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Are You at Risk for Freelancer Burnout? Check These 10 Burnout Indicators

by Laura Spencer

on July 3, 2013

in Freelancing Life

Learn how to earn $125 or more per hour as a freelancer - Free Test Drive

Are you about to burn out as a freelancer?

Many freelancers burn out. They try freelancing for a while, run into some problems, and quit.

Even experienced freelancers are at risk for freelancer burnout. Often burnout sneaks up on an otherwise productive freelancer. Suddenly, he or she doesn’t feel much like freelancing any more.

Freelancing burnout can destroy your freelancing business.

Fortunately, freelancer burnout can be avoided if it’s detected early. That’s what this post is about. In this post, I share ten indications that you might be about to burnout.

If you liked this post, you may also like 14+ Ways to Escape Freelance Burnout.

10 Indications You Are Close to Burnout

Freelancing burnout can do a lot of damage to an otherwise successful freelancing business. It can drain the freelancer’s creativity. It can lead to unhappy clients. And it can ultimately shut a freelancing business down.

If you love freelancing, you’ll want to be on the lookout for the signs of freelancing burnout. Here are some indications that you might be close to burnout:

  1. Not making enough money. If you’re having trouble earning enough money as a freelancer to make ends meet, you’re definitely at risk for freelancer burnout. Freelancers experience financial difficulties when they can’t find enough work or when they don’t charge enough for their services.
  2. Stressed out. If you feel stressed out all of the time, burnout is a very real danger. You need to discover and take steps to reduce the source(s) of your stress before the stress can damage your freelancing business. It’s better to change your habits than lose your business.
  3. Problems with clients. Freelancers who are on the verge of burnout often start having trouble with clients when they never had trouble before. This may be due to a lack of patience on their part or the burnout may already be negatively affecting the quality of their work.
  4. Sick and tired all the time. Freelancer burnout can affect your health too. You might find yourself with frequent headaches, get sick more often, or have trouble sleeping at night. If left unchecked, the stress associated with freelancer burnout can cause even more severe problems.
  5. Doing the wrong kind of work. If you find yourself doing work that isn’t challenging or rewarding, you may also be at high risk for burnout. An example would be a freelance writer stuck doing content mill work or a freelance designer stuck doing spec work.
  6. You haven’t taken time off in forever. Freelancer burnout often occurs after a period of intense work. If you’ve been putting in a lot of hours lately, you could be at risk. It’s important to take regular breaks. Both your body and mind need a chance to unwind.
  7. Your skills are becoming seriously outdated. Training and keeping your skills up to date is a big part of staying competitive. Yet, training takes valuable time. As an employee, you were probably paid for the time you spent training. As a freelancer, you won’t be paid. But it’s still important to stay up to date.
  8. Putting off getting things done. One sign of burnout that many freelancers miss is procrastination. People who are on the edge of burnout usually don’t feel much like working. They tend to put off even important tasks. If you’ve been procrastinating a lot lately, ask yourself why.
  9. Making lots of mistakes. Freelancers who make a lot of mistakes may be showing the signs of stress and potential burnout. This is especially true if you don’t usually make mistakes and all of the sudden your work starts to have a lot of errors in it.
  10. The joy is gone. You’ll recognize this if it happens to you. You’re probably burnt out if you dread doing the work that you used to love. If you find you hate your freelancing job as much (or more) than you hated your traditional job, you are probably suffering from burnout.

If you feel that any of these indicators fit your situation, you need to make some changes before it’s too late.

Your Turn

Can you think of any other signs of freelancer burnout? Have you been able to overcome freelancer burnout? How did you do it?

Share your answers in the comments.

Learn how to earn $125 or more per hour as a freelancer - Free Test Drive

About Laura Spencer

Laura Spencer is a freelance writer from North Central Texas with over 20 years of professional business writing experience. If you liked this post, then you may also enjoy LauraĆ¢??s blog about her freelance writing experiences, WritingThoughts. Laura is also on Google+.