Working as a freelancer certainly has its perks. Chief among them is the ability to wear pajamas to work. Followed right behind the unique freelancing wardrobe, however, is being your own boss. Without having to worry about a boss breathing down your neck or scrutinizing your monthly sales reports, it is much easier to relax and feel a sense of freedom.
If you are like most freelancers, however, you probably noticed that not having a boss and a defined schedule can be both a blessing and a curse. Suddenly, you realize that without a boss to set your schedule, you get to make your own hours. That is fantastic, for about a week. Then, it seems as though your work gets continuously displaced in favor of countless other projects and distractions until you are sitting up at midnight, desperate to finish the day’s work and annoyed at yourself for failing to take advantage of the time you had before.
How do you stay focused when you work in your pajamas? Here are some tried and true techniques that can help all freelancer content writers better manage their time.
- Get out of the pajamas. Working while feeling comfortable is awesome, but for many people, it also makes it harder to focus and be productive. Getting up on time, getting ready, and sitting down at the computer for work at a desk can do wonders for productivity.
- Use a realistic schedule. Most writers can only focus for so long on their projects before their brain starts to feel a bit fried. Think about it – even in an office you probably regularly got up for coffee breaks or at least to stretch your legs and get away from the computer. Schedule your writing time for about two hour segments (or whatever works for you) and then have time built in for tasks like check email, start dinner, have lunch, tear your hair out over that frustrating client; you know, the usual.
- Use website blockers. Sometimes our resolve is weak, especially when faced with projects we do not find particularly exciting. Use one of the countless plugins that allow you to block your computer’s access to the sites you like to distract yourself on, like Facebook or Reddit. Even better, have the computer automatically redirect you to your work site when you try to access the pages. It will give your inner strength the boost it needs.
- Have attainable, but challenging goals. Many freelancers find themselves falling into one of two traps. Either they do the bare minimum and then wonder why their career stagnates, or they set goals so high that they are perpetually out of reach, and they eventually burn out. Instead, outline your goals in the long term -such as where you want to be in a year, and the short term -which projects you need to finish by dinnertime today. Challenge yourself to grow while still being realistic.
Being productive in the freelancing world can be difficult. While it might sad to have to give up the daily pajamas, seeing your freelancing career grow while also finding time to sleep once again can make it all worth it.
Jessica B spends her days writing content for her customers and laughing with her children. She loves learning about the latest in marketing and how it intersects with her background in psychology.