How to Avoid Burnout as a Freelance Tutor

 Chrissy Jones
Managing a tutoring agency Small business Teaching Tutoring

It may come as a surprise that 25% of Americans find their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. For a freelance tutor, the stress of the job can directly impact their productivity and the way they interact with their students. One of the underlying factors of work stress is overworking and for freelancers, this quickly becomes a reality. The lure of the extra project to get extra money can quickly get out of hand, and burnout is the inevitable result. To avoid overworking, it’s important to have the right system in place and here’s how.

Sole traders and independent contractors need to be conscious of burnout

Make sure to delegate

As a tutor, there is very little that can be delegated from an actual tutoring point of view, but many other ad hoc tasks can such as the accounting and admin can be delegated quite easily. By delegating these responsibilities to someone else, it frees up more time to be productive. Virtual assistants can also be a great help in terms of ensuring classes are booked and enough time is given to prepare for new lessons. If the smaller tasks aren’t delegated effectively, they soon get in the way of the bigger ones.

Software that makes a difference

A cluttered desk is one of the biggest reasons a tutor - or any freelancer for that matter - might feel overwhelmed. Thousands of little scraps of paper quickly become forgotten and for those who rely on a manual billing process, there is the possibility that the odd invoice can be overlooked. A streamlined billing process is an integral part to the success of any business for freelancers, technology makes money management and billing simpler. But it’s not only about the money, as many other things also rely on a structured approach to the day where scraps of paper won’t suffice such as diary management, lesson plans, and more.

Be able to say no

There is nothing quite like having a steady stream of clients as a freelance tutor, and the lure of extra cash to plug a few holes is always a real threat to getting some much-needed rest. This is especially true if the request comes from a longstanding client. While this is fine every once in a while, if this becomes the norm it might be time to establish some boundaries. Setting boundaries is not only important for getting rest, but also in setting up healthy and professional relationships with clients.

Setting boundaries also happens to be a great way to reduce stress. Knowing where the boundary or limit is, is also important to the client as they are fully aware of the terms and conditions of the work relationship. Grey areas in tutoring can lead to a lot of stress, such as working longer than the agreed time whether it’s paid for or not, teaching other subjects, and teaching more than the agreed upon students.

As a tutor, relying on the income from multiple sessions can be difficult to manage from an emotional perspective. This is because the more hours a tutor can spend working, the more they can bill. If not carefully managed and boundaries clearly defined, overworking and burnout are inevitable.