When It Rains, It Pours: Busy Times in Freelancing

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It’s been a while since I’ve written a post, but that brings up exactly what we need to talk about today: Being overwhelmed with work.

In the month of December, I worked every day. Not every weekday: EVERY day. As a freelancer, this is something you get to do and explore, but what I discovered very quickly is that you can burn yourself out on your work and lament that you have to do anything at all.

I work at VIPKID, which is a lot of fun, but when you work every day for a month, it does become tedious. Three or four hours a day teaching the same lessons in the early morning hours tends to wear you down. Of course, your mileage may vary if you’re a morning person (I am not).

I also write elsewhere and work around four hours a day completing those tasks. Working 30 eight-to-ten hour days was exhausting, but when work comes in droves, you have to do your best to complete it.

That being said, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself for an influx of work. While I knew I was going to work a lot, I didn’t plan for down time. With no days off, I had no time to recover at all. As soon as January hit, I had to take two or three days off as a way to recover, and at that point, it might have just served me better to take a day off here or there instead of losing three days worth of work at the beginning of a new month.

What would I do differently to prepare for my next 30-day work month?

1. Plan relaxation days

I would, first and foremost, plan days where I have very little work. Doing some work is still productive, but it’s a good idea to leave a day or two where you can sleep in or take a day trip away.

2. Prepare for sick days

I would also prepare for sick days. What happens when I get so sick I can’t work one or both of the jobs? If you work ahead on projects, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the workload that day. When I got sick during December, I worked through it, but I also believe that may have made it harder for me to recover.

3. Create a reward system

This was one thing that got me through the month, but I would do it differently next time. This time, I planned on a reward at the end of 30 days. Next time, I’ll plan a series of smaller rewards at the end of each week, so I have a better sense of achievement.

These are just a few things I would change about my schedule and how I handle it. If you work every day or nearly every day, what do you do to keep yourself happy, healthy and balanced?

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