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7 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Life as a Freelancer

by Erin Blakemore
freelancing, money & life

life as a freelancer

It can be easy to put off administrative tasks and career-changing tweaks until tomorrow. After all, you’re likely a lot more excited about being creative than running your freelance business.

But beware, letting your freelance business run on autopilot can quickly take you into dangerous territory. Especially if you’re strapped for time and you’ve decided to start a freelance business while working full-time.

Luckily, improving your freelance life doesn’t have to take a ton of time. We talk much more about finding that balance and focusing on what matters most in your business, in The Freelancer’s Roadmap.

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Here are seven things you can do right now, to build your freelance business in a way that allows you to keep your sanity.

Five-minute financial check-in.

Set a timer for five minutes, and do a brief check in with your finances. What’s your biggest financial stressor? If it’s late invoices, get on the phone with the offender. If it’s having low rates, research a higher-paying market where you’ll be able to charge what you’re worth. If it’s unopened mail and checks you haven’t deposited yet, then get on it. Even a few minutes of mentally tidying up your financial life can help you feel more in control of your business.

Make a to-do list you’ll actually complete.

Take two minutes to free write your most pressing tasks, then rank them in numerical order. Cross off any tasks you can delegate or put off, then spend five minutes working on task number one. Voilá: instant relief. If you’re more inclined to using apps and online tools to streamline your to-do lists, check out these incredible to-do list apps.

Pick up the phone.

Instead of exchanging 325,325 emails about that upcoming trade show or opportunity you’re considering, pick up the phone instead. You’ll reduce confusion, develop stronger relationships, and significantly cut down on the time you spend with back and forth communications.

Stretch it out.

Stand up, put down the pencil, mouse, or paintbrush, and stretch for two to five minutes.

Unconscious Ways You're Driving Money Away

If you can find the time to go for a quick nature walk or stroll around the block, switching up your environment by walking around in nature is scientifically proven to increase your happiness. Chances are you’ll feel more relaxed, flexible, and fresher than when you began.

Get automated.

Chances are there are at least one or two business processes you still do by hand. Get with the times by automating at least one of them. Try using a tool like IFFT or do a quick run through the app store to figure out if there’s another way you can make your computer work for you. Start by checking out these essential productivity apps for freelancers.

Say no.

Boundaries can be the bane of a freelancer in any industry, and sometimes saying no is the only way to go. The next time you feel compelled to agree to something that doesn’t feel quite right, say no instead. Maybe that means firing a problem client or turning down a time-wasting colleague’s plea to “pick your brain.” Two simple letters, one simple way to clear your time and mental energy.

Be nice to someone.

It only takes a second to retweet an interesting article, write a note to a colleague, or compliment someone else’s work. In fact, committing yourself to making just one random act of kindness every day, is scientifically proven to have a significant impact on improving your levels of happiness. Pay it forward, you never know how it might benefit your business.

Whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer, or you’re ready to get serious about growing your existing client base, download our free eBook, The Freelancer’s Roadmap today.

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Erin Blakemore

Erin Blakemore is a library school drop-out, historian, freelance writer, and author of the award-winning The Heroine’s Bookshelf (Harper). She dishes about books, history, and channeling your inner heroine at www.erinblakemore.com