Freelancer life… Why having a routine is good for you

Freelance writing in Devon

When you work for yourself, your routine doesn’t have to look anything like anybody else’s.

I had an interesting conversation the other morning, over coffee with a freelancer friend. We were discussing our daily and weekly routines and how establishing these had been so important to both of us when starting out in freelance life. The irony of this conversation and its location has since struck me because one of the biggest advantages of being a freelance writer is that you can (and sometimes should) break out of the daily routine to find time for morning coffee with friends.

Down the right road

Routine is an interesting concept. Sometimes used as an adjective to denote the dull or humdrum but actually a comfort to many of us, routines can seem unattractive but often form the basis of a fun and productive life. It might help routine’s PR to look at its etymology. As you might expect, it comes from the French word ‘route’ meaning ‘road’, suggesting that a routine is something that will help you get to the places you want to be. Surely a good thing for any freelancer. Throughout my working life, the places I have generally wanted to be were ‘in work’ and ‘with money’. However the picture is more complicated now that I am a freelance writer. Having been in a high-pressured career and being the grand old age of 52, I now understand that the other important place I want to be is ‘with time’.

Achieving your freelance goals

So how do you achieve that elusive trinity of goals? The numbers of happy freelancers across the UK clearly demonstrates that having an acceptable combination of work, money and time is possible but I would suggest that this triumvirate doesn’t come without some element of organisation. That, of course, is where our old friend routine comes into play. Within established routines you can allocate time to each goal, ensure your work life balance and, maybe most importantly, avoid that, ‘I wish someone would tell me what to do next’ feeling.

It’s your routine after all!

When the work pile looks insurmountable a routine can help you make your way through it. When your inbox is empty, a routine can help you take alternative positives steps towards freelance success. With a solid freelance routine you can make informed decisions about when to break free and when to stick to your guns. Without a freelance routine you risk feeling as though you are underachieving. If this all sounds a bit… well… routine, the great news is that when you work for yourself, your routine doesn’t have to look anything like anybody else’s.

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