Savvy Library

7 Bad Habits Freelancers Need to Steer Away From

Running a freelance business can be super exciting and super tough in equal measure, and it’s not for everyone. But even if you take to freelancing like a duck to water and enjoy being in control of your own working life, there are some bad habits that can set in if you’re not careful.

But what are these bad habits? Chances are you have already gotten a few. You might not be aware of it, or you might be fully aware of it and are able to balance it out. Either way, you can be a lot more productive and have more time away from work if you start to understand that the use of a invoice template can help save you so much time and money! This is just one part of being a freelance business that you need to think about. Just erase the following seven bad habits out of your day:

Forgetting to Exercise

Being a freelancer can be hazardous to your health. It’s far too easy to focus on work and forget that you should be exercising from time to time. A good walk is great for the mind and the body and can help clear your mind before you sit down at the desk, and a visit to the gym is a superb way to take out all the frustration that has built up over the working day.

One of the best parts of being a freelancer is being able to sit in your pajamas all day and not have to care about making an impression to your boss or the other people in the workplace. However, this shouldn’t mean that you fall into the habit of not taking care of yourself. You should still get into a routine of regular exercise and plenty of Vitamin D.

Prioritizing Work over Family and Friends

The bad habit that can have the most dramatic effect on your social life is when you start prioritizing work overseeing your family and meeting up with your friends. This is a dangerous habit to get into, as weeks and months can go by as a freelancer and it only feels like a day. The more you choose your work over your loved ones, the more likely it becomes that they will eventually stop asking you to come round, or they’ll stop coming to see you. Either way, it’s not a situation you want to find yourself in.

Saying Yes to Everything

A bad habit of many freelancers – particularly ones who are just starting out – is that they are too eager to please, and they don’t feel like they should turn anything down. This is a recipe for disaster, as you will quickly find that you are taking on more than you can handle, and you might not be considering the financial side of things before you say yes.

While it is great to be busy, it’s also good to have spare time and to be able to spend the money that is coming in. Sometimes you have to put yourself first before your wallet even if you are looking at working out the online invoicing for your business, so consider all the factors before you just say yes.

Not Setting Up Their Workspace Properly

Your workspace needs to be devoid of clutter and the home stuff, and be centered around work and only work. If you have an office in your home, make sure it is set out for a day’s work and has no unnecessary distractions inside, such as video games, smartphones, gym equipment and anything else that will take you away from the desk.

As for the desk itself, make sure it is set up practically, and for maximum comfort, including a mouse mat with a protective wrist rest, and a rest for your elbows. Repetitive strain is a common issue for freelancers, both for the eyes and the wrists, so take the time to get your workspace set up correctly.

Not Thinking About Their Long-Term Health

It’s so easy – and very nice – to be able to crash on the sofa with your laptop and thrash out six or seven hours worth of work. The problem with this is that you are not doing your body any favors. If you’re planning on being a freelancer for the rest of your life, you want it to be a long and healthy one.

You have to think about your long-term health when it comes to work. This includes having the right office furniture so that you don’t spend too much time hunched over a laptop, damaging your neck and back in the process. A good desk and a comfy chair should be high on your shopping list, including the best balance stool you can afford. Standing as you work is said to drastically reduce the health risks assigned to working from home and sitting at a desk. It can also help to increase your productivity, too.

Becoming a Hermit

Freelancers are more likely to cut themselves off from the world and become hermits than almost any other profession. This is because they don’t have to travel to work every day and interact with bus passengers, train commuters and angry motorists stuck in traffic jams. It’s one of the biggest pros of being a freelancer, but if you’re not careful, it can be the beginning of the end of your social life.

Use your calendar to set aside time for meeting up with friends, going out and doing things where you’re likely to bump into people you know, and make sure you attend networking events in the field that you’re working in, rather than doing all of your client hunting and networking via the social network and your email inbox. It will all feed into your work, and prevent you from becoming a hermit.

Social Media Distractions

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat… The list goes on and on, and every single one is as addictive as the next. It’s too easy to grab your phone and start refreshing your feeds instead of doing your work, and with social media, two minutes can quickly become two hours. You can convince yourself that what you’re doing is ‘social networking,’ but the truth is that you are procrastinating, and it’s time to get back to the writing desk.

If your working at home, try leaving your smartphone on the other side of the room (or even better, the house) and on your computer or laptop, consider using online productivity tools that prevent you from going onto certain sites for a set amount of time. These are popular amongst freelancers, who find the pull of YouTube and Facebook incredibly hard to resist.

2 Comments

  • Karen Propes

    You are so right about these things. It’s so easy to own your own business to get caught up in other things or people that pull you away. Thanks for the tips.

  • Calvin

    Agree to most of these, most times personal things and jobs become mixed together if you are a freelancer. Good to be focused and consistent.