Is your body giving you some signals that you should stop and take a break? Are you feeling drained and extremely fatigued?
The burning of the midnight oil, rushing of deadlines and long hours in front of your computer has given you not only mental stress but physical torture such as eye ache, stiff neck, and swollen tendons.
Working as a freelancer may often lead to working long days and excessive hours. Perhaps the passion of work has driven the freelancer to become a workaholic.
8 Great Tips for You to Battle the Burnout Effect
Overworking can seriously harm a freelancer’s creative flow, productivity and health. No matter what profession you are in, you need to strike a balance between work and rest. To have adequate rest is to prepare you for the long battle ahead.
Here are some tips on how to counter the freelancer burnout effect of working long hours.
1. Set Your Reasonable Working Hours
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The most common factor that contributes to a freelancer burnout is overwork. Most freelancers struggle with setting appropriate working hours and sticking to them. It’s always unexpected circumstances that force the freelancer to expand their working hours. There are times when upcoming deadlines or last min changes that may force the freelancer to work for longer hours, but that should not be a daily routine.
The best way to tackle this issue is to set a schedule that involves only working a number of hours a day. Plan your timetable well ahead and stick to it. You may want to consider turning off your cellphone or email after working hours. You won’t worry about what you are unaware of. Let your clients know that you do not entertain frequent last minute changes and any late night calls.
If you have some fantastic stroke of inspiration or idea during your free time, just make sure you have pen and paper handy and jot the idea down – it will wait until you are back at work!
2. Segregate Your Working Space from Your Living Space
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One of the problems that freelancers have is that the workspace and living space are often the same. This is especially the case when they usually work from home. You should have a separate room or space in your home that is used solely for work.
Ideally, you should rent an office but if you can’t afford it yet, you should avoid having other distractions like the bed, TV or any gaming consoles in your workspace and vice versa. You should be able to walk away from your workspace in your free time and be able to relax and not think about work.
3. Learn to Say No
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Often, freelancers are bothered with excessive or rather unnecessary requests from friends, relatives or even clients. It’s always tough to turn them down, but there is probably no quicker way to burnout than taking on such requests that you don’t really want to do.
Refuse them politely but firmly and explain your reason for rejecting them. It could be your work schedule or any other reason. You can however assist them by referring them to another colleague or subcontractor.
4. Share Your Burden
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You may be able to consider outsourcing some of your work to other freelancers. There are plenty of opportunities for freelancer to outsource. You may wish to choose someone who is reliable and whose work is of a certain quality as your reputation is on the line through their work.
This could be a win-win situation as you’ll be able to establish a long-term relationship with other freelancers that you have outsourced the work to.
5. Re-Charge by Playing Hard
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Taking time away from work is absolutely necessary in order to re-energize yourself. Freelancers should enjoy the privilege of any other working professional by going on a vacation and playing.
Play hard while you are on vacation or do something that you enjoy for a few days. This also provides a good benchmark to see if your freelancing business can continue to run with you not around.
6. Read Your Body & Seek Professional Treatments Early
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If your body has been giving out signals that you are unwell, seek professional medical help early. Do not delay or turn a blind eye to it hoping it will just go away naturally. The longer you drag out your sickness, the more it will come back to haunt you.
Avoid being your own doctor or taking medicines that have been hanging around for ages since your last clinic visit. You want to get back to full health as soon as possible rather than fighting a long battle with a niggling sickness.
7. Take Good Care of Yourself
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There is good stress and bad stress. Having some good stress is necessary to motivate you to continue working and to keep you focused. The most important factor is still you. Take good care of your body by eating healthy foods and taking regular exercise.
Avoid unnecessary risks, such as gambling, jaywalking or any action that will bring you unnecessary risk and stress. Once you take good care of yourself, you will become more productive with a better chance of avoiding sickness and accident.
8. Reflection and Self Hypnosis
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When all is done, you may want to practice self-hypnosis. Think of the positive things, what kept you going, your goals etc. Celebrate every success and accomplishment by rewarding yourself with a small treat. Self-acknowledgment will make you feel good about the things you are doing.
Share the joy with others by socializing with positive people. Hanging around with positive people will help to channel those great energies and keep you fresh and motivated. Avoid hanging out with pessimistic and worrying people, as they are more likely to make you more stressed as you will be spending a lot of time trying to lift them up.
Avoid That Burnout!
Burnout is inevitable, especially in the fast paced society of today. It's totally up to us to enjoy what we love to do, to actually help to reduce the burnout feeling.
Are you undergoing the burnout issue, and if so, how do you handle it? Do any of the above tips works for you? Why not share your suggestion with us by leaving a comment below?