Have you ever wondered how you could excel in your freelance career? How you could take your home business to the next level? I have a few tips for you guys that are looking for just that. These simple efforts may seem difficult at first but with a little practice they should become routine and something you enjoy doing. You might think these tips are going to have something to directly do with making more money or getting more clients, but actually quite the opposite. They are about improving yourself.
All business you conduct is through you. Therefore, you must maintain a certain appearance, a certain mood, a high morale. Basically, you want to be a very likeable person – someone that is easy to talk to and friendly to interact with. The 10 tips that follow will help you achieve these things.
1. Wake Up Early
We all know why we love freelancing/owning our own business. Sleeping in. Face it, its one of the reasons we chose to be our own boss. So Chances are, you love to sleep in, I know I do. However, with this luxury, more times than none, comes a consequence. Sometimes we can get lazy – hitting the snooze alarm numerous times, laying in bed semi-awake for an extended period of time, this is bad! I know I’ve done this a few times. Here is the fix… Get up early! Now I know that is hard, but there is another part to this tip, it can be difficult as well (especially with of the personal electronics we have nowadays) but go to bed early or at a reasonable hour. Plan to wrap up any works you have going and leave your electronics across the room. It has helped me.
2. Get Dressed In The Morning
This one can go along with the one above. When you wake up, do your daily routine, I’m sure most of us have one. Then, get dressed! No I don’t mean throw on a T-shirt and put your slippers on, I mean go to your closet and pick out an outfit and wear the damn thing. Yeah its OK to work in the pj’s once in a while, but you really get a satisfaction from making yourself look good. This helps your morale. Remember, if you look good, you feel good!
3. Keep yourself groomed
However you groom yourself, do it. whether you keep a stubble, a clean shave, or a Santa beard, you need to maintain how it looks. This will make you feel good about yourself. I know I love staring in the mirror while I’m shaving and thinking, “Damn, you sexy”. I just get a warm feeling inside. Also, I know some people don’t care what you look like, but if you are trying to land a high profile client, I don’t think a caveman could do it.
4. Cook Some Meals Yourself
You don’t have to go all Betty Crocker on us, but just fire up the stove and cook some eggs for breakfast or make yourself some dinner. We live in a fast paced society and its often easier to go to a fast food restaurant than make our own food. I recommend eating out maybe once to twice a week like this. If this means you have to pack your lunches and eat that on the road then so be it. You need to live a healthy lifestyle and this is the place to start. This is just one simple step to leading a healthier lifestyle. Besides, I know I feel good about myself when I conjure up a new recipe… who said it had to taste good?
5. Get Some Exercise
This one is really important, and often the most overlooked. Some of us have day jobs, some of us work as freelancers. We all have one thing in common – we sit at a desk for hours on end. This is great for productivity… kind of. Maybe something has been frustrating you or you have always wanted to “be in shape”. Well, get some exercise. This one is actually really simple also. You can take 20 minutes out of your busy schedule to run a mile every day or every other day. This will do wonders for you health and your productivity. I personally work out nearly every day of the week at a local gym for about an hour or more. When I make it home, I often feel extra motivated to work after I have had a nice workout. Its like killing 3 birds with one stone. You get healthier, you are more productive and you can clear your mind all at the same time.
6. Take Breaks Often
Taking breaks often doesn’t mean playing angry birds while your boss isn’t looking, sorry. However, it does mean stand up out of your chair, bend over and stretch, stair at something other than the screen, take a step outside for some fresh air, etc… Its not good to stare at a computer screen for extended periods of time believe it or not. Our eyes are getting worse because of this too. Also, just like exercising, taking a break can actually boost productivity! I sometimes find myself getting bored of some of the things I work on, I take a break and then come back and its like magic – suddenly my mind is refreshed and I can’t wait to dive back into what I was working on.
7. Get Out Of The Office
I like to switch it up sometimes. I hate feeling like I’m living a broken record life be doing the same things over again. So on occasion, I like to go work somewhere else. Some choices may include a friends house, a local coffee shop or somewhere that has reliable WIFI. It feels great to get out of the office and grab a coffee or socialize with interesting people while you are out. Heck, you may even pick up a new client like this. Maybe you would like to try getting out like this once or twice per week. Try it I dare you.
8. Maintain Your Work Area
Occasionally I am guilty of a messy desk. It sucks! I think a desk is destined to get cluttered. We have all sorts of documents, sticky notes, devices, utensils ready and willing to pile up inches thick. I recommend getting a few storage drawers or something to help keep things organized. If you don’t need it anymore, throw it away – if you’ll need it in a year, archive it! This is such a productivity killer, don’t spend 5 seconds searching under things for a pen when you could reach for it in the holder.
9. Maintain Your Relationships
Most of us have a friend, I have been known to have a couple. Its nice to spend time with your friends, its like a retreat to get your mind completely off of a hectic work day. You shouldn’t neglect your friends because often these are a really important part to our lives whether we realize it or not. Who do you go to for advice when you need it? Friends and Family, right? I get a reasonable amount of my clients through friends anyways. What if you made a new friend every week? Imagine that!
10. Give Yourself A Vacation
I’m sure we all work hard for these right? That sacred time of the year when we have not a worry in our lives except to enjoy our time away from the real world. Vacations are a wonderful thing and they are great to have once in a while. You can meet new people and experience new cultures depending on what kind of get away you do. I recommend you try to take at least a couple small vacations per year and maybe a larger one every 2 or 3 years. I’m sure you would agree the more frequent the better – I guess it just depends on your budget. Bottom line is, time off is essential to keep motivated and get through life. Take a vacation already!
I can come up with probably 10 more points to cover but that would have to wait for another post in itself. Anyways, if you make an attempt to practice these, I guarantee you will notice a difference in your personal and professional life. Maybe you are already following some of these tips, who knows? It doesn’t hurt to try something new right? I would love to hear some tips you guys would be willing to share with me as I am always looking for ways to better myself, and share with you guys. Leave some feedback, & follow me on twitter if you like what I write!
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