Here is some advice on how to deal with some of the most common sources of stress for freelancers!
To the uninitiated, freelancing may appear to be a relatively stress-free job option. After all, you skip the sweaty scrum of the daily commute, you can select your hours, you can work from wherever you want, and you don’t have to deal with petty office politics – sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?
However, as any freelancer will tell you, going it alone brings with it a whole other set of stressors and strains to deal with.
Working alone means that if something goes wrong, all of the burden and fallout falls on you – and you alone. With no coworkers to watch out for you, you must learn to watch out for yourself.
This entails recognizing when things are getting out of hand and devising your own strategies for keeping the dreaded stress at bay.
Here are a handful of the most common anxiety triggers for freelancers, as well as tips on how to avoid them:
Too much work.
People will tell you, ‘It’s a good problem to have.’ But when you’ve said ‘yes’ to one (or two… or three) too many projects, it doesn’t always seem that way.
Concerns over having too little work might cause many freelancers to agree to everything that comes their way, leaving them overworked and, as a result, not producing their best.
How do you get over it? It’s really quite simple: learn to say ‘no’ more often! It may be painful the first few times, but you’ll get used to it. And your stress levels will appreciate it.
Not enough work.
While too much work is stressful, inadequate work is equally, if not more, upsetting. Nothing is worse than having a profound fear of financial uncertainty and not knowing if you’ll be able to pay your payments at the end of the month.
For many freelancers, this is the most stressful aspect of the job, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t yet have a constant stream of clients. So, what can you do to avoid it?
There are several methods to boost your security as a freelancer, but probably the most crucial is to always have a rainy-day fund set up, so you have some breathing room during the dry months – or when clients are sluggish to pay.
There are few things more stressful than a computer malfunctioning right before a deadline, or being cut off from customer emails due to a misplaced laptop or stolen phone.
Suddenly, your entire business and livelihood come to a halt, leaving you out of pocket not just for the cost of replacing your device, but also for the time spent doing so. Fortunately, investing in items and portable equipment insurance is a simple method to protect yourself from this nightmarish scenario.
You’ll get your kit updated within 24 hours, stress-free, and with little downtime for your company.
The bane of every freelancer’s existence. You’ve poured your heart and soul into a project, only to wait weeks, if not months, for payment, wasting your valuable time in the process. Infuriating.
Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to this one; however, it is extremely beneficial to agree on payment terms prior to beginning work, and to work through a platform like The Work Crowd, so they can help fight your battle.
Finally, if things go nasty, have professional indemnity insurance in place, which covers the costs of defending your firm if a client refuses to pay you because they are dissatisfied with your service or some other dispute.
Keep up with your admin and taxes.
I despise admin. Sending and pursuing invoices, tracking costs, and completing your tax return at the end of the year — it all seems never-ending. Extra admin is one of the high costs that freelancers pay for their independence and flexibility, but you don’t have to let it take over your life.
Our biggest piece of advice is to hire an accountant. And ideally, one that has an online bookkeeping system via which you can simply track your costs and submit invoices. Yes, there will be a monthly cost, but it will be well worth it for the time – and stress – saved.
Customers can be unpredictable. It’s not always smooth sailing. Sometimes it doesn’t. Briefs might alter in the middle of a project, and misunderstandings can occur. And if a client says that you didn’t deliver on what you promised, or worse, that you harmed their business in some way, you’re in for a world of trouble.
Client disagreements aren’t fun, especially when you haven’t done anything wrong. And, while you can’t avoid tough clients, you can prepare for them by purchasing professional indemnity insurance, which will cover any legal or compensation fees incurred in the case of a client disagreement.
Stress may be a very slippery slope. When you develop unhealthy habits, things can quickly spiral out of control, compromising your physical and mental well-being as well as your capacity to succeed in your job.
So it makes sense to put a few safety nets in place to ensure you can keep doing what you do best while still enjoying it.
Source: The Work Crowd
Flexgigzz is the Asia leading marketplace for freelancers service and together with SOHO Learning Hub which is an online platform for short courses and both of them aims to be the number one provider in Asia. For growth industries such as E-Sport Authority which is dedicated to providing independent media coverage to all E-Sport News related from around the world and for the art world, there is Atelier Auction which is an investable art auctioneer and being in the art scene for decades.