The Blog

02/22/16

How to Love Your Job

Freelancing is a pretty amazing way to work. You are able to set your own hours, determine your own clients, work from home if you want, and let your creativity be a huge part of what you do. There are downsides, however. You are you own boss, so you have to keep yourself accountable for every bit of work that needs to be done. If you’re in the arts, a lot of your work requires an enormous amount of motivation, investment, and creativity; which means that working a forty hour week can be exhausting. This kind of work, when it goes on and on, can make it hard to love your job.

As I’ve worked as a freelancer for the past few years I’ve learned some helpful tips for how to love your job and not get bogged down by the harder aspects of freelancing.

How To Love Your Job

01 Don’t Be Hard On Yourself

The reality is that you have a very important personal life in addition to your job, and you don’t want to compromise it. I’ve found that it’s so important to be realistic with yourself about how much work you can and need to get done each week, and letting your clients know that general schedule as well. There’s nothing wrong with taking extra time to complete a project, as long as your client is aware of the scheduling and is on board with it.

Don’t feel bad if you can’t do everything that your clients want you to do, or everything that YOU want to do! You are the only person in your business, and you have to be measured in the amount of work you commit to, or you will burn out. There have been many times where I’ve over-committed out of a desire to help my clients, and have run myself into the ground physically, emotionally, and creatively. Don’t let this happen to you! Know your limits, set your boundaries, and let your clients know them.

02 Take Time For You

If you want to make your clients happy, you need to keep yourself happy.
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No one should ever feel like their life is about their work and nothing else – so take time for you! Find a hobby that is totally unrelated to work and spend a little time each day investing in that. For me, that looks like playing the guitar every morning before work. Being able to do something I love that has nothing to do with work is refreshing and allows my brain to focus on other things. It’s also pretty awesome to be able to take a break from work and focus on a totally different activity.

And then maybe have a schedule for yourself that involves other things you love that may or may not be related to work. I start every day by putting on nice clothes that I feel good in, making myself breakfast, playing the guitar, maybe practicing hand lettering, and spending around thirty minutes on Pinterest. And then to start my work I make myself coffee and turn on music. Having that schedule keeps me grounded and starts out the day in a positive way.

Find a schedule for you that fits with your life and allows you to incorporate things you love into each day. It will go very far in helping you keep a positive attitude each day, and it will help you to love your job!

03 Your Health and Happiness Are More Important Than Work

The last year has been a big, emotional one for me with a lot of work and changes in my personal life. Because I have a tendency to let things affect me too much, I have had multiple panic attacks over work and all the responsibilities I need to deal with. What I’ve started doing is telling myself to just stop whenever I start worrying about different things. It’s silly and honestly unhealthy to be so concerned about things. Yes they need to get done. But are they worth worrying over? Not at all!

So if you’re working on a project and it’s putting you in a state where you are constantly uptight and worried, step away and take a moment. Put it into perspective, and don’t let it affect you like that. Work is an important responsibility, but it’s not more important than you!

It’s helped me a ton to be aware of when I start to worry and to make myself stop. It’s definitely helped me to love my job more, and to make my personal life a lot more relaxed!

04 Be Invested In Each Project

Sometimes when you’re working hard, it can be easy to do the bare minimum with each client, especially when you’re working with someone who likes to be in total control of the project. But just making a half-hearted effort isn’t the solution. While it is true that each of us will have projects that are more difficult than others, it’s important to be fully invested in each one. At the start of the client relationship, tell yourself that you’re going to be fully present for that client. There have been many times where I’ve been surprised at how great a project turns out when I put all my energy into it.

This goes the other way as well, though. If you know a potential client isn’t a good fit for you, don’t hesitate to kindly let them know that they might be better off working with someone else. You don’t want to get involved in something that won’t be a good situation for you – and that’s for your benefit as well as the client’s! Their needs may call for someone totally different from you, and you letting them know that will be a big help to them.

05 Work Your Best Hours

I personally don’t believe in the traditional forty hour work week – at least not for creatives! In many cases it’s unrealistic to expect that much work on a regular basis, and you shouldn’t require that much of yourself. Here’s where the awesome part of being a freelancer comes in – it’s up to you to determine what hours you work! Use it to your advantage by working those hours where you know you are the most motivated and productive.

My best work hours are in the early afternoon, and then later in the day around five or six pm. I’m a total night owl, and there have been so many times where I’ve had a slow work day and then I’ve gotten this huge burst of energy and motivation at night! Because that’s how I work best, I always start my work day around eleven in the morning. I end up working later than most people, but it works out since I hate getting up early and can sleep in!

Figure out when you are the most productive, and set your hours around that. The quality of your work will increase, as will your own happiness, and you’ll be able to really love your job!

  1. Kylie says:

    Hey Hannah, I just came across your website through Pinterest, and love your work! I’m just starting out in the freelance world and found this article to be so enlightening! I totally agree with what you said about finding your best hours – I’ve found that for me, waking up really early is when I get my best work done, and as a result I finish my workday earlier than most. I’m finally realizing that it’s totally ok to do it that way! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Hannah Beasley says:

      Hey Kylie! Well thanks, I’m glad you like my work! =) And I’m so glad my post was helpful! That’s great that you’ve found the schedule that works best for you – you’re right, it’s totally okay to do it your way. It may not be conventional, but if it works that’s all that matters! Thanks for stopping by! =)