The age of freelance is upon us, and we’re enjoying the freedom of not working for the man or being subject to large companies’ ups and downs to the fullest. But, just as too much chocolate can be dangerous for our health, so can too much work-freedom be critical for our productivity. At least, that’s what they keep telling us.
Jokes aside, the truth is that lack of structure at work can lead to loss of concentration and therefore affect the amount of work we do in a day. After all, distractions are everywhere – starting with the closest cookie jar, the TV, social networks, and ultimately our primary work tool: the computer.
Doesn’t “freelance” spell “freedom”?
For those of you who have never worked in corporate structures, possibly. But, for people used to set working hours, performance reviews, and leaving the house every day, a transition to freelance may be quite a shock. Although spending your work-days wearing pajamas and nibbling on your favorite snack as you translate God-knows-what-now sounds like a dream come true, it can get confusing, tiring, and self-destructive at times.
With typically-corporate structures absent, indulgences are quick to become hard-to-break habits that can negatively impact your productivity, the quality of your work, and, ultimately, your business. Does failure sound attractive to you? I didn’t think so.
On that note, we’re singling out the best advice to stay healthy and motivated as a freelance translator:
Get up early… or earlier
Working in the afternoon or at night works for millions of people, so why wouldn’t it work for you too, right? Well, it could. But, working long hours at night when the body and brain are wired to rest kills motivation and negatively affects your well-being. Remember, the world is moving forward while you are sleeping in, and the more you delay starting your day, the harder it’ll be to get back in the saddle.
So, here’s a suggestion –
Instead of hitting that snooze button, make it your mission to wake up on time, early in the morning, and do the work. You don’t have to get up with the sunrise but you can try to set the alarm for a reasonable hour. That way, you’ll get to enjoy breakfast, coffee, your favorite morning show, or any other morning routine you have to start the day on a positive note.
The earlier you wake up and start your workday, the quicker you’ll be done and the more time you’ll have to engage in leisure activities. Plus, the more (waking) work hours you clock, the more money in your wallet!
Make a work schedule and stick to it
Having a structure goes a long way, and creating a schedule and sticking to it will make all the difference for your productivity. In a nutshell – use the hours you’ve planned for work to do, well, work.
The better you organize your day, the better results you’ll have. Whether you are pinning down a translation project, invoicing, doing glossary maintenance, or promoting your service – just do it. Easier said than done, sure, but you’ll get there.
Go to a co-working space
You know what they say – sharing is caring, and while no one in a co-working space will share your workload, they can be a great support. After all, seeing everyone committed to work will inspire you not to cut corners with your tasks, and therefore increase your productivity.
Plus, co-working spaces are a great spot for meeting people with different professional backgrounds and building friendships that can last a lifetime. Going to a co-working space on a daily basis will give you both the structure needed to finish a job and the flexibility of work hours that come with the freelancer territory.
Keep a healthy diet
Whether you work in an office or from home, it’s easy to fall into a food rut. You’re working weird hours, lacking structure and sleep, running around with no plan, and poof – before you know it, the only things you eat come from a bag or a street vendor.
To prevent this from happening, introduce structure into your meal plans as well, and be diligent about following through with it. Make sure you’re giving your body all the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay strong and healthy; sick days mean loss of earnings for freelancers!
Make time for yourself
Leisure activities are life’s gift to keep us sane, so don’t neglect them in your bid to be productive.
In a world that cares very little about our individual or collective mental health, we need to make sure we all stay responsible for our own lives first. Taking the time to see our family and friends, go on coffee dates, enjoy sports, shopping, movies, yoga, and meditation, or whatever it is that makes your heart sing will recharge your batteries like nothing else will! As a freelancer, you have more flexibility with your time than someone with fixed hours, so be smart about your work-life balance.
The tricky part with freelancing is that the way you approach your business affects your personal life, too. If you find yourself continually struggling with deadlines, you probably find it a challenge to make time for leisure activities as well, and it’s high time you changed that. Try the advice above and let us know if it helps!
Hiring a high-quality translation service can help take your freelance business to new, international markets. Get in touch with BeTranslated to discuss your translation needs and get a free quote today!