Whether you are just joining the world of freelance or are a veteran remote worker, one thing is certain—sitting at your desk for hours on end is hard on your body. You might have heard before that “sitting is the new smoking” but as a freelancer, you don’t necessarily have the choice to be as mobile as other types of workers. [Read more…]
It’s estimated that over 1 billion freelancers are working around the globe, with millions of them working from home. The popularity and continued growth of freelancing shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, there are plenty of benefits.
Freelancing typically allows for more flexibility. It allows you to be your own boss, work with specific clients, and have a better handle on your work-life balance. [Read more…]
Is it just me or workload recently has significantly increased because everyone is forced to stay home? It feels like time flies by so fast because of the number of tasks I’ve finished this week. Just relieving all of them feels tiring. I can clearly recall how I take deep breaths every time I feel the frustration or anxiety.
As a writer, I stopped for a moment and gave things a think – are there right and wrong ways to do breathing exercises to help de-stress? I was happy to learn that there are a few routines that can help one feel lighter and calmer after a stress-inducing activity.
Just when we thought we already got the hang of working from home, here comes a new test to conquer. Because of the ongoing pandemic, we are all advised to stay indoors and observing social distancing. The idea of not going outside should be easy since we’re almost always at home, hustling virtually. However, new challenges reveal themselves as each day goes by – one of them is how to fix your body clock. [Read more…]
There is no doubt that there are tons of writing benefits. For us who make a writing living, the foremost one is making money to pay the bills.
But there’s more to writing than having an income, and science has something to say about that.
In an infographic put together by Global English Editing, the health benefits of writing are outlined. The premise is that writing benefits not only the mind, but the body and spirit as well. [Read more…]
Being a freelance writer means spending lots of time at home sitting in front of a computer. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the opportunity to stay in shape. Because your time is a bit more flexible than the rest of the nine to five world, you have some other perks, if you’re willing to use them.
When it comes to fitness and exercise, though some of you may have to learn how to push through the barrier of “I can’t do it” mindset, the actual keeping in shape part really isn’t all that difficult.
Consider the following five ways for remote workers to stay in shape. [Read more…]
The topic of work-life balance is a real problem, for both regular employees and freelancers. It is such a huge issue that countless studies have been done about it.
It’s easy enough to say that a freelancer can achieve a good work-life balance better than those who have day jobs, but that may not be the case. Due to the flexibility that freelancers have, the line between work and personal life becomes blurred. Some people may have problems working too much, while others become too lax when it comes to work.
Usually, however, the problem is that the imbalance is due to spending more time on work and neglecting personal life. As you may have experienced, this can have disastrous results.
What are some adverse effect of work-life imbalance?
- Health issues. You get more stressed as the workload piles up, and stress has been known to have negative effects on your body, your mind, and behavior. This will only lead to more problems.
- Absence. This can be physical and/or emotional. You may become the “flake” in your social and family circles, always being absent during get-togethers. Being disconnected may also result in relationship breakdowns. Many a psychologist or divorce attorney will tell you that absence is one of the most common reasons for serious relationship rifts.
- Financial problems. You may think that working longer and harder benefits your business, but if you get physically sick, then your finances will suffer. If you lose friends, you may go down the path of depression.
These three points are umbrella effects that can be broken down into so many other problems that point to one thing: there is nothing positive about having work-life imbalance.
How do you know if your work-life balance is askew?
Asking yourself a few questions can help you determine your situation.
- Do you have trouble sleeping at night because you keep thinking of the work that needs to be done?
- Do you wake up in the morning dreading the day because of your workload?
- Are you more irritable than usual, with little things ticking you off?
- Do you feel like you little or no control over your life?
- Do you see your life as “wash, rinse, repeat”?
If your answer to these questions is yes, then your work-life balance needs some fixing.
You can also ask the people closest to you what they think. They have an outsider’s point of view, which can discern behaviors that you may not realize.
What can you do?
