Working freelance has its upsides and downsides. We’ve discussed some of the downsides in previous blogs (The Break Away for one) and that freedom that comes with freelance can make life a bit harder to manage while managing a business. Regularity in your life is key to success in the freelance game. Regular daily habits, routines, and practices will keep you grounded while shooting for the stars. Keeping things regular comes in many forms and with many perks.
My day starts the same every day (save for a few days when my schedule just absolutely does not allow.) I wake up at the same time, or at least time frame, and drink eight ounces of water. Next I get my body moving with some stretching and basic yoga poses. Then I wrap up the first hour of my day with a healthy breakfast of either Greek yogurt and granola or eggs and sauteed potatoes, depending on the time I have left. The water fires up my metabolism, the yoga primes my body for daily movement and clears my mind for the day to come, and the breakfast fuels me to keep going. I do these things every day and it honestly makes getting up easier knowing exactly what I am going to do first thing.
The morning routine continues to the coffee shop where I get the same thing every day. Here is another perk of being a regular. By choosing the same coffee shop every day and arriving at roughly the same time, the employees begin to know you and anticipate your needs. I will be standing in a long line and one of my friendly baristas will come and grab my mug and take it to start my coffee order because they know what I will be getting and I treat them with respect and kindness every day. This allows me to get through the ordering process faster and onto my work. Also, knowing I will see friendly faces when I walk in gives me another reason to get my ass out of bed and on with my day. I am free to do whatever I want, but I need to keep grounded in these routines in order to succeed. Too much freedom leads to chaos.
Like the Zucks and Steve Jobs, I wear the same thing most days. Black t-shirt and jeans with some nice ankle high black boots. I have enough of these shirts I can wear a clean one every day. This eliminates the time it takes for me to have to decide what to wear and allows me to use that time and brain power on my more ambitious and creative efforts. I do have a couple other staple outfits such as what I’m wearing right now. My morning outfit and working from home get up is made up of jogger pants, running shoes, and a graphic tee of some kind, typically from an event I volunteered at. I know, it makes me a basic white girl, but it’s comfortable and allows me to focus on the work instead of how my junk is cramped in my jeans.
Being regular takes some of the surprises out of my day and keeps a lot of the stressors that I used to let control my freedom and freelance life away. Surprises still pop up, but with my routine in place I can relax and know that something familiar is right around the corner. Find those regular moments in your day. Make a morning routine to start. You’ll be amazed that the idea of “not being a morning person” will soon become “Oh man! I love mornings.” This will then carry over into more and more aspects of your life.