Habits Freelancer Should Get Rid Of – Unhealthy Lifestyle, Short-Term Mindset, Procrastination, Perfectionism Obsession, Doing Everything Yourself, Taking Up Stress, Being in the Company of Negative People
There certain things that freelancers should consider getting rid of altogether. I do agree freelancers and entrepreneurs are different. I will focus on things freelancers, but they may also be valid for entrepreneurs as well.
So. let’s see what they are.
1. Unhealthy Lifestyle
Health is wealth. And it is obligatory to everyone. Being a freelancer for more than a decade now, I know for sure it is tempted to work long hours when one is getting started.
And then you see quotes like these from Elon Musk:
Source: Larry Kim on Twitter
With minimal physical activities involved while writing code or blogging. It can harm the body physically. On top of that, always being in front of the computer have their adverse side effects.
Hence, healthy eating, adequate sleep, and physical exercises should be the focus of a freelancer if he wishes to work for a very long time.
2. Short-Term Mindset
Freelancing isn’t about getting rich overnight. The only trait that separates a successful freelancer and an amateur is the mindset.
Successful freelancers set long-term goals and align the short-term mindset to those goals. To achieve these goals, one needs to employ meaningful habits.
Freelancer is all on his own. There is no one on top of him to guide the right path of career. One has to keep an eye on the upcoming technologies and focus on moving on from one to other as and when one needs to.
If your mindset is set to focus on short-term, it will always focus on what will make you employable by clients now but if the focus is for the long-term, you will not only focus on things that work now but will also focus on learning something for the future as well.
Even a college student can make money programming but it is not about what you can make right now with your skills, but it is about being able to do that for an elongated period.
Hence, focus on long-term goals and try to get rid off short-term mentality. From my experience, I can certainly say it will benefit more in the long run.
I believe in:
There can be hundreds of reasons but not a single excuse.
Successful people may have a hundred reasons to quit but one reason to continue doing what they have done which has put them in the place they are in now.
You have to stop procrastination and get your ass off and start doing.
When I was doing a job, there were many reasons to keep doing what I was doing. A high paying job in an MNC as a developer with a chance to become a team leader in a few years can be a sole reason not to quit then.
I had to make that tough choice.
Now, I can say it was the right decision, and if I had taken it a couple of years back, it would have been even better.
As and when I interact with a developer looking to be a freelancer but has a slight bit of doubt, and is procrastination, I ask them a straightforward question.
If you become a freelancer, will you lose your degree? The answer is NO. So I ask them why not try to freelance? If it doesn’t work out, you can get a job based on the same degree a couple of years down the line.
It instantly takes out the uncertainty of being a freelancer which makes them believe in themselves more than ever before.
4. Perfectionism Obsession
Nothing is perfect, and it will never be. There can always be an opportunity to improve.
There is a thin line between a confident person and being overconfident. Similarly, there is a thin line between sound quality and to make it perfect. It is good to make it better, but there is a thin line between making things better and being obsessed about it to make it perfect.
There will always be a scope of improvement, but if you focus on giving your best, it should be all good. Don’t try to be perfect all the time.
As an example, I have given my best shot for writing this article. Still, I can keep iterating it to make it perfect. The same one can say about any code written by me as well.
5. Doing Everything Yourself
As a freelancer, the idea is not hiring an employee because that will keep the sole purpose of being a freelancer in the first place, but that doesn’t mean you can’t outsource either.
“Jack of All, Master of None”
It is true that multi-tasking makes one feel like a superhero. But it’s delusional simultaneously.
Imagine a freelance developer writing codes, checking emails, working on a client’s project and writing a blog post at the same time. That may seem like great from the outside but can it make the person best in coding as well as in writing?
The answer is NO.
It’s not that one can’t do multiple tasks at a time. The problem is it will resist from accomplishing a single one the right way.
Successful freelancers organize their thoughts and filter out irrelevant information. They increase their efficiency and performance by focusing on one thing at a time.
6. Taking Up Stress
Freelancing isn’t a job. There are multiple hats a freelancer needs to wear. It can be stressful when there’s either lot of work to deliver or no work at all. And both the scenarios are common.
Here is an Eisenhower matrix that can help you with what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t be doing to reduce the stress and get into the peaceful state of mind.
Try to remain as much as possible in Quadrant II. It means you are working on things before they become urgent. Practice avoiding things in quadrant III and IV.
Follow the daily habits of successful people. It will immensely help reduce stress and get the most out of you.
7. Being in the Company of Negative People
You are an average of five people around you, and if negative people surround you, you will become a lot negative.
I have moved from Kolkata to Surat, and there is a difference in the culture. I found a change in my behavior in many situations. The reason being many people around me handle those situations a lot differently.
Let me share an example. When I was in Kolkata, if you happen to find a bike that isn’t parked correctly, you tend to react to it with anger, and I remember doing the same. The same situation and I don’t even react at all because I have seen people in Surat are cool about it. People around me are ok. Similarly when in traffic, people are reckless but that isn’t the case anymore because people around me aren’t.
So, make sure you choose your friends and people you hang out with wisely. It can make a lot of difference to your thought process as a freelancer. If you have freelancers around, it will be that much easy to be a freelancer.
Further Reading …