Short answer: work less.
But it’s never that easy, is it? You need to come up with a plan with a specific goal and concrete actions to reach that goal.
Here are some ideas.
- Set boundaries. You can do this by:
- Tracking your time. Set how much time you spend on tasks and how much time you spend on personal activities.
- Take note of social activities. By this, I mean writing them down in you calendar and make sure you go. Clear your schedule ahead of time so you have no excuses not to go.
- Say no. It’s tempting to keep taking on work from your clients. It will make them happy. You’ll get more money. But that’s bound to lead to imbalance, so learn to say no.
- Love yourself. This means taking care of yourself by:
- Paying yourself. Set aside some money to do what you love, whether it’s going to a spa, getting your hair done, or buying something nice.
- Get enough sleep. Different people have different needs, but here’s a good resource from the National Sleep Foundation that will help you determine the best number of hours for you.
- Make more effort to connect. Whether it’s spending more time with your partner and children or going out once in a while with friends, engaging in face-to-face human interaction will do wonders for you.
- Seek help if necessary. Sometimes, we can reach a point where everything seems to be totally out of your control. If you think you cannot cope anymore, don’t hesitate to seek help – from a friend, a family member, or even a professional.
So, have you assessed your work-life balance lately? How is it?
You may also find this useful: Have you Hit the Wall of Freelance Writer Burnout? How to Deal with It
I’ve come to realize that the freelance writing lifestyle is not as healthy as one would like to think so. Sure, you avoid the pollution by having to commute to work every day. You also avoid the stress of having to deal with irritating co-workers face to face (although that is easily replaced by other stress factors at home).
On the other hand, even the most introverted person needs some social interaction. Staying within the boundaries of your home is not healthy, too. That’s why I mentioned before that it’s good to occasionally work outside.
However, there are bad days when one just can’t seem to get anything done, and even with the knowledge that changing one’s surroundings will help, one just can’t muster enough energy – or desire – to go out.
Today was one of those days for me.
The day started out pretty good, but by lunch time, I was running on fumes. I couldn’t get a single coherent sentence together. I couldn’t get my ideas to make sense. Heck, I couldn’t even manage to read an email without getting agitated!
Disclaimer: I’m sometimes over irritable/sensitive/anxious like that.
As usual, I tried to slug my way out of it. That’s how I roll. I force myself to stay in front of the computer and get things done. After an hour or so of fighting off a headache, trying to actually work, and about 5 cups of coffee, however, a thought suddenly occurred to me: maybe I should take a nap!
I don’t know about you, but as much as I love to nap, I try to avoid it during the work day simply because I want to finish my tasks as early as possible so I can enjoy a relaxing evening. This afternoon, my body and mind gave in. I didn’t even think of the consequences as I went to the bedroom, turned the AC on, put Vivaldi on, and turned the lights off.
An hour later, guess what?
I woke up, not feeling all perky and chirpy, but I felt so much better. I didn’t jump right back into work, but I did make myself another cup of coffee and a PBJ and settled down on the sofa.
After that, my focus was back, the looming headache gone, and my irritability levels down (somewhat).
I don’t know if you regularly take naps during the day, but I wrote this for those of you who may be like me who try as hard as possible to just keep working no matter what. I know there is always work to be done. There are clients to be satisfied, deadlines to be met.
If you do not listen to what you body (perhaps the mind, too) is telling you, though, you might end up burning out, and that’s definitely no good. The next time you feel really off, maybe you ought to consider giving yourself a break and taking a nap.
Oh, and if you think one nap’s just good as any other nap, here’s an interesting article about power naps that might just teach you a lesson or two.
How do you deal with “off days”?
Writing for a living means, by necessity, keeping your eyes constantly glued on your monitor, laptop or tablet for many hours each day. Given the implied risks of having strained eyes, taking the time to treat them nicely can only help you to avoid nasty side effects of eye strain, which is very important for us writers and bloggers. [Read more…]