Keeping it Fresh as a Freelancer

Coffee cup and notebook

Image: Take a break, work in a coffee shop!

The freelance web designer/developer lifestyle is great. You work from home in your PJs, drink coffee all day, have a 'flexible hours' contract with yourself, and take the dog for a walk/go running/walking/cycling at any time of the day. Yay!

On the other hand, working from home can be lonely, clients are always on the phone with their website problems, and you don't stop work until 9 or 10 pm in the evening. Boo!

In truth, the reality is somewhere between those two extremes but, after working as a freelance web designer/developer for about 10 years, I know that I feel jaded and stale on occasion. A feeling that working life is a slog or that I'm on a treadmill I cannot get off. So, here are a few things that have helped me keep things 'fresh'.

  1. Work in different places - coworking spaces, other offices, coffee shops.
  2. Change your home office routine - spring clean your office, re-organise your work, do things differently to be more efficient.
  3. Go to conferences - keep up-to-date with industry skills and trends.
  4. Local meetups - talk to other freelancers in your area, compare notes, discuss problems.
  5. Work on a personal project
  6. Take time out to read and learn new things.
  7. Take a holiday - even if that's just a day off.
  8. Buy a Mac (if Windows) or Windows PC (if Mac).

I've done all the above. OK, OK, perhaps I didn't buy a Mac just to keep things fresh but you get the idea.

This all comes down to keeping a good work/life balance. When I feel mine getting out of kilter, I try and do an item from the list above. They work for me!

Let me know in the comments if you have things that have helped keep you fresh as a freelancer.

Comments and Responses

  • Gravatar image

    28 Apr 2015 13:05:12

    Routines are a great thing – tweaking them to add a bit of spark is even better as you still have the routine but have improved it. Love the idea of a spring clean – blow the cobwebs out and dump the stuff thats been clagging up your desk and mind for too long. Couple of things I would add to your excellent list – Radio – should help you feel less lonely and Hobbies – do something non sporty that is not pixel based, preferably something creative.

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