Working from home is difficult. It relies on independence, responsibility and the determination to keep it together. Yet, many people seem to like the idea of working on their own.
Compared to working in a typical 9-5 job; being able to freely do your own thing, wherever you want and whenever you want, seems like paradise.
As a recent freelancer, I thought this was true at the beginning – but I was wrong.
It is not as simple as it seems. Yes, you have more freedom to do the things you want, but what about how much you will be earning?
Do you have the commitment to put an effort into learning more on your own?
What if you get stuck on a problem, who you gonna call? Certainly not ghostbusters — unless there’s a ghost distracting you from doing work.
All these questions can get very overwhelming if you aren’t ready to have an answer for it. When you are trying to solve all these problems, your energy starts to deplete tackling too many problems all at once.
Too Many Things To Do
Today, we live in a world where there are so many opportunities to choose from. Almost every one of us will have to maintain our standards of living in the following order:
- Wake up
- Have breakfast
- Go to work
- Have lunch
- Back to work
- Go home
- Have dinner
- Go to sleep
Of course, as a freelancer, there are other ways of re-ordering the structure above, like when you prefer to eat or what time of day you prefer to work. But if you are missing a few of these components such as eating and working, then you will feel like you won’t have any energy to do anything. You’ll want to watch Netflix or play video games to get a surge of dopamine. This in return does not bode well for your energy levels, if done excessively.
Now, this may be easier for you if you have someone living with you (friends, family, full of strangers). There may be days where you don’t have the motivation and willpower to carry on, but if given enough support from others, they will do their best to pick you up at your worst.
What about when you live on your own?
You’ll have to look out for yourself and be responsible for the actions that you take. Where you put your energy into will ultimately decide how much you will drain. This is not an easy thing to be aware of. But first, we need to analyze how we experience loss of energy.
How Energy Works
Most of us experience the loss of energy after work is done, especially as freelancers. We use up our mental and physical — or both — workload to perform several tasks throughout the day. A few studies have mentioned that on average, an adult makes 35,000 decisions per day. That is quite a lot.
The more we struggle with making decisions, the more energy we will lose. If this happens, we may choose to sacrifice our sleep or appetite. The key to avoiding this issue is to be self-aware.
Two Types of Racers
There are two types of racers that can compete in the freelancing world and they are similar to athletes in a running competition.
Here are the two types of freelance racers:
- The Sprinter – They’re full of energy and high in motivation at the beginning. They will tend to speed up the process of their work, determined that they can finish the race faster than their opposing freelancers — or competing with themselves sometimes. Though, as soon as they finish their work, just like how athletes accumulate lactic acid, these freelancers will experience burn out. The time that it will take to recover will be for a long period and they will not be able to work during that process.
- The Marathoner – They’re also high in energy and motivation, but cautious towards giving out too much, too early on. They will try to make progress in a consistent manner that will allow them to pace steadily to the finish line. After finishing their work, they will still have enough energy to do lighter activities such as reading or going for a walk. The time for them to recover will be much faster than the sprinter.
Which one would you rather be as a freelancer?
In the case of stress and exhaustion, the marathoners are the perfect candidate in getting things done efficiently.
Though, they are going to be days where the marathoners will not be efficient; it is almost inevitable. Our human capabilities are not enough to keep track of everything as a whole, and so will crumble on a specific task — particularly simple ones — like eating or socializing with someone in the outside world. However, we can minimize these tendencies by setting up systems to counter the effects of our foe (stress).
How to Deal with Stress At Home
We all have different reasons for what we want to achieve in life. But to achieve them, we need long term goals, which require a disciplinary approach.
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These are the 5 ways you can deal with stress at home:
1) Do one thing at a time
Do you ever find yourself having multiple tabs open and not being able to focus on your most important tasks?
If so, multitasking is the issue here. This means that you are putting your energy into each basket (tabs) and ultimately sacrifice the quality of your work for clients. Instead, try taking an approach of focusing on a single task at a time. When you put all your energy into a single basket, the quality of your work will be significantly higher.
2) Daily routines
Set yourself a routine in the morning and/or evening to allow you to build a habit for the long term. These rituals are essential because, through good habits, you will tend to be drawn towards a more productive day once you complete a habitual task.
Daily routines are a strong foundation to build discipline instead of relying completely on motivation.
3) Define your long term goals
Having big goals give you the priority and mindset to achieve what you want. If you didn’t have a long term goal, there is no purpose for you to commit to. Find out what you want to get done for this year. Careful not to be too ambitious in your goals, otherwise it will become overwhelming.
Just know that even though you have set a goal, nothing will ever go to plan according, so make sure you adapt to your situations.
This is the key to the marathoner’s untapped potential. They will outrun the sprinter in the long run because of their undeniable consistency which will get them further in their knowledge, progress, and achievements.
Become like a marathoner because, without consistency, you will lose sight of your goals and purpose. Though, be aware that consistency on its own does not equate to progression. You still need to make the effort to learn from your mistakes, so you don’t repeat them.
5) Acceptance of failure
This can be extremely hard for a lot of freelancers to face because humans are afraid of failure. It is why most freelancers quit; the self-doubt and many negative concepts of the way we view failure as.
Look at our history and tell me how our ancestors progressed and developed?
They didn’t develop it through avoiding failure. All the great successful people we admire in our history have gone through great lengths of failure to fight for what they wanted.
Undoubtedly, failure is inevitable for anyone in this world. It fuels us to achieve what we want in life.
If you are willing to change your mindset of failure, you as a freelancer will get further than the majority. I know this sounds like a motivational speech, but ironically it is to demonstrate a disciplined mindset. Instead of trying to wipe out your memory of failure, see them as a potential to constantly modify your work until you see the true masterpiece you have always desired.
We would love to hear your feedback on how you deal with stress while working from home, so please tell us on the comments below. If you would like to receive help & support on other similar topics, join our Facebook group! Also, it’s a perfect place to connect with other bloggers or freelancers & promote your work!
Justin is a writer who loves to express emotions in his inner world. He achieved a bachelor’s degree in computer science and worked as a web developer for 2 years. Though, he felt unsatisfied with his programming career and decided to move into the writing field. He has a blog called QuestionAddict where he spreads the wisdom of Productivity, Personality Psychology, and Philosophy.