The Minimalist Guide to Freelancing

When I hear the term minimalist, I think of zen and balance, as well as simplicity.

As you develop your freelancing portfolio and career, one of the keys of long-term success is simply to keep a balanced lifestyle, which often boils down to a minimalist approach to life and work.

Within the context of freelancing, minimalism is removing distractions; clearing the desk (and mind) of anything that isn’t needed to get the job done.

After enough time in the industry, it’s easy to pick up activities and habits that simply take away time from meaningful activities. The following is a guide to minimalist freelancing and your start to a more balanced career.

A Full Plate

Everyone has heard the term “less is more,” and in freelancing applying a minimalistic approach can help you stay more organized and focused. While multiple requests for your businesses services is what you strive for and are causes for excitement, it is important for you to stay focused on your ideal customer.

Everyone has heard the term “less is more,” and in freelancing applying a minimalistic approach can help you stay more organized and focused.
If you do not stay focused, your excitement will soon turn to frustration — both on your part and the part of the customer.

Take new projects on in only small portions. You may find when you look at your portfolio of clients that you have a few in there that take far more time and energy than everyone else does.

Consider letting these difficult clients go once you are able without hurting your cash flow. Imagine eventually replacing them with someone similar to your favorite customers! While it can be intimidating to turn down work, especially as a freelancer, if you can replace the difficult clients with the ones that take less time and effort, you will make more for your time and at the same time reduce your work-related stress.

Work Atmosphere

As a freelancer, you set the tone for your work environment. To have a relaxed, organized business, begin by eliminating your chaotic tendencies. From the start, excellent time management will keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

Come up with a plan on how you want to structure your day and stick with it, for the most part. Of course, there may be changes in the day which you need to adjust to, but the idea is that giving each task its own place in your day will keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

Atmosphere extends to your location, too. How can you make your immediate environment a better place to work? Should you crank up your favorite rock tunes or work in silence? Maybe you should start bringing your dog to the office.

Whatever list you come up with for improving your place of work (whether in an office or a home office), choose with purpose. Find what works, helps you eliminate distractions, allows you to focus, and stick with it. Your work atmosphere is an important part of a minimalist approach because you end up clearing out those things that distract, allowing you a more focused workspace.

About Tuts+

Tuts+ helps you learn creative skills and shape the life you want.

As part of Envato’s creative ecosystem, Tuts+ contributes to our mission of “helping people learn and earn online”. We love to see how people transform themselves and their lives by learning creative skills and earning money selling their creations or services to the world. Whether your day job is creative or not, life is better when you learn and apply creative skills regularly. To do this is satisfying in its own right and a practical investment in your future.

 

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Self-Directed Learning

It’s inspiring to see busy people who are committed to developing and refreshing their skills. This isn’t school: there aren’t any uniforms or tests or badges. For lifelong learners who are seeking practical skills and real-world outcomes, true motivation comes from within. So there’s no single ‘correct’ path at Tuts+. Learn at your own pace, whenever or wherever you like. Focus deeply on one topic, or go broad across a wide range of areas. Whatever creative skills you seek, we’re here to help you take charge and shape your own path to a better future.

Self-Directed Learning

It’s inspiring to see busy people who are committed to developing and refreshing their skills. This isn’t school: there aren’t any uniforms or tests or badges. For lifelong learners who are seeking practical skills and real-world outcomes, true motivation comes from within. So there’s no single ‘correct’ path at Tuts+. Learn at your own pace, whenever or wherever you like. Focus deeply on one topic, or go broad across a wide range of areas. Whatever creative skills you seek, we’re here to help you take charge and shape your own path to a better future.

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