I am going to make a bold statement here – 90% of the readers here on Web Design Booth are freelancers, either part time or full time. Disagree? Read the article and leave a comment. But since I believe most readers here are freelancers, I want to discuss the freelance fever; the fire that’s lit under you and causes you to push forward on projects, client work and business in general.
That same fire the burns inside your soul can be utilized in a controlled way to further your freelance career – or it can cause you to burn out if you’re not careful. Today, I want to discuss how you can spot the fire and put it to good use.
How can you spot the fire?
Have you ever had a dream about coding or design? I have – numerous times. That’s one way you can spot that you’ve got a fire burning for your work. Another way to spot the fire is to notice when you’re in general conversations with friends and family or if you’re out running errands and you can’t stop thinking about the work you’ve got back home on the computer. That, my friend, is the freelance fever. Paying close attention to how you think throughout the day, online and offline, will allow you to spot the fire that’s lit and allow you to utilize it as much as possible.
How can you use the fire?
This is actually easier to answer than it may seem. The quick, straight to the point answer is to get off your butt and do work. For instance, I love writing articles like this and it’s currently 11:05pm and I’m in front of my computer, writing. I also love to design – which I’ll be doing shortly after this article is done. Late into the night, hustle your butt off. Early in the morning, hustle your butt off. Ask Gary Vaynerchuk what hustling will get you if you’re not sure that hard work really does pay off.
Another thing I like to do, which you can utilize to work with your freelance fever, is keeping a notebook in my pocket at all times for jotting down notes, design sketches, website ideas and to-do lists. I have a main to do list on my computer (I use teux deux which is free), but by keeping the pocket notebook around me at all times, I’m able to write down items I may have found out about while I’m out running errands (I get emails on my blackberry, so it’s easy to jot down a to do note in my pocket notebook so I don’t forget).
How do you avoid the burnout?
Just like with a real fever, you’ve got to ensure you’re getting proper rest. I do not mean sleep, I am definitely not someone to speak on getting proper sleep. What I mean is this – make sure you rest your eyes from being in front of the computer every so often; stand up and walk around your house, go for a ride if the weather is nice, go grocery shopping, go to the movies, ect. Spending every waking moment will cause you to burn out very quickly and will result in you needing 5-6 days away from the computer before you’re able to go back to it – and if you’ve got client projects open, you’re going to make some people mad.
You can also avoid the burnout by mixing your projects up. Doing personal work in between client projects will keep your mind fresh and your spirits up. Also, mix up the type of work you’re doing – design some days and code on others. Write articles on certain days and put together tutorials on others. By mixing things up, you’re keeping things light and you’ll be much happier and able to work for longer periods of time before wanting to pull your hair out.
Do you have the fever?
Drop a comment and let us know if you’ve got the freelance fever and how you utilize the fire that’s been lit under you. Hopefully, for some of you reading this article right now, this very article is the fire that’s been lit for you – use it and set the world ablaze!