8 Reasons Why Freelancers May Burn Out [And How To Avoid It]

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So, you're a freelancer. Or you think about working freelance.

We all have been there. Working freelance gives freedom and flexibility, and it's you who is in charge of your income. Freelancing is an attractive and lucrative career option, isn't it?

The current phase of technological development gives many opportunities, and finding a freelance gig seems to be easier these days. One thing you need to get freelance orders is the Internet connection.  

Thus, the freelance workforce is kept on growing: 57.3M of Americans work freelance, and it is predicted that the majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027. Moreover, 80% of non-freelancers say they would like to do work outside their primary job to make extra money.

While the number of freelancers is growing rapidly (and the niche is getting more competitive), most of them may burn out due to various reasons. If you know these reasons, it's easier to prevent a burnout.

So, here we go!

1. Meeting Tough Deadlines



For a variety of reasons, every freelancer has had a short period time until the deadline in a lifetime. There's no need to do the craziest math calculations to understand: the less time you have, the harder it's to accomplish a task on a great level. Meeting tough deadlines is hard, and we know that missing them may negatively affect your reputation. Thus, we start worrying about the possible outcome.


Solution: complete orders in time. Self-discipline is a core principle all successful freelancers have. Once you learn how to organize your workflow the way you meet all deadlines in time, you start living a happier life.

2. Poor Time Management Skills

Procrastination is the biggest enemy of every freelancer. As you know that it's you who organizes the process, you can postpone the work and then you need to work hard. Moreover, having poor time management skills leads to a work-life imbalance as you spend countless hours working. 


Solution: organize your workload the way it suits you. Although you can find various time management techniques on the web, you need to understand what works best for you. If you feel better working in the night, do it. After all, the main benefit of being a freelancer is the ability to organize your workday the way YOU want it. 

3. A Lack of Confidence

As you're using Freelancer.com for finding new orders, you know how competitive the niche is. Obviously, you can feel a lack of confidence as you know that your potential client has many options to choose from. 


Solution: establish a contact with other freelancers in your niche. You will learn a lot while communicating with them, as we all are unconfident from time to time. Take a look around you, roll up your sleeves, keep on learning new skills, and rock!

4. Reality Doesn't Meet Expectations

Do you remember what have you thought about freelance work? Most people who are about to start up as freelancers believe that it's a lucrative idea to earn more money without spending much time. And here's where they fail then: reality doesn't meet expectations.


Solution: don't set vague expectations. The ugly truth is that they rarely meet the reality, and it makes us feel sad. It's hard to upset you if you don't expect anything. Just try to do your best and grow as a professional daily.

5. Taking On Too Much Work

According to a survey, the main driver of freelancing is flexibility. Freelancers know that the more they work, the more they earn. And it's the main reason why they take on too much work. Working day in and day out isn't a good idea if you want to enjoy your life for full. Moreover, communicating with too many clients, meeting their deadlines, and working hard on their project can lead to anxiety.

Solution: keep a focus on quality, not quantity. Dealing with too many projects may lead to a burnout as you try to suit every customer's needs and it affects the quality of your work. It's better to take a well-paid order and spend a considerable amount of time working on it than shifting between different projects and get rejected. Don't be greedy; it's impossible to earn all money in the world.

6. A Poison Workplace

Take a look around... Do you see piles of papers and dirty cups? If so, you're just among us.

Most freelancers don't pay attention to the place they work from. However, it's scientifically proven that the work environment affects productivity. If you can't concentrate on working, it's nearly impossible to gain a great reputation and, therefore, make your clients come back to you.


Solution: organize your workplace as it has an impact on your well-being and productivity. Form a habit of keeping your desk clean and learn tips on how to keep your workplace clean. The fewer distractions you have, the better.

7. Dealing with Unhappy Clients

Communicating with clients takes a lot of work and effort, and it affects us negatively when we don't meet our clients' needs. Unhappy clients mean having doubts in your professional expertise. Moreover, we know that dealing with unhappy clients can negatively affect our reputation on the market. 


Solution: turn a bad experience into a good one. If you can listen to your clients, you're about to become a winner. Knowing their worries is the key to success, as you can understand how to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

8. A Sharp Focus on One Position

Providing you're good at writing, would you look for other jobs? More often than not, freelancers focus on their top skills, and here's where they fail. If you try to find various jobs, you have more chances to get gigs. 


Solution: there's nothing new that freelancing is competitive, and you need to stand out from your competitors to get an order. Although you must be excellent at something, give other your skills a try. For example, my main job is writing articles, but as I've been working as an SMM manager, I look for marketing gigs as well. It allows me to get more orders.


In a Word

Whoever you are, burning out is a normal practice for all people who want to achieve career success. Being a freelancer is even harder, and you'd better know reasons that can lead to a burnout. Once you spot the reason for your bad mood, get rid of it and become a professional who can handle any obstacle.

Have you ever felt burning out? How did you overcome it?

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