an alarm clock depicting six o'clock

Advice for Freelancers: On the Importance of a Morning Routine

Recently, someone asked me what advice I would give to freelancers who were just starting out. My answer is simple: you need a morning routine. Yes, that’s it.

It might sound completely irrelevant. Morning routine? Why focus on that when there are so many websites, courses, and workshops that can help you become a better freelancer?

Sure, those workshops, courses and whatnot are all designed to make you succeed as a freelancer. What they won’t be able to do is help you take the first step to actually do it. If you don’t take the first step yourself, if you don’t have the determination to do it, you won’t ever do it.

It’s simple. Freelancing is one of the easiest industries to get into. In some cases, you don’t even need a degree or formal education; you can just do it. But if you don’t have the determination to actually get the job done, you’re never going to start.

The best way of building the determination, the drive to actually do something, comes from developing a routine. More specifically, a morning routine.

Before we get started, I’ll make a confession: I hate mornings. I am not a morning person. In fact, I thrive at night. I’ve found that I work better, think better and have even written some of my works in the late hours of the night.

But the world in the morning, so I’ve had to learn to develop a morning routine, followed by an afternoon nap, which will ensure that I can stay up late and wake up early too.

It’s not easy, but there’s a reason why some of the most successful people have extremely rigid morning routines. I don’t know about you, but I’m more inclined to follow those guys.

Why is a Morning Routine Important?

As you can tell by now, this blog post is all about the importance of a morning routine. Coming from someone who hates mornings. What could go wrong?

Just kidding. Even though I hate mornings and wish all my classes were in the evenings, I have to give to the circadian rhythm. It’s really on to something. Seriously, try starting your day early. You’ll notice that it’s more productive even when you waste time.

So, with that in mind, let’s look at the importance of a morning routine.

1. It Helps You Focus Better

The main reason I recommend a morning routine is that it helps you focus better. Seriously. You wake up early in the morning, get all your errands done, and then start your work.

When your mind is fresh from a good six to eight hours of sleep, you’ll be able to look at problems and suggestions with an open mind and get things done.

This actually works when you’re studying for your examinations too. If you want to learn something real quick, wake up early in the morning and weirdly enough, the concept sticks in your head. It’s almost magic.

2. It Helps Lower Stress

Now, I’ll admit that this is one of those scientifically-proven things which I don’t necessarily understand. But studies show that having a morning routine can lead to less stress.

This is because you’re waking up early, you know what you’re supposed to do, and so once you’ve got all the trivial stuff out of the way, you can tackle the harder stuff.

With more time to spare because you woke up early. Yeah, so moral of the story: you should always have more time for stuff. When you know you have time and you’re not in a rush, you’re less stressed. 

3. You’re Better Organized

I’ve already addressed how freelancing can have a profound effect on your life. It affects the plans you make, the time you put into and so on. Naturally, you’ve always got to be on top of your game.

That’s understandable. But it can be easy to slack off here and there. And before you know it, you’re falling behind. Trust me, I’ve done this.

Suddenly, I’d have so many orders and stuff, and I wouldn’t know how to cope. The best way to avoid this is to have a morning routine that forces you to wake up early.

I tend to keep an hour free every morning between errands where I can either do something in advance or get done with something I missed.

4. You’re More Likely to Develop Good Habits

Lastly, the most important reason for having a morning routine is that it can help develop good habits. As an engineering student, I can tell you that no one I know is ever up at 05.30. At least not for fun. Most people I know sleep at that time or wake up to study.

No one wakes up at 05.30 because they want to. But for me personally, this is a unique situation. No one I know is awake at this hour. I don’t even work these hours, so what do I do?

Well, I workout. I have an autoimmune disease which means that I need to ensure that I’m at a certain weight, that I’m not stressed and all that stuff. I’m not the kind of person who will go to the gym or join a yoga class.

So, from 05.30 to 07.00, I work out and do yoga (or so, I hope). Then, I’ll have breakfast and all that, and then from 8.30 all the way until 9.30, I’ll catch up on work. It’s these little things that I never thought I’d be able to do that has helped turn my life around.

It’s really all about forcing yourself to do it.

Don’t Give Up! 

In the end, I’d like to end this post by admitting that I get it. Things like morning routines and developing new habits seem a bit out there. They might not resonate with anyone. But if you’re on the lookout for honest advice, this is the only thing I can give you.

In the coming days, we’ll talk about freelancing properly: how to begin freelancing, the best websites for beginners, the best SEO courses and more.

But the only way you’re going to succeed is if you understand the importance of discipline in your life. It’s so easy to be spontaneous in your teens and twenties (and thirties).

Sure, that’s fun, but it’s not suitable for a profession that requires careful time management. To be honest, most careers need that. 

And this is especially true when you’re starting out. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. Five years ago, I wished I knew the secret to become a brilliant copywriter overnight. It didn’t happen, but I’m happy it didn’t. Because it taught me the necessary lessons needed to get to where I am today.

It takes time and dedication to perfect your craft.

Don’t give up on that.

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