This time last year I was dealing with some major anxiety and depression when it came to my role as a freelancer. It was hard for me to keep clients for long periods of time because I was always in fear of failure and just all around not in a place for people to depend on me.
After a while, though, I had to snap out of that feeling if I wanted freelancing to work for me. I still suffer from those bouts of overwhelm every blue moon, but I have come up with ways to combat those feelings and become a better freelancer in the process.
Here are five things I do to battle overwhelm as a freelancer.
I am known to whip myself into frenzies. Sometimes the frenzies are good, sometimes they feel like frenzies of despair. When I get into those frenzies, it can be hard to see a way out of them, until I do something about them.
When I get into negative frenzies, one of the most important things I have to remind myself to do is breathe and reason.
You should never let random emotional spikes control you. I have noticed that these spikes, whether positive or negative, stop you from making the best decisions. If you have an extreme emotional spike whether, from happiness or sadness, you may do something that your usual self will regret.
This could be as simple as breaking up with a client because they did one thing that made you super angry or agreeing to go hiking when you see a friend you haven't seen in ages. I know, those two things aren't that comparable, I mean, unless you really hate hiking.
So, before you make any big decisions when it comes to freelancing, take a few deep breaths. Make sure you are thinking rationally before you respond to anything.
2. Remember Everything I Have To Be Thankful For
Over the last few months of my freelancing career, I have really built something special. I'm working with clients on and off Upwork, and I am creating new relationships every day. I am building up an income that is more stable, even if I am working longer hours. I really have changed my life since I created my bill tracking spreadsheet and now I know when everything is due and how much spending or saving money I have each month.
More than anything, I am so happy that I have the career I have. I can work from home, in my pajamas or in a dress. I can make my own hours, take a nap in the middle of the day if I want, or create when I get a creative spark in the middle of the night. I'm the maker of my own rules.
Sure, it can be a little scary sometimes, but I love what I get to do on most days. I cannot wait to see how much I grow over the next few months.
3. Break Down My To-Do List More
Sometimes when I am really overwhelmed, it's become I am staring at a massive wall of to-dos. Looking at everything you need to get done in a few weeks is never going to be fun. Instead of thinking of the big picture, you have to break it down. What do you need to get done today?
Once you have a better picture of your immediate tasks, you can stop looking at every small job that needs to get done. So, I look at my Asana and Upwork profiles to determine the most pressing tasks that day, and I try to get those tasks done.
Don't scare yourself into an overwhelmed rage. Worry about what you need to worry about, and forget about the rest.
4. Use My Productivity Trifecta To Get A Ton Of Tasks Off My To-Do List
This is my productivity trifecta:
- A Brain.FM music station playing.
- My FocusKeeper app on recording my Pomodoros.
- Sheer willpower and determination get shit done.
Yep, when I am in my wheelhouse, I can push through a to-do list like no one's business. Sometimes you need those super productive days to make your to-do list manageable again. So, I encourage you to have a power day where you get the most done in your freelance business. Literally, do the absolute most.
When I force myself to sit down, use all my best productivity hacks, and have a badass day, I can usually shake those feelings of overwhelm and get back on track with feeling like a completely awesome person again.
5. Take Some Me Time
Last, but certainly not least, sometimes I need to take some me time. I am extremely wary about this because I took so much me time when I was starting my freelance career that I neglected responsibilities and burned a few bridges along the way. Don't do that. Just take care of yourself.
Here are some of my me time ideas:
- Cook a healthy lunch/dinner for yourself
- Watch your favorite YouTube videos
- Read a book
- Listen to your favorite music album
- Watch an episode of television
- Take a power nap
- Get outside and meditate or exercise
- Listen to a podcast
The possibilities are endless here! The point I am making, at the end of it all, is that you need to love yourself. You can't expect your freelance career to take off if you aren't taking care of yourself. I encourage you to spend time daily loving yourself and taking care of you.
You can't pour from an empty cup.
So, there you have it! These are the five things I do every time I feel overwhelmed with my freelance business. I know that different things work for different people, so I'd love to hear what works for you in the comments below. I love learning new coping techniques because I am all about becoming a better freelancer and business owner.Are you ready to battle overwhelm as a freelancer? Check out this awesome post that will help you get over overwhelming feelings so you can produce your best freelance work. Click To Tweet
Check Out More Of My Freelance Related Content On The Internet
I have written many freelance-related pieces for this blog and other blogs on the internet. Check out some of my favorite pieces for more freelance advice:
- Upwork Q&A: Make Upwork Work For Your Freelancing Career With These Tips
- How To Become A Freelancer: What You Need To Succeed & Make Your Own $$$
- 10 Tasks You Can Accomplish When Freelance Business Is Slow
- A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Winning Upwork Proposal