Maintain Your Freelance Income During an Illness

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Becoming a freelancer is rewarding, but the occupation presents a challenge as well for many people.

Among the many tasks you perform, you need to deliver products or services, market your business, handle your invoices, and keep things running by yourself.

Things get even more hairy when you come down with something a little more serious than the sniffles.

In such situations, it’s crucial to nurse yourself back to health and utilize a strategic approach to keep your freelance business running smoothly. Doing this minimizes a potential loss of income and any adverse affects your illness will have on your business.

These tips will help keep your business running smoothly and keep your income coming in while you recover from your illness:

1. Prioritize your time wisely

Determine the items that require the most significant attention on your schedule. Giving the energy you have to those items first will ensure that at least the most important things will get done.

  • Create a list of tasks that need to be completed, in the order they need to get done. Keep this list close at hand while you work, so you can cross items off of your to-do list as you find energy throughout the day.
  • While you’re recovering, it’s okay to work in random spurts as you can. If you find you can only work for 30 minutes at a time every three hours or so, that’s what you should do. When it matters most, you’ll find the strength to complete the things that need to get done within a short amount of time.

2. Use a laptop

Most freelancers prefer to use a laptop, but there are still a number of independent professionals who go without. You can always borrow one from a friend while you’re sick, if you can’t afford one yourself. This allows you to work anywhere you’re able to, including from bed, allowing your body to get the rest it needs.

  • Only work from bed when you’re sick. Your productivity will suffer if you get into the habit of working in bed often. As soon as you’re feeling better, an enticing mattress is not the type of environment that inspires your normal workflow.
  • Consider purchasing a netbook if you’re on a tight budget. Netbook cost as little as $300 and some internet providers even offer them for free when signing a contract for internet service. Keep in mind that netbook are quite a bit smaller than standard laptops, however. Seven-inch screens are not uncommon among these devices.

3. Focus on less intensive tasks

Freelance writers and designers often do work that requires great attention to detail. If you’re sick, you’re not going to be at your best, and at times it could be more than your system can handle.

Unless there’s a significant deadline to meet, you might do better to focus on less labor-intensive tasks, put paying work on hold until you’ve fully recovered.

  • Consider marketing your services by sending postcard or email templates to prospective clients. Don’t forget to contact past clients to let them know your availability in the following month.

Above all, be honest with your clients. If you’re illness lasts longer than you anticipate, let them you’re feeling ill. Most will understand and adjust your schedule accordingly. This situation requires that you spend your sick days trying to recuperate, then booking work for the following month as soon as possible.

Keeping your freelance business afloat while recovering from an illness isn’t impossible. These tips for staying productive will keep things moving until you feel better and can handle your normal workload.

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