Whether you are an independent consultant, an entrepreneur, or in any other situation where you work for yourself, if you create a work structure properly, it probably never feels like you need a holiday. You can get to the point where you enjoy doing what you are doing so much, you don't feel that you need to get away from work in the same way that you do when you are in employment. Yes, you need to have a recharge and maybe try some new scenery, but the urge to get away from the workplace is not as dire in comparison to working for and reporting to a company.
I remember that, on a Sunday, as lunch time approached I would always start to get grumpy because I had to go to work tomorrow. I was sick of the grind - you know, that groundhog day feeling. My decision to become independent grew from feelings like this. I have developed my own techniques for creating a working structure as an independent that doesn’t leave me craving a holiday or a break from “work”:
1. Find your niche Know what you are good at and just focus on doing it well. Don't try to do too much, just "stick to your knitting", as they say.
2. Outsource things that don't add value to your business Don't spend your time doing tasks that don't directly add value to your work. This is also true for things that take time away from doing what you really enjoy. When thinking about outsourcing, remember to relax - you can't be good at everything.
3. Choose who you work with Who you work with really dictates what your "work" feels like. If you are a soloist, do try working in a co-working space. You never know who you might meet, and expanding your network will always help. Most of the time, you will have enjoy working in these kinds of environments as well
4. Go paperless and minimalist It’s hard and it does take a bit of work, but by going paperless, you can break the shackles of the office. There are great apps and software out there at the moment from accounting software to video conferencing, which help you to be completely mobile.
5. Take breaks Don't stick to the 9am-5pm workday. Quite often, as an independent contractor or entrepreneur, you will probably need to work closer to a 12 hours day. You, as your own boss, can literally work any 12 hours of the day you want. Start earlier, start later, break it up into chunks of time.
We will always have those moments of doubt where we wonder if we are doing the right thing, and questioning whether it would be easier to just go get a more traditional job with a long-term employer. There are benefits and drawbacks to both options, but always consider what you would be giving up if you work for someone else’s business. Would you be able to take Christmas off, take your kids to swimming lessons, or make decisions based on what you believe in?
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