Although freelancing comes with so many amazing perks (being your own boss, having control over your schedule, creative freedom, etc) it does have its occasional downsides. For example, you might find that certain months are slower than others. The busy months will be really exciting and you’ll feel like your business is truly thriving, but from time to time, you may experience a lull in your workload. As someone who has had her fair share of slow freelance seasons, I know it can be disappointing. Just remember that it’s a normal part of growing a business and that you can still find ways to be productive and stay inspired even if you don’t have many projects going on. Here are a few ways to make the most of slower seasons in your freelance career!
1. Get to know other creative people in your city or online
When I first moved to Portland, I made a huge effort put myself out there and connect with other creatives. After a while, networking and meeting new people kind of lost its zest and I became a little socially exhausted (introvert problems, haha). Well recently, I’ve found myself with more extra time and I’ve been making an effort to expand my creative circle. It has been SO fun. Try sending a few emails to like-minded people. It may just result in some new friendships or collaborations.
2. Find ways to practice self care
Just like other jobs, freelancing can start to get monotonous. Sometimes when I’m working from home, I’ll realize that I haven’t moved from my spot for hours. If you have spare time in your schedule, try to get outside and walk around. Practice yoga. Take a bath. Learn to make a new healthy meal. These might not sound like obvious ways of being productive, but we’re big believers that self care makes you happier and more motivated to keep pursuing creativity.
3. Pick up odd jobs
Sometimes when my freelance work decreases, I pick up random odd jobs like babysitting or dog walking. That can feel embarrassing because I’m an adult and should have my life together, right? But even with its ups and downs, I still love freelancing. I also love dogs and babies. :) Find something that will make you happy and help you earn some $$ on the side until your work increases.
4. Focus on other creative projects
It seems like we all have a huge list of things we’d like to make time for once we’re less busy. When we do have free time, it’s easy to forget about that list of projects. One of my biggest creative outlets is crocheting so during slower freelance seasons, I crochet a ton. Crafting is therapeutic for me so it feels like a form of self care. And sometimes I also sell crochet goods, so it still feels like a productive pastime! Win-win.
5. Tackle your reading list
If you’re used to being in a hurry and keeping busy, it can be hard to sit down, pick up a book, and just chill. Reading is an awesome way to make good use of your time because it’s inspiring, relaxing, and productive all at the same time. We find that reading creative books (I just started In the Company of Women seen in the picture above!) helps us come up with ideas for new blog posts, new business strategies, and a new perspective on our freelance work.
How do you make the most of your time when you’re in between freelance projects? We’d love to hear how you stay productive!