How to Avoid Freelancer Burnout

Check out our tips on how to avoid freelancer burnout

Burnout happens a lot with freelancers. In fact, one German study showed that it happens with 65% of freelancers, and only to 43% of traditional workers.

Burnout has a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue and insomnia. It even includes such drastic things as drug abuse and alcoholism.

It is not something to be taken lightly. That’s why we’ll look today at ways to decrease your chances of getting freelancer burnout.

Get some separation

One important way to avoid freelancer burnout relates to your work space.

Because freelancers often mix up their work and home spaces, they don’t have the psychological barrier necessary for work-life balance (and separation).

Even if you work at home, you can get the psychological benefits of working in an office. Just find a room with a door. Any room will do (OK, maybe not the toilet). Another great alternative is to rent a hot desk in a coworking space.

Get a schedule for your work and social life

Connected to this blurring of home and work space is the work life overtaking social life.

This means that freelancers are slowly losing their social status, and this isolation can cause burnout.

In order to remedy this, set yourself a strict work schedule. Your schedule should allow you about 8 hours of work. Then, start strictly at 9 and end at 5, like normal people do.

In addition to that, get a social schedule (from 6-10, for example). Don’t discuss work during social hours.

Cut expenses

One reason why freelancers are more prone to burnout is the fact that many of them work very hard (and sometimes non-stop) for their money.

The reason they need so much money is because they have, like most of us, expenses. And since Profit = Revenue – Expenses, they increase their revenue to increase their profit.

However, there’s another way: decrease expenses.

When possible, cut your expenses so that you just don’t have to work so much. Before making a purchase, ask yourself if you really need this product and whether you can delay it until later.

Write down long-term goals

It is common for many people to get into a rut. Although this is common, there is a way to get out of it (not getting out means you’re getting down and further into burnout territory).

Set some long-term goals.

Instead of making your big, fancy goal “I want a lot of money,” why not be more specific: “I want to be the best [your profession] in this city in the next two years!”

Money sounds like a big motivator, but it usually isn’t. Recognition, reputation, acknowledgement—those are.

The best ways to stop freelancer burnout

There are many ways to stop freelancer burnout. We’ve listed some here, but it is also important to note that although burnout can be avoided, at some stages it may be too late.

If you find yourself in these darker situations, be sure to reach out to friends or family, or get in contact with a mental health expert in your area.

Good luck!