This global pandemic has forced us to do or study a lot of things we only told ourselves to learn once life permits us. With all the time on our hands now, there’s an option to squeeze in a masterclass or finish a book while also working remotely. However, you may have been noticing that you aren’t as productive as compared to the last few weeks. The distractions in your house might be telling you to find another workspace at home. [Read more…]
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 are times when seeing the “P” word in an article or tweet or Facebook post makes me want to tear my hair out. We all know we need to be productive. We know that being productive as a remote worker is more difficult than working in a corporate setting (or am I wrong?).
Why do we have to keep on talking and reading about productivity when we can be using that time to do some work? [Read more…]
With coworking and freelancing being the trend today, it’s no surprise that more and more people start paying attention to their workspace organization. And if it used to be enough to provide workers with tables, chairs, and computers, today everyone treats a comfortable and well-organized workplace as a high priority.
The reason is simple:
A place and surroundings where people work enhance productivity and increase their peace of mind. Hence, one should care about the place of work and setting up a virtual office if they want to stay inspired, motivated, and productive specialists with better results at work. [Read more…]
I like to think of myself more of an optimist than a pessimist. I could be wrong, but I think that’s a trait that could influence the success of a freelance writer. After all, you need a certain degree of positivism to take that leap – leave your regular day job pay and strike out on your own.
There are times, however, when all this freelancing business gets to me. I know I should not complain. This is, after all, what I had been aspiring for while I was still a corporate drone. This was – and is – my dream.
Freelance writers are only human.
I don’t think anyone will dispute that. Contrary to “popular opinion”, writers who work at home, visit clients if necessary, and still have to take care of the thousand and one chores at home are also vulnerable to down times. When things become too much for me to handle, I allow myself to feel bad for a while. Just for a while, though. I force myself to move on afterwards.
In an effort to get this load off my mind, and maybe to help others in the process, I am going to list down those freelancer issues that sometimes get me down and meddle with my productivity. Bear with me, please!
- Funky Internet connection. I am sure you agree that a stable Internet connection is one of the most important tools for a freelance writer. I am actually not asking for super fast speeds – just a stable connection, both for home use and mobile use. A solution: have two providers just in case – if you can afford it.
- Computer failure. Oh, the horror stories we’ve heard! I don’t need to go on and on about this. We’ve all had our computers act up at the most inopportune of times.
- Expectations at home. People will always expect something from you, no matter what kind of job you have. I don’t know if you experience the same thing, but it seems to me that sometimes, family and friends think that you can drop whatever you are doing the moment they need something of you. You’re a freelancer after all. You don’t have the same responsibilities as office workers do. It makes me want to tear my hair out at times!
- Unexpected circumstances beyond your control that make a dent on your earnings. Sickness. Personal emergencies. Even technical problems fall under this. When it happens, and you have to worry about your earnings for the month, it can really be a tough time. Getting back on your feet and moving on is the logical thing to do, but it is easier said than done.
- Unfair and destructive criticism. Some people are thick-skinned, and most of the time, I allow criticism (of the bad kind) to flow over me like rain falling on a newly waxed car. Of course, when delivered at a bad time, this kind of feedback may very well be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Whew! That felt good!
I’ve always seen writing as a way to vent my feelings without being destructive, and it is no different this time. Are you feeling frustrated with what you’re doing right now? Let’s commiserate with each other, and find solutions to make things better.
Marcia Dentley has been working from home for several years. You won’t see her without her trusty laptop, but she also always has a pencil and notepad with her. Her other constant tech companions: www.clear-internet.com, Quora, and Twitter.
I started my new career as a full-time freelance writer on October 3, 2009, and I hit the ground running. I was off on a business trip to do some work, and would be gone for a few days. Upon my return, I started settling in to my new gig, working in my home office and getting things done. In very short order, I hit a snag, one I never figured would come up.
I’ve been taking a shower on a regular basis since I was in middle school. Cleanliness is important to me, although admittedly, there are weekends where I’ll skip a shower on a Saturday if I don’t have anything planned. But somehow, in the midst of all of this writing stuff, the shower just got put to the side. I’d catch myself working in my boxers and an undershirt, and showering every other day. I was getting lazy.
At first, I thought that this might be a problem that just I would face, that wouldn’t quite resonate with most freelancers. Then my wife had our first child, and months later she’d be skipping days in the shower. I couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t taking that little bit of time to clean up every day, and then I realized that both of us had the same problem: scheduling.
When I started this as my career, I was spending every day trying to do more and accomplish higher goals. Problem was, that meant I had to focus most of my time on working, and my cleanliness got put to the side. This is the same thing that happened with my wife. She was too busy focusing on our son to worry about taking care of herself, so she didn’t. In the end, we both realized that the shower is more important than either of us realized.
For one, it gives us time to think. I take a pretty healthy 20 minute shower, but I’m done soaping down and cleaning up in under five minutes. I use the extra time for a few different things, all of which are critical to my day.
- Relax. The day hasn’t started yet, and I may already be stressed out. Looming deadlines, screaming babies, or missing food in the fridge may have started my day off on the wrong foot, but the shower gives me a chance to let it all melt away. It’s my decompression chamber.
- Plan. I learned a while ago that if I take a few minutes to review my day in the shower, that it helps to organize my thoughts. I’m already in a relaxed state, so thinking about the day ahead isn’t too difficult to do. By taking a moment to think these things through before my day, I can hit the ground running once I’m dried off. If I shower twice a day – something I do when I’ve been accomplishing things in the garage or going out for the night – then a second review of what I’ve accomplished can also help me figure out how to work more productively.
- Get Clean. I have two dogs, both of which are known for their flatulence issues. I was working in the office one morning, and I smelled something weird. I looked down and blamed one of the dogs, then got back to work. A short while later, I noticed that the smell hadn’t yet gone away. A quick pit check led me to the obvious conclusion: I was the problem. To the shower I went, and I haven’t looked back since.
- Being Prepared. Ever received a call in the middle of the day saying that you need to meet someone else in short order? I have, and if I wasn’t clean, it was a problem. By showering, you’re forcing yourself to get dressed as well. I’ll put on a pair of jeans and an undershirt so I’m comfortable, but have a shirt ready just in case. That way I’m still relaxed, but ready to go if need be.
Showering seems like one of the simplest tasks, but sometimes it’s easy to get swept up in the heat of things. By making sure you take care of yourself, your work will be better in the long run. Besides, it’s just good hygiene.
About the Author
Kevin Whipps is a writer and photographer based in the Phoenix, Arizona area. For the past 10 years, Kevin has been writing for various print and web publications, while carving out a name for himself in the industry. Although he writes about a wide variety of topics, he tends to focus on the automobile and tech industries. He is also the editor of Splashpress Media’s Apple Gazette.