Last week at Foodwell in Manchester we hosted a small panel discussion titled "A Freelancer Guide to Avoiding Burnout"
The event created some great discussion and content so we thought it made sense to write a bit of a wrap-up for you all: On the Panel:
We had our very own Marketing Director, Tom Messett representing YunoJuno (@YunoJunoHQ).
Kate Harris (@NABS_UK) Regional Director of NABS. who has the job of raising awareness of NABS as the advertising and media charity. Oh and to raise funds, of course!
NABS' purpose is to support and champion the Wellbeing of everyone working in the industry, and that absolutely includes freelancers. In some ways, they need more support than anyone.
Emilia Kolbjørnsen (@itsameliakoko) is the Marketing and Events Manager for a Manchester-based digital agency and the Community manager of the volunteer-based female friendship group Manchester Girl, where she puts her experiences to use and helps other individuals find friends in their city. She also helps run a newly established network for creatives, called the Bank of Creativity.
SO, what did we learn about avoiding burnout?
We thought that the lessons from the event could be neatly summarised in 5 steps:
The first and hardest step is to overcome the barrier of talking to someone about your stress:
It's a bit of a taboo and, as many people pointed out, being a freelancer can be isolating in itself, often working at home, alone, or in drifting teams where people are less likely to notice you're not your usual self. There are multiple ways to deal with this, but NABS helpline is one great option for those with nowhere else to turn.
Put money aside now to save for future breaks:
A pressure to accept a nightmare project or to take on all the work due to a lack of certainty about future paychecks can be a particular concern for freelancers without the comfort of a regular monthly pay packet. So, make the effort to put some money away each time you can, so you're not so stressed if there is a down period.
Let go of things that are not in your control:
It's easier said than done, but avoiding the temptation to dwell on a client who hasn't gotten back to you or a project mired in internal politics will liberate you from a lot of needless stress. As many professional sportspeople say: focus on "controlling the controllable".
Manage your access to technology to avoid stress and constant interruptions:
Being always-on can mean being always-stressed and always on edge. Some practical tips to give yourself some downtime include investing in an alarm clock to keep your phone out of your bedroom and turning off notifications from apps.
And lastly: remember your perceptions can be far worse than what others see. So, be kind to yourself :)
That's it! Hope all those who attended had an amazing time and we look forward to meeting you on future YunoJuno events. - The next one is an IR35 meetup in London, places are limited so do hurry.