Being able to work from home is great. After 14 years of corporate drudgery, it’s a relief to not have to doll-up every morning, drive down to the office in midst of heavy traffic (the urban equivalent of the migration of millions of wildebeest making their way across the Serengeti grasslands), gulp endless cups of tea and coffee and as the day ends hope to make it back in time to do some grocery shopping, grab an hour of exercise and cook dinner for yourself!
Working as a freelance business writer I have to admit, I feel much more in charge of my life. Now there is always an income trade-off, which I would not like to discuss in this post.
The Mobile Office
Over the last couple of months, I’ve had to move across 3 different cities due to family reasons. But what’s absolutely great was that I could be there for my family and enjoy time with them, whilst continuing to work from various corners of wherever I was staying! Which is again such a contrast to my formal work days when if I wasn’t working on own desk, I couldn’t focus or felt that something wasn’t right. But now all I need is a quiet corner and I’m ready to fire away at the keys on my cheerfully pink colored notebook.
Challenge of Managing Time
Now this is really the tricky part of working from home. Contrary to popular perception, it is just so hard to find a few continuous hours to do my work in; and this when I don’t even have kids! The time killers you may ask – the internet, phone calls from friends, lengthy lunch and tea breaks, discussions with family members! Now as enjoyable as that may be, it eats into your productive daylight hours. And while I enjoy staying up late into the night, writing at that time of the day is not something I cherish.
So I decided that I needed to do something to cover everything during the week. Here are my quick tips for saving time!
- Post It’s – I love them. Top 4 items of the day have to go on them, which includes my dentist appointment for tomorrow, which God knows I am dreading!
- Small table clock – It’s on my desk, staring down at me, reminding me like a mother wanting her child to do the homework; just get the job done!
- A Project tracker – My project tracker has a daily and monthly target in terms of dollars billed for the day. If I do badly on one day, I know I need to be more productive over the next couple of days to meet my monthly revenue target. What can I say – the money minded banker in me still lurks somewhere deep within!
- Fix days for social media updates – There is no end to reading and updating information on LinkedIn, WP, FB and the likes. So what works for me is to spend time doing this on certain days of the week. While for some this is work, for me it’s what I do when I am not doing ‘paid writing’.
- Don’t miss the essentials – Work will never finish and even if it does, there will always be more up for grabs. So when it comes to eating my meals on time and getting in some exercise every day, I stick by routine. Cause I’ve realized that missing any of these just puts me in a lousy mood and that is just no good for my work either!
Another valuable time saving tip – shop on any day but the weekend . Avoid the rush in the malls and at the payment counters by shopping during the week. Ha – what joy not having to wait endlessly outside the trial room!
So that in effect is how I’ve learnt to manage my time better as a freelance writer.
Does anyone else have any other novel tips they’d like to share?