Okay, you don’t have to be a freelancer to be a fantastic writer or to be your best. I have found that I am better as a freelancer—a better significant other, aunt, sister, cousin, friend and worker. I’m also healthier since I make my own meals and do a better job of squeezing in some exercise than when I spent my days in a cubicle. It’s the joy of doing what I love and being independent. There’s a reason HR World’s post 101 Reasons Freelancers Do it Better is so popular.
While independence can be stressful, I thrive on holding my success (or failure) in my own hands. I love being nimble and flexible, working with ongoing clients and adding new ones to the mix. Everyone who’s known me for the last few years all say they can’t imagine me going back. Neither can I.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy. This month has been one of my busiest months ever and I’ve pushed myself to deliver the best for each of my clients. There’s still more to do—and I am tired. Some of my deadlines have required sprinting, yet this is a marathon I must finish. If I’m sick, there’s no co-worker who can cover my absence.
How do you make sure you stay sharp, refreshed and able to do your best? This is my list and I would love to add your ideas to it.
- Sleep. It may sound square, but I try to keep regular bedtime and waking hours. I may have to work later into the evening or give up a leisurely morning cup of coffee to start writing, but I try to keep my alarm ringing at a consistent time.
- Eat. I keep fresh fruits and vegetables in the house, which makes it easy to create healthy meals. When I eat junk, I don’t have energy. Of course, sometimes an outing for ice cream is a must!
- Exercise. I try. And sometimes I fail. Last week, when I was working around the clock, I realized I didn’t leave my house for five days! It’s not something I want to repeat.
- Escape. See getting ice cream. I try to keep as much of my weekend free as I can. Sometimes that doesn’t happen, but I do strive to step away from work when possible. I love going to movies as my “escape” because it forces me out of the house and I have to turn off my phone. I also like to be up in the mountains; it’s so beautiful, it’s impossible to be stressed.
- Get inspired. For me, reading is probably my favorite means to re-energize my mind and find creative refreshment. I read everything I can get my hands on, from blogs to e-mail newsletters to newspapers, magazines and books.
Your turn! What helps you stay refreshed, inspired and able to deliver your best?