If there’s one single action I can point to that had made my life less stressful, it’s been walking away from work when I’ve had issues.
There’s been times I have been working on really difficult projects and I just can’t figure out why something isn’t working and I’m frustrated with it. Taking time to walk away from work and the issue and completely move onto other tasks, projects, or even getting away from the computer completely, has helped tremendously for troubleshooting issues.
You have to refresh yourself. if you sit there and pound away at it, it’s just not going to work. Instead you just end up stressing yourself out.
It’s just not worth wasting your energy on. Even if you don’t feel like you can walk away from the computer that you still have work to do, at least shift gears and work on something else.
In reality, I’ve become a better developer and freelancer all because of learning to walk away from things.
Forced work is poor work
There are probably very few developers that could sit down and do a solid eight hours of coding a time.
Sometimes I get projects that are only 10 or 12 hours of work and I’ll quote them three weeks to finish and not because it’s going to take me that long but because I literally can’t sit and code all day.
I’ve had clients ask “but it’s only 5 hours of work, can’t you do it today?”
Well, no. I still have a business to run and besides coding I wear a lot of other hats. If I’m constantly working on client projects, I’ll never have time to grow my own business.
Any decent client can respect that so if you find yourself stuck on something, just walk away from it.
No such thing as a web emergency
It’s unlikely that it’s so critical you need to finish it NOW. If so, that would have already been identified, which you should be charging a rush rate for.
I recommend doubling any base hourly rate or flat-fees you have. Rush is where I generally bring in the hourly rates, simply because they are high and will drive away anyone not serious.
Realistically, I don’t want to do rush work. It disrupts my flow and messes with the time I can allocate other clients – which isn’t fair to my regular clients, and in reality, they are usually the better client.