Why do I enjoy being freelance? The choice and flexibility

Posted on: November 9th, 2010

We freelancers often spend too much time worrying. Will that new client actually pay me? What happens if I get sick and can’t work? What if I lose a client and can’t find a new one?

Sometimes it’s good to take one step back and focus instead on the positive things freelancing gives us.

No commuting

I work from home so I don’t have to squeeze onto the Tube every morning at 8am like a squashed sardine and suffer the stress of a busy commute. And then do the same again in reverse in the evening. Instead, I’m often in the pool at 8am, enjoying a swim.

At this time of year when it gets dark early, I like to make the most of the sunlight. So, if the weekend has been dull and wet and Monday morning dawns bright and sunny, I make sure I go out and enjoy the light for a couple of hours.

It’s easy to make the time up later in the day or later in the week. You couldn’t say to your boss: “I won’t be in until 11am ‘cos it’s sunny.”

Choose your own timetable

It’s this flexibility over my timetable that I really value. If I want to work from noon to 8pm in order to attend a course/exercise/write a book, then I can. And so can you.

And, if you hate getting up before 9am and don’t really start to work effectively before 11am, then that’s absolutely fine. Because you choose when you start work and when you finish. Think of your mates who have to get up at the crack of dawn, commute in, and be at their desks for 9am.

So, the next time you start to stress out over your freelancing, remember the choices you have. You know how much client work you need to get done and the deadlines you need to meet but it’s entirely your choice about when you timetable this work.

I know one freelancer who prefers to get up at midday and work from 10pm to 5am.

Set your own workload

You can also choose how much work you want to take on. If you only want to work three days a week, then that’s fine. You don’t have to take on more than that.

And, if you get offered a project that you know you wouldn’t enjoy, you don’t have to accept it. That means you can be sure of working on things you know you’re going to like doing.

What are the positive aspects of freelancing that YOU value most?

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