Freelancing is a fantastic gig to have; it lets you be your own boss and make flexible hours. However, the unstructured nature of freelancing can sometimes become too unstructured. Without a steady stream of work and income, it can be challenging to remain calm and stay motivated. Freelancers are continually pitching themselves to potential clients, and once they get a job, they have to hit the ground running to make the deadline. Working under these conditions long-term, and without a plan for stress management, can set you up for failure. Here are some ways to manage the stress that comes with the freelance life. “No” One word that freelancers probably never want to say is no. Getting a job is what freelancers work towards, but a wave of projects is not always manageable. New clients and new work mean more money and probably, more stability. However, freelancers need to learn their bandwidth and take on each task accordingly. It may mean that you will have to say no and turn down a job but, the saying quality over quantity comes into play here when looking to manage your stress and mental health. Take Note of Stressors Stress and anxiety from work can make it hard to complete your daily tasks. One way to recognize these stresses and find a way to manage them is to carve out time in your day where you write down what’s stressing you out the most. Writing down your most significant causes of stress can help put these things into perspective and allow you to find a solution. For example, if one of your stressors is that you’re constantly working late maybe, you need to take on less work. Set aside 30 minutes to evaluate your day, set goals, and reduce your stress. Set a Schedule Freelancing is a bit free in terms of the schedule you may have. Especially when just starting out, take time to track your day and plan for each task. You don’t have to set a strict 9 to 5 business hours for yourself, but you do need to begin setting boundaries for your hours of operation. Once you determine your schedule, you can then let clients know what times they can reach you. If you don’t, you’ll be setting yourself up for burnout when your clients believe they can contact you at any time. — Published on August 27, 2019 Nicole Brzyski is a freelance writer and editor based in New Jersey. She has experience working in marketing and communications prior to making the switch to freelance work. Nicole Brzyski produces content for her clients, who are typically entrepreneurs or small businesses, that helps each company develop their voice and image. The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!