Being a freelance writer has its ups and downs. You get to work from home or wherever you’re at in the world and have no dress code. The flip side is you’re “hooked up” to the laptop and internet; you could suffer from information overload. Sooner or later you become burned out if you don’t take precautions when you begin your career.
The key to freelance writing is to schedule your projects and ignore emails unless they’re from your clients. This may be difficult for some writers to do, but it will help your productivity. Being focused on projects is number one priority. Answering an email from your friend is not.
Tips for dealing with burnout
- Take breaks throughout the day.
- Get up and move — do stretching exercises.
- Stop and do some deep breathing exercises.
- Go for a walk at lunch.
- Connect with others through networking groups or social groups.
- Take a vacation.
- Schedule a day off; most people choose Friday!
Freelance writers hardly take breaks throughout the day. This is not healthy. In fact, some writers gain weight over time because they’re not moving. Take your half hour, 45-minute, or one hour lunch. Get up and move around to keep the circulation and writing juices flowing. Walk to the store or post office instead of driving — it will do the body good.
Take Friday off! Yep, some freelance writers start the weekend early. They don’t answer email, post on Twitter or Facebook, check LinkedIn, or use anything electronic. It’s a day to begin resting and relaxing. It’s no wonder that writers suffer from burnout because they don’t relax or don’t know how to relax. Scheduling a day off is a great way to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. There’s no reason that you couldn’t take a day off if you’re meeting deadlines.
Freelance writers find a balance between work and play. All work and no play will make you one cranky writer! Take breaks throughout the day so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Stretch, go for a walk at lunch, or practice deep breathing exercises. It seems unimaginable that writers would get burned out from a career they love, but it happens. Be proactive before it’s too late!
What do you do to avoid burnout? Share your thoughts.