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Self-Imposed Stress for the Self-Employed | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

Self-Imposed Stress for the Self-Employed

Date February 14, 2009


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When you start working at home, it is a completely different world than you might be used to, especially if you are used to working in a social work environment. It will take you some adjustment time to get used to your new routines and new responsibilities. If you are working in your home and have a family to contend with, it is likely to make the situation even that more complicated. While it may all seem impossible, there is a lot of possibility in working for yourself. You may no longer have company paid health insurance, a nice Christmas bonus, or a paid week of vacation, you do have more flexibility and control of your own life.

Handling Stress

Along with that control can come various emotions and experiences that may be difficult to handle. As a self-employed person, your are very susceptible to stress. With all of the responsibilities resting squarely on your shoulders, you may feel as though you want to buckle under the pressure. This is key information for those individuals who have not yet decided on whether to start out on their own. Being able to handle the stress is certainly not something everyone is able to do. In fact, some newbies get so stressed out over the conditions and responsibilities working on their own that many will go back to their “normal” jobs in just a short period of time.

When you add family into the mix working at home, the stress can be doubled. Not only are you trying to make progress on the projects and work-related tasks you have, you are also trying to be a part of your own family and care for their needs. It may not seem like too big of a deal to you but it can become a problem when your family, especially kids, do not fully appreciate your working life when you are working from your home. It can be very difficult to maintain consistent work time and quiet time during working hours. Your working hours also might have to be flexible in order to stay accomplished. If you do not work well with interruption or are not comfortable with flexibility, working at home may not be for you.

Handling The Social Aspects

Working at home alone can be a very different universe than the one you might have come from. If you went to the office each day and had others to rely on for companionship and for job support, you might be in for a big surprise. Working alone can be isolating and stressful. All of the income you are going to make will be dependent on your own efforts. If you are used to having other people close by at the next desk all day, it can be hard to sit in a quiet home office with no one to meet up with at the water color. If you are not comfortable being totally alone for long periods of time, working isolated at home for 8-10 hours a day might prove too difficult for you.

Dealing With Work At Home Emotions

Excess stress and loneliness can bring anyone down but if your home business is relying on you and you alone, having you anxious will lead to non-productive days and no income to speak of. When you start to feel overwhelmed with work and life responsibilities, it is essential that you take a break. Take a walk or a break for lunch - whatever you can do to feel a little less stressed. Take some sit down time to reorganize your work schedule and project commitments. Start prioritizing what needs to be done in writing so you will have a guide to help you see what is due and when. By being organized, you can feel and be more productive. When you need to feel social, start scheduling time into your weekly schedule to meet with friends and family for lunch or dinner. Getting out of the house and away from the four walls for a few hours can really make a difference.

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