Freelancer Stories | Are you free?

Boss Babe Me Time

Most of you ask me, what happens when you are a freelancer? I stumbled upon the social media burnout blog post of my blogger friend Kaycee of themachomom.com. It got me thinking were we free when we chose to be freelancers?

They say the freedom cycle starts from you being an employee, doing side hustles, then full-time freelancer, then agency owner/entrepreneur. It sounds easy as it was written but as you go along the journey of pursuing your passion. What happens in between?

Some would say I am workaholic and I would agree. I am not sure why I want to be busy. We have bills to pay and a dream house to buy – we got to hustle.

The Freelancer Daily Routine

My alarm is set to 6 am. I have an Australian employer for digital marketing my day will usually be about newsletters, social media, website update, event marketing and strategy. I live my day making sure my Asana will not look bloody as hell.

In a perfect world, I would write my top three tasks for each client and personal business (myself). Then I will meditate, prepare breakfast, and start working.

Since I am a housewife, I still have house chores to fulfil – cook food, clean the house, laundry. Although, we have a stay out helper, you will still need to supervise.

My day usually ends 6pm for work and 10pm for chores. Except for hyper days where I would write posts like this.

The Burnout

Until I read Kaycee’s post, I never realised that I am already at the edge of crashing and burning as a freelancer. I become annoyed with everything – housemates not being responsible for looking after each other, taking turns on chores, dirty toilets and so on.

Sometimes, I don’t even want to think. I’ll snap when I’ll be asked “What’s for dinner?” in my mind I’ll go “I was working all day, can you just decide by yourself?”

Then my heart will palpitate and worse tears.

The Payback

wrist splint

The doctor said I have carpal tunnel syndrome. There was a pain when I type and use my phone. So I was in wrist splint for two weeks, removing it when I type and trying to rest it frequently.

I am binge eating and not sleeping because I do not want another day of work.

I do enjoy my profession, but I seriously need help. You think?

How to cope up with the freelancer burn out?

As a freelancer, I try to be mindful as much as I can. Here are some things that I do to pause and recollect.

  • Prioritising – I am using the Eisenhower Box as much as I could.
  • Meditating – this helps me sleep and maintain my composure. I am using the Headspace app.
  • Stretching – Another app I use called Fabulous includes one minute now and then. I take the opportunity to follow its reminder.
  • Do not disturb – for five years now; I have set my phone to ‘Do not disturb’ from 10 pm – 6 am. I added my family as favourites so their call would push through. Whenever I do deep work, I also turn on this feature.
  • Limiting screen time – social media scrolling eats anyone’s time. So to prevent me from sinking into this black hole, I turned off all notifications (except Linkedin). I check email and chat messages on the desktop.
  • Pushing back – this might be the golden nugget from my Sydney colleague. She said I should know when to say no and push back. It helped me a lot because I can just dismiss unnecessary favours and focus on what is important.

Conclusion

Freelancing is such a huge step to take to begin the journey to freedom (time and money). You must set limitations and take care of yourself because you are your own asset.

Take a minute to reflect all the projects and favours you’ve agreed to do. Evaluate whether the panic, sleeplessness nights, worrying is worth the money you are earning.

Even if we reach the bank account goal we have, but we are no longer happy and healthy – it is useless.

I hope some tips above helped you. Are you a freelancer too? How are you coping up?

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