Staying productive and managing stress as a professional takes solid intend and careful self-examination. It is very easy to get lost otherwise!
From making the most of your peak energy hours to knowing where to focus your time to strike a work-life balance that’s just right, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
But all isn’t lost.
In fact, Marcus Aurelius once said:
“If you’re stressed by anything external, the pain isn’t due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
In other words, instead of focusing on how uncomfortable stress makes you, remember that stress is natural. If you feel stressed, you can choose to react to the pain — or you can choose to focus on finding a solution instead.
And that’s where we come in.
In today’s article, we’re sharing four tried-and-true solutions you can use to successfully deal with stress at work and stay productive as a freelancer.
Ready to learn more?
1. Use industry-specific productivity tools
Stay ahead of the curve with technological tools that allow you to carry out your work in an easier and more efficient way.
To stay even more productive, get your hands on software tools specific to your industry.
For example, if you’re a financial advisor, use a report creator to generate financial reports for client meetings and demonstrations.
Or, if you’re a social media virtual assistant, use social media scheduling tools to plan, batch, and schedule your content months in advance.
Tool creators that niche down tend to have expert experience in their fields. In other words, they’ve been where you are today, and after some trial-and-error, they’ve learned how to build (or invent tools) that alleviate common industry pain points.
Still, some tools, like follow-up email templates, invoicing tools, and contract management software are applicable to just about any freelancing sector.
Before you finalize your software tools, spend time mapping out your daily, weekly, and monthly operations. Then, ask yourself which tasks you can automate using a specialized tool.
For instance, maybe you can use a calendar tool like Calendly to automate your meeting and client booking processes. And maybe you can use a Work OS like Asana to track, assign, and submit your weekly projects.
2. Focus on work that aligns with your personality type
It’s no secret that everyone has different skills, strengths, and personality types.
But sometimes, we don’t take these aspects into consideration when we choose which projects or service jobs we take on.
For instance, careers for INFJ personalities in sales and customer service may not be the best fit. Marketing, coding, or copywriting, on the other hand, can help people with INFJ personality traits shine in their independent and introspective nature.
That’s because, when we focus on work that aligns with our unique skill sets, personality, and natural state, we experience more ease and flow. A flow that can help beat stress and boost productivity faster than any tool or business e-book can.
Deadlines stacked to the nine? At least you’re happy doing work you love.
Have to spend the afternoon prepping contracts? What a relief you have skills great enough to attract new clients!
So, take inventory of the work you’re doing:
- Are you happy with the field you chose? Does it align with your natural state?
- Do you feel like your work is meaningful?
- What do you think about the niche you’re in? Should you narrow it down further or widen your scope of work? Does it fit your personality type and unique strengths?
- Do you feel positive and grateful when you’re working on your projects or delivering services? If not, what would you rather be doing?
- Are there any tasks you love doing more than others? Can you increase the ones you love and decrease the rest?
3. Prioritize your wellness
Sometimes stress at work is directly related to your general wellness state.
We’ve all heard the saying “don’t bring your problems to work”. But that’s quite difficult to put into practice, isn’t it?
You might be managing an illness, caring for loved ones, or lacking in more intimate areas of your life, such as your mental health, emotional health, or even your sexual health. In fact, 63% of Americans think their lives would improve if their sex lives improved!
Check out 12 ways to safeguard your mental health as a freelancer.
That’s why it’s crucial to take a hard look at your wellness state from a holistic point of view.
From eating three healthy meals a day to fitting in daily movement and personal development practices to getting enough sleep, approaching wellness from all sides of the coin can help support you to show up as your best self to work.
Check out how to manage work-life balance as a freelancer.
4. Take scheduled breaks
While scheduling time blocks to conduct deep work is important, don’t forget to schedule a time to rest, too.
Whether you’re working on an important deadline or hosting back-to-back coaching sessions, having breaks to look forward to can help you recharge and return back to work afresh.
Check out how to efficiently do time management as a freelancer.
Here are some other ways you can use your time wisely as a freelancer:
- Work in time blocks during your peak productivity hours
- Schedule your breaks outside of your peak productivity time blocks
- Use a timer to alert you when a time block starts or stops
- Use a timer to remind you to go on a break
- When working, turn on the “do not disturb” feature on your phone
- Schedule time to do things you love outside of work
- Don’t forget to make time to be with the people that matter most to you
- Plan your workload in advance so you don’t miss out on holidays and other important events with your loved ones
Staying productive and managing stress as a freelancer requires taking a step back and remembering your priorities.
With intention and self-examination, you can learn to work toward building a happy and successful freelancing lifestyle — without sacrificing your health or personal time to do it.
The next time you face stress or a heavy project load at work, remember to focus on a solution, not the pain.
And of course, don’t forget to use our top tips, which include:
- 1. Use industry-specific productivity tools
- 2. Focus on work that aligns with your personality type
- 3. Prioritize your wellness
- 4. Take scheduled breaks
And that’s it for today, friends.
To your success!