It has been almost 3 years since I started working solely as a freelancer and more than 11 since I have been combining some kind of remote work with the regular employment. In the light of the ongoing pandemic and sheer procrastination before my next deadline, I thought I’d share my thoughts, experiences, and approaches during these uneasy times.
To start off, I work primarily in freelance writing focusing on Finance and Accounting, combining it with copywriting, editing, and modelling (financial, not the glamour podium one in Milan). Writing itself is quite a tedious task that requires a fair degree of concentration and effort. Add to that a comfort of your own home, constant distractions in the form of social media and internet, as well as a natural human laziness, you have a supposedly insurmountable challenge. So, what does one need to do to overcome these constantly reappearing obstacles? The answer comes from within: it’s all about time management and discipline, baby. It is crucial to have a clear picture in your head with the timetable of tasks, their urgency, and time necessary for their completion.
The next step is to develop a completion or an action plan and actually follow it. This is where I usually fall flat on my face. I mean, it is so tempting to read another article, watch another video, or make another post (like this one ha-ha) instead of actually concentrating on your job. I have gotten better at it after years by consciously setting aside only a small amount of time for “screwing around”, allocating dedicated time for the actual work. For example, I know that I need to have a cup of coffee in the morning and it takes about 20 minutes to make it and drink it, so I let myself catch up on the news and/or watch videos during this time.
Another thing that you realize during your freelance/remote work is that there is no one to tell you when to stop working. Some of us are workaholics that like to pull the all-nighters for finishing the project. However, this is a very shortsighted approach, and, unless you want to feel like a drained sponge the next day or two, sleeping regimen is by far the most important part of your routine. Make sure you get some sleep between 10pm and 2am (22-00 – 02-00), because it is the part of the sleep cycle that is the most efficient one for your rest.
Let’s see, we have covered time management and sleep, so the one last thing to keep in mind is diet. Having struggled with weight issues (still working on it), to have a fridge full of goodies in your home office is a torture and a constant source of temptation. Make sure you don’t visit it more often than necessary, in fact, the common breakfast-lunch-dinner routine seems to be the most efficient one.
As most of you stay home forcibly because of the quarantine and coronavirus (COVID-19), please remember that we are all in this together. Maybe, set some time aside to check on your relatives, friends, and colleagues. Thank God, the current technology allows doing it remotely. I hope you all stay safe and well. Sending waves of love and affection, as usual. Alex out.