This is a short but sweet lesson I’ve learned during my time freelancing.

The reason behind posting this now is that I’m going through a two week patch with my web development business where I’ve not done any proper coding. By “proper” I’m talking about getting my teeth stuck in to a multi-week-long WordPress build that I consider to be my bread and butter.

What Do I Mean by “It’s All Work”?

“It’s All Work” is a phrase I remind myself of when I’m in between projects.

At the start of my freelancing career, like anyone who works for themselves I assume, I’d panic if I didn’t have a specific project to fill my day/week/month with. I found it really easy to fall into the mind-set of “I’m not efficiently working if I’m not coding away on a job for a client”.

Over the years I’ve found this to be a counter productive state of mind. If you don’t have a specific project to be working on that day, do something else that’s meaningful to your business and its progress.

It All Counts

Although I’ve not taken on any new projects for a small while, I’m sure working on it! I’m talking to prospects every day, submitting proposals and negotiating – it all counts and although not the typical technical work, it’s just as vital for a freelancer. Even writing this blog post right now, it’s all work: 

  • Emails
  • Phone calls
  • Proposals
  • Marketing
  • Side projects
  • Open source
  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • Bookkeeping
  • Accounts

As a tech freelancer, there’s pretty much always something to do.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Contractors of all trades will sometimes have periods where they’re in between jobs, it’s the nature of the beast.

I’ve found that being productive during this down time will bear fruit more often than not. Putting a tweet out to let people know I’m available, updating my portfolio with recent work and writing articles have been my go-to’s over the years. And, if the cupboard really is bare after that, there’s always the end of year accounts to get ahead on!

Just remember, it’s all work.

Posted by Tom Hirst

Freelance WordPress developer, front-end developer and clothing line owner available for hire.

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