12 ways of how to stay productive when freelance work slows

Peta
As a freelancer, I have times where life is going at formula one speed and I almost forget to breathe, and then all of a sudden – the brakes go on! You’d think having some downtime would be great but as a freelancer, it just gives you more time to panic - where's the next paycheck coming from? Am I ever going to get work again? Then the imagination goes into hyperdrive, and before you know in your mind your business has collapsed and you are homeless and destitute!
Ok, a slight exaggeration but it’s like any job – you have ups and downs, but as any freelancer appreciates, you don’t have a regular salary to fall back on.

Therefore, you have to use any ‘free’ time wisely!

 

So, what are the best things to keep you sane and help boost business during the lean times?

1. Catch up on any outstanding admin. Not my favourite activity and, since it generally gets neglected during busy times, it's an excellent opportunity to get back on track
2. Chase up those contacts and clients you have not reached out to or done any work for in a while. It might trigger some opportunities but also helps with keeping up with your relationships and network
3. Focus on your own marketing. For example, I spend all my time blogging for other people and find it challenging to keep my own blog up to date. Take the opportunity to get ahead and bank a load of articles so you have them ready to fire off when things go into crazy mode again
4. Take the time to think and reflect on where you are and where you want to be. Are there any areas you want to focus on? Improve? Target? Do you want to take your business to another level? Enjoy some moments to re-focus
5. Do a course. It’s hard to find the time to do training courses or upskill, so jump at the opportunity to do it. Just hope you have time to finish it before things kick off again – or you can at least put it on hold if needs be
6. Catch up on some personal projects that work overshadowed. I always feel guilty doing this as I think I should always be working if I have free time but think of all the times you have sacrificed personal stuff for work – now it’s time to reverse that for once!
7. Get social and network. Have you missed a few opportunities or chances to widen your work circle recently? Then join up and attend while you can!
8. Spend more time on your social media. Raising our online profiles and marketing online is vital, and often we only have time to do the bare minimum on a day to day basis. So, get scrolling, liking, commenting, posting and sharing and boost your social media scores and business presence!
9. Grab some new business. This can all come from the above activities, so get out and try and fill your downtime with some new exciting projects
10. Record any cool ideas so when your mind is in overdrive you can remind yourself – we all get lightbulb moments but more often than not it’s in places like the supermarket. Then, you don't write them down, and before you know it, the 3 for 2 wine offer has distracted you! Take the time to think and record your great ideas to use when things go crazy again
11. Update your website. Google analytics, along with current and potential clients want to see different things to keep them interested. Update your testimonials, refresh your portfolio, add those new blogs to give it a boost
12. And most importantly - enjoy! Sit back and relax or go out and do something that you have fancied doing for a while! Actually, relish having some time to do something for yourself for a change – you deserve it :)

 

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