Thursday, July 25, 2019

Prioritising Your Well-being While Freelancing

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When we think of work, the majority of us tend to automatically think of employed work. We conjure up images of getting up in the mornings and putting on some sort of uniform. We consider heading out of the house early and making the morning commute to reach our workplace on time. We think of working nine to five hours in a set space, usually at a desk or in some sort office or commercial environment. Of course, this is many people’s experience of work. But it’s important to remember that it isn’t the only option out there. Freelancing is a refreshing alternative to anyone who’s looking to break out of the standard nine to five lifestyle and traditional means of making money. You don’t have to build someone else’s dreams on their behalf! You can take a route following a field you love and taking more control over your own working life. If this is something that you do choose to do, great! But you do need to remember the increased responsibility that’s placed on your shoulders in doing so. You need to look out for yourself, as it’s no longer anybody else’s responsibility to take care of your wellbeing. Here are just a few different things you can do to prioritise your own wellbeing and make sure your freelance lifestyle is as positive as it should be!

Monitor Your Working Hours

It’s important to monitor your own working hours when you freelance. You’re not going to be in a standard nine to five position or other contracted hours, where you head home and stop working at the end of the day. Instead, you can work when you want. But don’t push things too far! Set yourself specific working hours and try your best to stick to them. There’s no use working round the clock and burning yourself out. You need to be well rested to work to your maximum efficiency.

Monitor Your Mental Health

Freelancing can be stressful from time to time. You also don’t receive sick pay, so you may be reluctant to take time off when you feel necessary. But it’s important that you do! If you’re feeling unwell or like you are struggling in terms of your mental health at any time, make sure to take control and reach out for necessary support and help. There’s plenty out there - as a society, we’re beginning to better understand mental health. Contact specialists like Honey Lake, helplines, your doctor, family, friends, or anyone else who can provide you with care and support through hard times!

Take Recovery Time

If you have any physical health problems, give yourself sufficient time to recover and feel well again before resuming your work. As we have mentioned, it can feel like you’re under pressure to continue working when you freelance, as you don’t get sick pay. But remember by pushing your body too far, you can prolong your recovery journey and actually lose more work and money in the long run! Always follow your doctor’s advice and be kind to yourself!

Give Yourself a Work Space

Having a work space can help you better manage your work life balance if you’re working from home. This is important, as you don’t want the two aspects of your life to meld into one. As we’ve highlighted above, you need you time as well as work time. So, create a home office or simply set out a specific place to work that works for you. The only point worth noting is that it’s so easy to get distracted when working from home. If you live with other people, they are likely to walk in and out of where you are working, trying to get you to chat or complete their daily tasks with them. Even if you live alone, you can become easily distracted by the television, the internet, and a whole host of other things. So, make sure to manage distractions.

Making Sure You Get Paid

Of course, freelancing can be relatively daunting, especially when it comes to getting paid. Many freelancers make the mistake of carrying out work for someone without covering their own backs, and they may end up duped out of money if the client doesn’t cough up once work has been completed. Here are a few ways to avoid this and ensure that you always receive what is owed!

Draw Up a Contract
The first thing that any freelancer should do is draw up a contract between themselves and their clients. This should detail what work should be carried out, to what standard, and how much you will receive. You can include payment amounts, dates, and means of payment. Do not carry out any work until both parties have signed.

Once work is complete, you need to invoice your client. Your invoice should detail work carried out, on what dates, and how much they owe you, alongside the details of the bank account you want to be paid into. If you want to simplify this process, try out online invoicing.

Know Your Rights

You still have rights when you work as a freelancer. If you feel that anyone is breaking the law or treating you inappropriately, don’t be afraid to reach out to relevant authorities and make a report. Don’t let people exploit you or walk over you!

As you can see, freelancing has so many benefits. But you do have to take hold of the reigns when it comes to protecting yourself and prioritising your wellbeing. Hopefully, the above advice has highlighted a few areas that you might want to take note of and check up on from time to time!

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