August was a mixed bag. I failed to achieve one of my goals, and the feelings of burnout continued. However, I felt like I did good work in spite of this, and I’m proactively taking steps to address my burnout and get back to feeling normal.
Stats for August
|Twitter profile views
I issued invoices for £6,200 (~$8,579) excluding VAT in August. These came from a mixture of consulting and development work for two different clients, all of this work was billed on an hourly basis.
I received 3 new work enquiries in August:
- My first enquiry came from a business in the Netherlands looking for development assistance. I didn’t have the availability to take this on, but after sharing some speculative pricing with them they indicated that I would have been too expensive for them anyway.
- My second enquiry came from a former colleage who was looking for a trustworthy developer to potentially help with a development project later this year. I indicated that I probably wouldn’t have availability, but otherwise this is still open.
- My third enquiry was from a former client looking for some technical consulting on their rapidly growing startup. It looks like we’ve managed to work out a good arrangement here, and so I’ll be spending whatever spare time I have each week helping them from early October.
I put together a small blog post about software testing and tradeoffs in August which did ok, with about 100 views from a social sharing on Twitter and LinkedIn alone.
I prioritised paid work over a social media presence in August to help avoid the feelings of burnout I’ve been experiencing recently. Due to this, my Twitter stats for the month were poor.
I need to do better with my marketing efforts if I’m to see meaningful improvements in these numbers. However, while I have work to do and enquiries coming in for more work than I can take on, I’m not too worried.
The feeling of creeping burnout I mentioned in July’s update was still there in August. I’ve been tired, slightly brain fogged, and have struggled to concentrate. I’m still motivated to do work, but staying focussed enough to do it is proving difficult, and the sense of purpose isn’t there like it has been.
As a freelancer, clients dependend on me being available and consistent. Knowing this creates a strong temptation to work longer hours in order to make up for my own inefficiencies. However, if I were to do this, I’d be left with a vicious cycle of work followed by burnout, followed by more work, followed by more burnout. It wouldn’t fix anything.
Instead, I’ve been reducing my work quantity to preserve work quality. I’m taking less on than I normally would each day, but I’m using a full normal working day to do it. This means invoicing less than I otherwise might, but it preserves client expectations of quality, and puts me on a positive track to get back to normal.
In addition to reducing my daily workload, I’ll also be using a holiday I’ve booked for the second half of September to take a break from technology, trying to keep my screen time (across all devices) to under an hour a day. I’ve no idea if this will make a difference, but it feels like it might.
Goals for September
My goals for September are fairly simple and focussed on avoiding burning out.
- Maintain work quality over quantity.
- Use my holiday time to rest up and avoid the Internet as much as possible.
That’s all for August! You should follow me on Twitter if you want to see how this freelancing adventure develops for me. I also have a RSS feed on this site if you’d just like to keep track of new posts on this blog.