ll be better equipped to conquer more projects with gusto.
Once you’ve recovered from burnout, don’t repeat the same habits that led you down that dark path in the first place. Remember to be honest with yourself when it comes to how much work you can handle and maintain a set work schedule that you are comfortable with going forward.