10 Bad Habits Every Freelancer Needs To Kick or Avoid

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25 Motivational Quotes | Part 1

Freelancing or working from home is one of the best moves some people make in their life. It means freedom, it means the comfort of your own home, it means no one bossing you around, it means the ability to focus, there are many benefits. But as with anything, there can be problems too.

Because you're working from home, with no one watching over you, it's very easy to get into bad habits, habits which can destroy your workflow and even destroy you - the build up of stress and many other health problems. It's very important to kick these habits or avoid them before they even happen.

1. Procrastination

I'm sure everyone does this one, even I do. Sometimes there are moments where it's actually good to procrastinate, you might be on a tough task so doing something you enjoy for a short while can be beneficial. Unfortunately procrastination can take over, making you put off tasks which are really important and need to be done, whether you like it or not. This can easily lead to losing out on clients and not making the most of your time, which means losing out on money which you could have earned. If you work for someone, but work from home, it could mean losing your job. Probably the best thing to do here is to put a note, or even a huge poster on your wall which tells you something like "procrastination = losing your job", or something similar, something to just scare you.


2. Stop Getting Distracted

This is very similar to procrastination, but it can be easily avoided too. Whatever it may be distracting you, whether it be a Facebook notification, the TV, a games console - ignore it or remove it. Social media notifications can easily be ignored or turned off. A TV or game console can be removed from the room completely, you should keep those in a separate room.

3. Being Lazy

When it comes to doing your work, put all your effort into it. If you paid someone to do something for you, you'd want to be assured they put their complete 100% into it. If you're a web designer, it's fine using a template you created before or something similar, but don't make silly shortcuts where you miss vital steps in your website making process. You might have to come back to them later, wasting your own time.

4. Be Social

One problem I've found when meeting other freelancers is that they don't have a clue how to socialise, how to talk, how to come across...etc. Because of this, when they meet or talk to a client, they don't know how to come across in a friendly and welcoming manner. This means they end up losing out on a client because the person seems too shy or unconfident in themselves. But being overconfident can easily backfire so you've got to find a good balance.

5. Be Organised, Both With Your Workspace & On Your Computer

When working from home your workspace can easily get very messy, because no one else sees it, who cares. But this should not be the case. Having a tidy and neat looking workspace can be essential on you keeping a nice workflow. When you're organised you'll easily be able to find that invoice you printed, that mockup you made two weeks back or that proposal you got from a client. If you keep everything on your computer and are paperless, it is even more important to keep all your files organised. Files can easily be lost in your computer because you don't have a clue where you saved it or what you named it, meaning you'll never find it when you really need it. Name and file everything properly. It's a mistake I made at first, but then it got to a point where it was just a huge pain in the backside, so I learned to organise and name everything properly, now I can find everything when I need it.

10 Bad Habits Every Freelancer Needs To Kick or Avoid

6. Backup Everything

If you work from home, you most probably work on a computer. Computers can fail, without notice. And when all your files are gone, that's it, what are you going to do, you've lost all those years of work. So I can't stress how important it is to backup all your files regularly. Both Windows and Mac come with automatic backup programs which let you backup your whole computer everyday. This is one of those things where only once it's happened do you realise how important it is to backup your computer.

7. Working Too Much

Sometimes some people can work too much or too hard when they're at home. Because there are no set times like at a typical office job, there is no set time to go home. This means sometimes when you're at home you end up working nearly all the time, mixing work with your free time. It's a really bad idea to this because it's essential to have time to yourself to do things that don't involve work at all, such as watching TV, reading a book or playing computer games. If you work all the time you end up hitting burnout where it's impossible for you to get any more work done, you really don't want to get to that point.

8. Sitting In Front Of The Computer For Too Long

Sitting in front of the computer all day doesn't do anyone any good. It's a good idea to actually get out and do something else, it can literally be anything - seeing friends, taking up a hobby, going to the gym. Doing stuff like this will help you stay a lot more fresh and healthy. Things I usually do to get away from the computer is to go out and see friends, and I love photography, even if I'm not good at it, I do it for fun - the main thing is to have fun.

9. Not Following Up

A client might come to you for a quote or show interest in your services. They'll have a chat with you and then tell you that they'll get back in touch. Sometimes clients completely forget to back in touch because they have lives too. It's very important that you follow up with them so you can be sure they're interested or not in your services. I've found by following up, I've acquired a lot more clients, and it's just because they themselves forget to get back in touch.

10. Always Strive To Be Better

Don't ever be satisfied with what you can achieve and accomplish now, always try to be better. I've found many freelancers are just happy with what they can do now, they don't ever try to be better or learn new skills. Learning to be better at what you're doing will inevitably put you ahead of the competition because you can do things others can't. Having more skills will also mean you can offer new services, which of course means more clients.

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