No matter what you do, work can take over your life – even more so when you’re freelance. We’ve all experienced burnout that leaves you performing at less than optimal levels and it could often be avoided. So, boundaries are great because everyone knows where they stand.
I always aim to go above and beyond for my clients but here’s what I do to help separate work and life:
I’ll communicate with you about your project via email and/or Trello. If you have complex or ongoing projects then using Trello would make your life easier – say goodbye to those long email threads! It’s worth signing up for this free project management web app if you haven’t already.
Unless we have an explicit agreement I won’t join your Slack channel. This is for two reasons. 1. it’s distracting and the project management part of the project goes way up – honestly, clients don’t like the added cost. 2. I work with so many different clients I would never keep up if I joined everyones channel.
Ultimately I’m hired to create. Once we’ve got the brief down, I’d like you to feel that you can be laissez-faire with me and I’ll get the job done and check in when needed.
I don’t have a phone number available because it’ll always ring as I’m in the zone, breaking the focus on what could be your project. But you can set up a call with me on Calendly or email me to arrange a time that suits us both. I do old school phone calls or Zooms/Teams if you want to see my face. I’ll do the same for you and ask when would be a good time to call.
I can be a night owl so my replies to you may be outside of your working hours but I don’t expect you to respond to me straight away.
I don’t have my work email, social media or Whatsapp on my phone. I’m not avoiding you, I’m breaking that addiction by removing myself from the “always-on” culture.
I know some people get the ick when someones social pages are private or locked down to a certain extent… and mine are. Sorry, not sorry. The truth is my views on my own personal social media use and privacy have changed massively over the years and I delete more than I follow. I agree, it’s dangerous territory for a freelancer. If this hinders your research then I guess it worked? I invite you to send me a DM to ask me what you’re wondering about instead. I prefer actual conversations to likes and snooping.
I have worked almost completely with written asynchronous communications since 2009. If you feel that these comms would ruin your project with me I’d have to disagree but I understand we all have different ways of working. Speak to me about it.
Creative work all stems from an idea. And time is great for ideas because they don’t always come when summoned, instead, they prefer ah-ha! moments at 3am or in the shower. Time also allows ideas to be bounced around and built on. But there’s an epidemic of yesterday deadlines in the creative fields. Annoyingly, most of the time it could have been avoided.
If you have ideas I want to hear or see them – nothing is too silly. Send them over! They could be written, mood boards, music, sketches. I don’t care how basic these are, it’s great to see what you have in mind so I can make sure I’m on the right track. It can help save time on projects.
Be sure to send briefs and all supporting content I’d need in plenty of time so that your work is not urgent/rushed.
Urgent doesn’t mean important. In 12+ years I have had one legitimately urgent and important project. It was related to British Nationals involved in a terror attack. Makes you think, right? Is there a possibility to push back deadlines so that we aren’t chasing our tails from the start and have a higher quality outcome? Our stress levels would thank us.
If you do need something last minute and it’s possible for me to do, you’ll be switched on to rush rates. Don’t worry I’d warn you! To avoid this make sure there’s at least two weeks notice but bear in mind my schedule does change, plus holidays and sickness.
By default, my invoices are set to 14-day payment terms. You’d be told if this is different for your project. They’re usually done in two halves, before the project starts and once signed off so we’re both covered.
Payments are made via bank transfer. If you’d like to use a credit or debit card this is also possible, give me a heads up in advance.
Chasing invoices is no fun, please pay on time and if there are any issues let me know asap. No one would want to beg for their salaries to be paid, neither do freelancers.
I know what you’re thinking… she’s one of THOSE types!
Believe it or not I don’t start my day at 5am with affirmations then 2hrs of yoga followed by a breakfast of avocado toast and green tea. Nor do I endlessly post about wellness on LinkedIn 😆 That’s not me. Burn out is real, desk jobs are killing us and personal events in 2021 had me reevaluate how I was doing things.