The first time freelancer’s juggling act


It’s been about a month now since I’ve been juggling my day-to-day work as a contract web designer and my side gig as a freelance art director and I can honestly say that I am enjoying it. The juggling part, not so much.

Falling into a deadly routine

Let me explain. I think I’ve fallen into the same routine that most first time freelancers fall into. Firstly, I’m prioritising the items that will give me money. Logical right? I don’t want to be spending hours working on something and it not being paid work. Sadly, that means that I still haven’t finished off the design work, let alone started building, my own company’s website. *deep sigh*

Secondly, I’m working a heck of a lot more than I did when I was a good ol’ permie. I thought this would be the case. For the most part, I don’t mind it. But I have been noticing that I’m feeling a bit more drained these days. I’ve developed a slightly silly bad habit that if I know I’ve got a fair bit of work to do in the evenings after work, I’ll cobble together a dinner that probably needs more to it, just to save time. Said time is then spent working. Combine this with weekend working and you’ve got one tired girl.

I knew it would be something like this in the beginning. Though I always thought of myself as a pretty well structured individual, in terms of my timekeeping and balancing. Clearly, I still have a lot to learn.

Getting Strict on Myself

From now on, I need to add more balance. Be more efficient. Heck, maybe even draw up an actual schedule that I stick to strictly. Take into account things like getting some exercise and even those mundane household chores that need doing. Last week, it was such a busy one that I actually forgot to go food shopping! Ever tried eating Weetabix with a few spoonfuls of milk? I did. Monday morning. Wow, that was dry.

Also, I’m picking up my camera a lot less. Focussing instead on the work I need to get done. Perhaps I need to schedule some ‘fun’ time for me. Wow, scheduling fun. I am a bloody rock star.

Don’t Get Me Wrong

I’m not averse to hard work. I enjoy my work, so it rarely ever feels like hard work. I just want to make sure I’m doing the right sort of hard work. You know?

This is sort of me thinking out aloud. Writing this up here makes it real and permanent. Rather than just casually thinking, I need to re-think my working patterns.