How to Manage Freelancing with Chronic Illness

I’ve been struggling with chronic illness for a while now, and you would think I got it all figured out, but these past few weeks have been terrible.

So, during my late-night scroll on the web, I searched ‘how to handle chronic illness while freelancing’, and it looks like I’m not alone in this struggle.

After reading everything I could and learn how everyone else is coping, I found and learned about *thee* perfect solution. 

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But first, a backstory…

I’ve been dealing with chronic pain since September 2013. Last year, the pain got worse where I couldn’t even sit down for too long. And after complaining to 5+ doctors and having surgery, I was diagnosed with a reproductive disease. Cool. 😑

Now the good news is I was able to know exactly what’s going on with me (and give a virtual side-eye to all the folks that were saying “oh, that’s normal”). But the bad news is I’m stuck with this for-eh-ver. Which meant I had to figure out a way to work with clients, work on my personal projects (AWS and coding), and try to find another full-time gig. (There wasn’t an option for me to work remote or part-time after surgery, so I left in Nov.) 

Then La Rona hit, and I went back to job searching on LinkedIn. But after reading the job descriptions, I had to be honest with myself. Do I really want to be tied to a desk for 7-8 hours 5 days a week? Whether remote or worse, open-space office? 😨 Hell nah. But jobless and clientless during a pandemic is not fun.

So, fast forward to now – after trying lots of tips and tricks to help me focus, be productive and consistent, I was struggling to GSD. 

One thing I forgot to do was factor in those days where my body says ‘nope, not today’. Where all I can do is read, sleep, eat (when I remember)… in bed.

Then there are days where I can knock out everything on my to-do list from today and tomorrow. Which was okay, but that led to burnout trying to do all the things with all this temporary energy. 

So, what’s a girl to do when you have to work and you’re dealing with chronic illness and everything that comes with it?

Freelancing with chronic illness is a struggle. Learn how creating day rate services can help work less and get paid more.

VIP Days, FTW!

So after looking for tips 4 in the morning, I came across this masterclass where a web designer talks about how creating one-day, done-for-you or done-with-you packages to work less and get paid more. And after watching this, the lightbulb went on. I can do this!

Can you imagine how I felt finding out that I can serve the same audience and offer the same services, and all I’ll have to do bundle it up into one day’s work? 

Why didn’t I think about this before? 

This meant that I can take on super short-term projects, handle client work on my good days, and just chill out on my bummy days. Yes, please! 

Related (and very important): Learn how to cycle sync – Xayli on YouTube, Healthline – Cycle Syncing: Matching Your Health Style to Your Menstrual Cycle, Wholistically Hannah – How to live with your Cycle

Next Steps

With all of this new info, my main focus now is to narrow down my services, update my systems and processes, then come up with a good enough schedule for all my projects and tweak as I go. Soon, I can start batching, putting those fancy planners and project management tools to use. 

And this is perfect timing since I’m learning new things to expand my services. I got my Six Sigma Yellow Belt cert to learn more about process improvement and implementation. So this will definitely help get more organized and manage projects better. 


If you’re struggling with chronic illness and need help figuring things out, take a look into these resources:

If you’re a freelancer or consultant that wants to add day rate services (aka day intensives or VIP days) for your business, check out The Life-Changing Magic of Day Rates.

Freelancing with chronic illness is a struggle. Learn how creating day rate services can help work less and get paid more.

Join the list to find out how I created VIP Days. Next email will be about setting up systems and processes, so I’ll guide you by using myself as an example. You’ll also be the first to know when I’m ready to launch. (Plus, discounted offers for beta testers.)

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Atlanta-based Digital PM & Tech Implementation Consultant. Loves long walks at record stores + helping service providers simplify operations and launch online projects without tech stress. Liked this post? Join the Brief Gems email list to get more content like this, plus instant access to the free resource library.

2 thoughts on “How to Manage Freelancing with Chronic Illness”

  1. Hey there!

    I see you referred to my blog post “Freelancing with a Chronic Illness.” I just wanted to drop by and say thanks for that! I am sorry to hear it took so long for you to get answers about your illness (I know that feeling) but I’m glad you’re on a track now. Freelancing really offers a great source of income for those of us with complicated lives. Happy you found it.


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