A freelancer's work-life can often be precarious. The uncertainty of job opportunities or paychecks is stressful on its own, but with the added strain of Covid-19 and self-isolation, times for freelancers are more unpredictable than ever.
The global halt in everyday life has reduced the need for many avenues of freelance work, leaving many feeling lost, struggling to find employment or incapable of focussing on their working day.
We've collated some tips and tricks on how to handle working from home, freelancing in the current environment and keeping creative focus.
When in doubt, write it out!
When we were asking around and collating advice from freelancers, the first thing that jumped out was lists - lots of them! The power of a list on a cluttered mind is unmatchable.
Many say the best way to start your home-working day is to write out a strict to-do-list. You can do this over your morning coffee or while whipping up breakfast, but having a schedule will help you to limit distractions. Make sure to include downtimes too! Give yourself breaks and things to look forward to throughout the day.
This pen to paper exercise also puts your brain in the headspace for creating. Maybe do a few doodles, draw an icon next to each task - the page is all yours, be as creative as you like. Be the badass bullet journaling b*tch you've always wished you were.
Tackle the mole hill not the mountain.
When you have a mountain of tasks looming over you, it can be quite daunting. A very handy tip whether you're self-isolating or not, is to break down your big tasks into bite-sized pieces.
The pieces should be as small as possible, such as sending out that email you've been putting off - this way you can tick off way more things throughout the day and remain productive. It's much easier to start and stay motivated with a big project when you begin with baby steps.
We're (not constantly) in this together.
If you're lucky (or unlucky) enough to be in isolation with your s.o. or friends it may be tempting to spend all day together. However, sometimes it is nice to have some sort of work solace just for you.
Our current period of self-isolation is for an undefined amount of time, so to stay appreciative of those moments of socialising and friendship save them for lunchtime or after work. You won't feel guilty for avoiding work like you would during your usual 11 am gossip sesh and it may help enforce a routine in place.
Don't be too hard on yourself!
Being stuck at home looking at the same walls 24/7 can put a strain on our creativity. So if you're finding it hard to get inspired, don't beat yourself up!
Try and have an array of less-creative tasks on the back burner for when you don't feel up to it. You're still being productive by sorting through your inbox, deleting old files or just researching your next project.
If your creativity doesn't return for a few days - try and take yourself out of your work and source your creativity from its roots - by just doing what you enjoy. Try and produce something for yourself then go back to the brief at hand.
Make sure the workday ends.
God forbid we all fall into the monotonous 24-hour bed, laptop, bed routine. If your work is, like many, completely laptop-based - save yourself from the trap and plan something for the end for the workday that does not involve your computer. Cooking, board games, cards, drinks, anything!
If you live with people, you and your roommates could even throw an impromptu 'Come Dine with Me' each night, dress up have fun! Your off time can even be creative and playful!
And remember, keep positive! These are the times we can rebuild our relationships with our creativity. Don't be too hard on yourself, we're all feeling the same way - you're not alone!
Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting various freelance opportunities spanning the industries on Twitter - so keep your eyes out if you're looking!