Guest Post by Sarah
Ah, the freelance life. Freelancing offers a chance of flexibility and freedom, working on your own schedule and tackling projects you enjoy doing. Working as a freelancer isn’t without stress though. Lack of work, too much work, and time management can increase anxiety and stress levels which actually hurts productivity. There are some things to consider when freelancing that will help keep your sanity and productivity levels high.
Stress vs. Productivity
For some, stress can be a great motivator, but to what extent? Stress makes us frazzled, our heart rates jump into new territory and can take a toll on our health. We may operate faster under stress, but we do not operate better. Stress also robs us of sleep; something freelancers desperately need because sleep improves our cognitive abilities. Without it, we can’t think or write as well as we should. As freelancers, we need the stamina to carry on our projects through completion. Stress also depletes our energy levels, making it difficult to get our work accomplished.
Beat Stress and Increase Productivity
There are many things to do throughout the day to help us reduce stress and relax. One thing freelancers can do is to schedule blocks of time in which to work. Working all day non-stop does not help stress levels. Set aside blocks of time in which to work, and some time to play on social media or spend time with family or watch an episode on T.V. The block of time in which you work should be distraction-free, which allows for better time management, lower stress, and completed assignments turned in on time.
Meditation can be done just about anywhere and can be done within several minutes. This is great for freelancers because whether you’re sitting on a beach writing or at a desk, you can meditate. Daily meditation can help ease anxiety which allows for clearer thinking. Telling yourself positive things such as “I feel at peace” can help you cope with stressful factors that appear in your life. Meditation helps ease the mind after which the body will follow. Try this throughout the day if you feel overwhelmed to help center yourself and increase productivity.
Essential oils are natural, plant-based oils that are made to help heal or ease many ailments. One of the issues essential oils can help with is stress. These oils can be used in a diffuser in which the scent is carried throughout the room. Oils like lavender oil are popular for easing stress levels. You can also dab some of the oil on your wrists and temples for absorption as well as scent. Not only will your workspace smell good, but it will also be a calming, relaxing atmosphere that will allow you to work more efficiently.
Breathe Breathe Breathe
Do you have a million articles due tomorrow? Allowing stress to infiltrate your mind will ruin your chances of success. Our bodies and minds become distracted and fatigued to the point that nothing can be accomplished. Try breathing exercises anytime you feel overwhelmed. The 4-7-8 exercise is a popular breathing tool to help stabilize blood pressure and heart rates. Breathe in deeply, counting to four, hold the inhalation for seven seconds, and then slowly exhale counting to 8. Breathing exercises such as this can be done anywhere, anytime. If you feel anxious, try the 4-7-8 exercise and repeat several times as the anxiety disappears.
You Have a Community
The online freelance community is huge. There are thousands of others working as freelancers just like yourself who may also feel stressed or worried. Reaching out to others is a great way to connect, which can help ease stress and allow you to relax. They may have tips or advice for you or maybe a shoulder to lean on when encouragement is needed. Human interaction and connections are some of the best ways to ease anxiety and to get more done.
Sometimes, relaxation as a freelancer is hard to find. Stress always seems to be at our doorstep, but it strangles our chances at productivity and only has negative effects on both our minds and bodies. Relaxation techniques such as these mentioned above can help you stay calm and focused, which is what every freelancer needs to be successful.
Bio: Sarah values relaxation and meditation, which is why she started Relax Everyday. She writes about her experiences and the strategies she uses to achieve a calm and relaxed mind.