Freelance Tips: 5 Tips to Help Reduce Stress When Proofreading

Freelance Tips: 5 Tips to Help Reduce Stress When Proofreading

  • May 23, 2022
  • 4 min read

Freelance proofreading is a gratifying job, but that doesn’t mean it’s always stress-free. Working for yourself means you need the discipline to work while carefully managing your workload.

But there are several ways to reduce stress when proofreading.

1. Set Up a Productive Workspace

It’s hard to deliver your best work in an uncomfortable, cluttered environment. If your workspace is unsuitable, it can contribute to stress. A productive workspace should be:

  • Comfortable – Proofreading involves a lot of sitting, so it’s worth investing in a comfortable, supportive chair. It’s also important that you have enough space to work and that your workspace is well lit.
  • Tidy – If you’re always losing things or getting distracted, you’ll know how frustrating this can be. Keeping your workspace tidy and organized can help reduce stress.
  • Quiet – Whether you work best in silence or prefer to have music or quiet chatter in the background, you will want a workspace that is free from unwanted or distracting noise.

You may also want to consider personalizing your workspace to help you feel comfortable and motivated while you work. This might mean decorating it with greenery, pinning up some photos of your loved ones, or doing anything else that makes your workspace a more pleasant place to be.

2. Organize Your Time

Freelance life can be chaotic and stressful if you don’t effectively organize your time. To help with this, try:

How you choose to interpret these tips is up to you. For instance, you may prefer the simplicity of sticking to one master to-do list, or it may help you to have separate lists for different aspects of your life (e.g., one for work and one for family commitments).

3. Be Realistic About Your Workload

When you are working freelance, it can be tempting to take on all work you’re offered, but this can be a fast track to burnout. To reduce stress in your professional life, you need to be realistic about what you take on.

This can be difficult when first starting out! Knowing how long a job is likely to take may require some trial and error, for example. But once you’ve got a rough idea of how quickly you work, you can schedule effectively and choose jobs based on how much time you have available.

You should also be aware of scope creep. This is where a client changes a project’s scope in a way that takes up more and more of your time and energy without proper remuneration. If this happens, then you may need to renegotiate with your client.

In addition, you may need to just say “no” sometimes. It is never unprofessional to politely decline work if you don’t have time for it or to gently put a stop to scope creep.

4. Leave Time to Check Your Work

If you want to avoid unnecessary stress, don’t set deadlines that are too tight. As a proofreader, it’s always important to double check your work for any missed or introduced mistakes. Immediately after a long round of proofreading is not the best time to do this.

Ideally, you should leave enough time to get some distance from your work before you review it, especially for longer documents.

5. Maintain Your Work–Life Balance

Finally, don’t forget that there’s more to life than work! You can help to maintain your work–life balance by:

  • Taking regular breaks.
  • Getting enough sleep.
  • Having a cut-off point each day where you put your work away.
  • Setting aside time to do things you enjoy.
  • Making time for family and friends.

This balance will help reduce stress and help with your overall happiness, too.

Becoming a Proofreader

If you think freelance proofreading might be right for you, we recommend taking our comprehensive Becoming A Proofreader course. It’s full of essential information and helpful exercises to help you gain the skills you need to start a rewarding career in proofreading. Claim your free trial now and see what the course could do for you.

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