We freelancers and creatives are getting hit hard with all the COVID-19, aka “coronavirus”, shutdowns.
And besides not working, a lot of our general social events are getting canceled!! It feels like this is it, that this is the end of everything forever and always. We’ll never get to eat ice cream on the beach in Italy or fly on a plane ever. Again.
But it’s not the end. In 3 to 8 weeks, we will be getting back to the grind. This too shall pass, and when you get to the other side...
Are you going to be ready to capture all of the work that will inevitably need to get done?
Here are some steps to take at home to make sure your freelance business doesn't get cobwebs.
1. Rethink your mindset.
You are no longer “stuck at home” or “sidelined”, you’re “on hiatus”; your jobs are not “cancelled”, they’re “postponed”; you’re not “going to lose all your progress”, you’re simply “in the flow state”.
If you catch yourself panicking about any of the above thoughts, take a deep breath and ask yourself: "Is it a FACT that I'll never work again?" The answer is NO.
It may take some time, but you can turn learn to identify these ANTs (automatic negative thoughts), stop them, and then eventually have less of them.
2. Write down your list.
Imagine you’re in one of those super busy times: the time when you go to a shoot, come home from work only to eat a banana and fall into bed still wearing your clothes and then get back up the next morning to five missed calls from that super annoying (but amazing) client that you need to talk to while you’re on your way back to set.
Then imagine I walk up to you, tired and overstretched you, smiling and completely and utterly relaxed with a Peet’s coffee frapp in hand (yeah, it’s definitely a dream) and I ask you: “What would you do if you had 4 weeks off?”
What would you say? I know I can think of a thousand things, work and personal.
Work would be: build a business plan, re-cut my reels, create a master email list, find a new invoicing template, teach PA 101 and Financial Well-being online this month, etc.
Personal would be: read three books, call all my out-of-state family and friends, master the smokey eye, sign up for archery classes, etc.
Write down your answer to that magic question.
3. Check it twice.
AKA Make some action steps out of that list. Odds are, some things will be more important than others.
But I CANNOT STRESS enough how important it is to
have both work and personal things on this list!!
Just because you may have 3 weeks off doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a balance between both. If you have a hard time practicing that, this hiatus is the perfect time to find that harmony!
For example, my action steps would be:
#1 Create my master email list (because that is tedious)
#2 Recut my reels (because once I have said email list, I can send it out :))
#3 Build business plan
Etc. etc. etc.
#1 Pick books to read
#2 Master the smokey eye
#3 Call said family and friends so they can make fun of my makeup skills (or lack thereof)
Etc. etc. etc.
Some people say you shouldn’t make a list you can’t finish in a day, and I say that’s BS. That’s like saying you shouldn’t get hungry after dinner. (Sometimes you just want a milkshake, okay?!?)
You just have to know when to call it quits.
4. Make it happen.
Now that you’ve got your action plan, execute it! If you feel overwhelmed, go back and see what you can cut.
Remember, this is a 3 week sprint plan. If you can't finish it in three weeks (incluing time build in for work or family obligations), don't put it on the immediate list. Put it off to the side in case this hiatus runs over.
Also, you're not alone!!!
If you need an accountability buddy, reach out to some of those contacts in your email list!
5. Take breaks.
Your personal list is there for a reason.
Just because you may not be working as much doesn’t mean you can’t get stressed doing even those tedious little things!
As long as you’re abiding by your state/region’s guidelines, consider taking this time to go check out some local parks or cool spots that you’ve never been to before! Chances are it’ll be a lot less crowded too :)
That’s it for now. Let me know how these steps are working out for you using the hashtag #ThoughtfulAndThriving!