Whether you're a 3D character artist or a freelance animator, our tips from our in-house producers will boost your productivity and help you feel happier at work.
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If you work in 3D as a freelancer, the likelihood is that you began working in this field because you’re passionate about games and/or film. However, burn out in the CG sector is high due to the large concentration of remote freelancers. Chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression and insomnia are all symptoms of work-related stress and exhaustion.
At CGHero, we’re aware of the issues that many freelancers face day-to-day. Issues with time management, communication and burn out are all common problems that those who work remotely face daily; here are 5 ways you can reinvent your freelancing career and mentality.
Make conscious efforts to prioritise yourself and your mental health, and watch your career grow sustainably and consistently.
This might be the most crucial one of all. We really recommend using a tool like Trello, which has some great features. Similar sites, such as Remember the Milk and Todoist, are also fantastic, free alternatives.
We recommend these to keep on top of your tasks. As a freelancer with multiple clients, it’s important to keep track of everything and not get too side-tracked. With these project management tools, you can keep on top of what models need attention, which emails you need to respond to urgently, and visualise your own schedule for the week ahead to prevent burn out.
Alternatively, when working through a platform such as CGHero, project management is handled by built-in site framework and our in-house producers, which allows artists to focus solely on their craft.
Todoist is one of many amazing, free project management tools.
Stop working at the same desk you game, watch Netflix and eat at! Blending the line between personal life and work can be damaging to your mental health, and can massively contribute to distractions and a wandering mind. If you don’t have room for two desks or two PCs, consider sitting in a different room for certain tasks.
Another helpful tip is to separate the accounts you use for work. Make a professional email address, Discord account and Skype, plus whatever else you generally use, to keep things organised. Discord has recently introduced the Account Switcher, a great little feature that lets you quickly swap between users.
The 9 to 5 doesn’t work for everyone. However, working in specific hours boosts productively, and prevents you from crunching in the long-run. By focusing your concentration into a few hours, you’ll find yourself with more free time, more days off and generally better mental well-being. If you’re a night owl or hate early mornings, change these hours around - but make sure you stick to around 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Most essentially, save your weekends for yourself! Enjoy time with friends and family, game all night, go to the movies, work on personal projects - whatever you do to relax. By denying yourself downtime, you may find yourself easily distracted, unhappy and more stressed.
Turn down projects that don’t interest you, or would otherwise compromise your downtime. Using a project management or calendar will help with this massively. Don’t overboard yourself with work, and scale accordingly. If you’re just starting out as a freelancer, you may want to accept more work than you have capacity for, however, don’t! The demand will still be there in a few weeks’ when you have wrapped up your current projects.
Let us know if any of these tips helped you out.
Looking at starting a freelance career in CGI? Join us at CGHero today! From riggers to animators, to VFX artists to character designers, we'd love to work with you.
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