How to cope with freelancing stress

One thing I have come to notice while freelance writing is that freelancers are continually faced with a discipline issue. This issue comes up in the form of a choice that each one must make during every moment: “Do what I WANT, or do what I MUST?”

An interesting observation is that whenever they make the choice to do what they want, they are immediately struck with a feeling of anxiousness. This anxiousness comes from allowing themselves to prioritize their comfort over their work.

This results in a snowball effect of stress because the more they do what they want, the more behind they fall in their work—which leads to even more compounding stress. Even if they force themselves to do what they must, their minds are distracted by that which they want to do. And so it isn’t long before they stop working and start watching their favourite comedy or playing a favourite computer game.

So how do I counter this way of thinking? Well, it’s all in the knowledge of what is going on in my mind. If I can realize that doing what I want causes unimaginable stress, then doing what I must will be the remedy to that stress. In other words, if I decide that I do not want to be stressed out and worry about my work, I will sit at my desk and WORK!

The more work I get done, the lower my stress levels seem to fall. I think a big mistake many freelancers make is that they think it’s the work that is what’s stressing them out, when in fact it’s the procrastination that is. Making a conscious decision to work even though I don’t feel like it is NOT the answer. Making a conscious realization that one option leads to stress, while the other option alleviates stress, is the best way to approach every working day freelancers are at home.


About the author: Copley Sutton is a freelance copywriter in Johannesburg, South Africa. He and his team of writers handle a number of international and local writing projects for the web, magazines and students