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Mental buoyancy

Being bright eyed and bushy tailed can be hard for a freelancer when you are totally on your own and have to handle every step of the process. The amount of research and reading one has to do just to keep up with the development on the web is tremendous, not to mention your email load and social network sites that require constant attention.

All this is besides the normal daily tasks of design, meeting with clients and if you are working with a team of other freelancers, having meetings with them about projects and dishing out work to others to co-ordinate with you. All this can take a toll on you if you do not keep to a healthy regime of mixing work with play and exercise.

The idea of just work, work, work can be tempting when you have a huge project, but it is extremely bad for you both mentally and physically and it will end up leaving you stale and actually hating your job.

You need to schedule in time for yourself and for exercise. If you only walk around the block every two hours it will give your lungs air and expand your mental capacity tremendously. No one can sit at a computer for 10 to 12 hours a day without really bad damage to your body, your eyes and your blood pressure.

Very few people can go to sleep straight from the computer. The energy absorbed from the electricity of the computer into your system send this energy around your body preventing you from relaxing into sleep easily. You really need to either take a walk or just sit away from the computer for at least an hour before trying to go to bed. Preferably, you will not be watching TV either as this is another electrical device. A book or a magazine is alright provided it is not work related.

Try to work your day out in thirds. I know it doesn’t always work out that way but at least the basic plan can be adhered to. Such as, one third for work, one third for exercise and one third for sleep.

I personally find my best time for working is early in the morning before I start getting disturbed. Sometimes, this means I start at 4 am but that is fine. Those first 3 or 4 hours actually account for the major part of my working day as I achieve far more during that time that most of the rest of the day.
Once those hours are over, I take a walk for about 1 hour. I then make myself some breakfast and check my mail. By this time, the phone is usually ringing.

People know to call me early and this means my day has started in earnest. From there it is usually meetings, or I get back to work on the project at hand.

I work until its around 11 am and then get up and take a brisk walk around the block. This for me is a good thinking time. I work out things that might have been puzzling me or blocking my path forward. On return to my office, I have a cup of tea or coffee and get down to the drawing board again. Or in my case the computer. This walk might have taken half an hour but that half an hour was worth its weight in gold. My brain in clear and my mind usually has made itself up on whatever issue was blocking me.

I usually end my workday around 6 pm and make sure I relax, have a good supper and either read a book or join a few friends for a game of badminton or something similar.

This tires me psychically and I am well relaxed and ready for bed and a good night’s sleep.

If you take a leaf out of my book you will find yourself both refreshed and energized.


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