Working from Home Quarterly Report – Q1 2021

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Hello & welcome to my first Working from Home Quarterly Report!

If you are new here, hi I’m a freelance designer + developer, side hustler, and blogger behind Happier Freelancing.

This is my first Working from Home Quarterly Report what may turn into a regular blog series. I’m planning to share my freelance lifestyle in order to evaluate what happened over the last 3 months, but it may change over time.

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. Please read my full disclaimer here for more info.

Working from Home Quarterly Report – Q1 2021 Click To Tweet

Freelancing

In Q1, I did manage multiple projects to meet pretty tight deadlines.

With the tight schedule, I also had to find new clients. As a freelancer, every client is temporary. I have to be prepared when the current client doesn’t renew a contract. Because of that, I had mood swings. I was completely exhausted.

This is called freelance burnout.

I think freelancer burnout is pretty common for all freelancers. I experienced burnout and extreme stress multiple times in the past 8 years. And I’m sure I’ll keep continuing to experience this burnout and extreme stress.

When I realized the signs of impending burnout or am already past the breaking point, it’s the time for self-care practices. As a freelancer, self-care practices are part of your job.

Here are what I focused on past 3 months to improve myself.

1. Sleep Better

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults (26 to 64 years old) are recommended to sleep 7-9 hours, 6 – 10 hours may be appropriate, and less than 6 hours is not recommended. (1) I used to sleep 3-6 hours a day. I don’t know why but when I sleep a lot, I feel like I wasted my day & time. I stopped thinking like that and tried to sleep at least 6 hours a day.

Are you getting enough sleep?

Average Sleep Needs by Age

AgeHours NeededMay be appropriate
4 to 11 months old12 – 1510 – 18
1 to 2 years old11 – 149 – 16
3 to 5 years old10 – 138 – 14
6 to 13 years old9 – 11 7 – 12
14 to 17 years old8 – 1011 – 17
18 to 25 years old7 – 96 – 11
26 to 64 years old7 – 96 – 10
65+7 – 85 – 9
Credit: Nector

2. Eat Healthier

For many people, stress can have a direct impact on their weight. I lost 9 pounds in 3 months. In my case, stress leads to missed meals and poor food choices. I know, it’s a bad habit…

To improve these bad eating habits, I studied the current nutrition guide published by the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

The suggested food balance is divided into four sections of 30 percent grains, 40 percent vegetables, 10 percent fruits, and 20 percent protein. In addition, smaller dairy products, such as a glass of milk or a yogurt cup. Here are more details about how to build healthy eating habits by USDA. I also started to take Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics. It helps your digestion naturally and also improves the immune system! I really like Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics because you only need one capsule a day (:

Credit: ChooseMyPlate.gov

3. Side Hustle

A side hustle is a great source of supplemental income when I don’t have a freelance project. I’m currently working on reselling and dropshipping business. I believe that creating additional sources of income is one of the best financial safety nets for anyone, not only freelancers. Here is my overall progress of the side hustle journey.

You can sneak peek at my reselling and dropshipping business on Instagram.

4. Change Work Environment

I purchased a Massage Gun and Monitor Stand to change my work environment!

Massage guns are muscle recovery tools known as percussion or vibration therapy. It helps to increase blood flow by providing rapid bursts of pressure into the body’s muscle tissue. I compared 5 Massage Guns and purchased OPOVE M3 Pro Max Massage Gun and Recoverfun Mini Portable Deep Tissue Massager Gun. I haven’t received the Recoverfun Mini Portable Deep Tissue Massager Gun yet but tried OPOVE M3 Pro Max Massage Gun. (here is a full review of OPOVE M3 Pro Max Massage Gun) It’s super powerful!

Moreover, looking down at the computer for a long time develops bad posture. To make better posture, I purchased a monitor stand to raise the height of the computer. My posture is getting better little by little now.

Credit: Amazon

5. Skincare

What are fun things to do by yourself? Do you have “me time”? I created a little spa in corner of my bathroom for skincare. Skincare is my favorite “me time” for now.

Wrapping Up

According to Upwork, two million Americans have started freelancing in the past 12 months. (2) Many people preferred freelance or contract workers before pandemic because of its flexibility. However, now many people are turning to freelance out of necessity, not by choice.

Freelancers and work from home need problem-solving skills and self-care practice strategies. Take good care of yourself helps to provide high-quality services to clients.

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Resources:

  1. Salcedo, Susy. “Is 6 Hours of Sleep Enough – See Here the Hours Based on Age | Nectar.” Nectar Sleep, 23 Mar. 2021, www.nectarsleep.com/posts/is-6-hours-of-sleep-enough.
  2. Freelance Forward 2020 | Upwork. (2020). Upwork. https://www.upwork.com/i/freelance-forward

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