For people employed in the fields of translation and writing, a daily work schedule is generally imposed by their employers. They’re supplied with a certain amount of work they are capable of completing within their office hours and kept on track with regular meetings to determine the best course of action when tackling projects. But how do you manage an equivalent workload as a freelancer, and keep the work rolling in? [Read more…]
Do you ever find yourself browsing the web and checking your social media feed instead of getting your writing tasks done as efficiently as possible?
You’re not alone. Countless freelance writers have been there before you.
You look at a blank page and somehow you just can’t bring yourself to fill it with your writing. This is when your eyes dart to other parts of your screen and you lose yourself in distractions.
“I have a computer and an internet connection. I want to quit my job and do what you’re doing. Anyone can make money writing online, right?
If I got a dollar every time I heard this – or some variation of it – I’d have enough to go to the Maldives for this year’s dream vacation.
There is some truth to the statement, though. Anyone can start writing online, but there is no guarantee of success or money. There is more to online writing than “I can write” – as you already know.
Even veteran freelance writers may have experienced feeling lost and doubtful at times, especially these days. The online writing scene is so crowded. Good jobs are difficult to find. Consistent and reliable clients are not as common as before. Rates are going down. [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 love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” – Douglas Adams
Every writer knows this quote and has probably said/written it more than once. In reality, however, that whooshing noise is not so pleasant. It’s the stuff writers’ nightmares are made of. Especially when a client is inflexible when it comes to deadlines.
One observation about writers that I have heard so many times is that we like to procrastinate. It is such a sweeping statement and can be taken the wrong way.
However, I have to admit that with all the distractions surrounding us, there are times when we do procrastinate – perhaps more than we want to. [Read more…]
Writing for a living is not as easy as others would think, is it? Whether you’re writing your novel, or you’re writing articles and blog posts for clients, there are periods when you just can’t seem to focus.
There are those times, however, when you get in the writing zone, and you seem to be a lean mean writing machine. Thank the muses!
Unfortunately, getting in the writing zone is not always as simple as opening the door and entering your home office. On the flipside, there are things you can do to help get in the writing zone. [Read more…]
I bet I got you at “procrastinate”, didn’t I?
All of us procrastinate – some more than others. I do think you’ll agree that procrastination seems to be most tempting when there’s a deadline looming, yes?
Now, what if we could turn procrastination into something that will work for us in terms of writing?
What if there is such a thing as procrastinating productively? (If there isn’t, let’s just declare that it exists.)
Here’s how I see it: we can take advantage of the urge to procrastinate by giving in to it and yet doing something that will benefit our work anyway.
Here are some ways I think writers can procrastinate productively.
- Do some spring cleaning. I’m not talking about housework, but your Inbox. If you’ve got tons of unread emails, emails that have been read but haven’t been replied to, and so on, procrastinate productively by cleaning out your Inbox(es).
- Read. Read your favorite blog. Read a chapter or two of a book. Read the news.
- Update your blog. I’m guilty of not updating my personal (and supposedly portfolio) blog regularly. The former gets maybe one or two updates a month. The latter hasn’t been updated for more than year. If you’re the same, you know what to do the next time you feel like postponing writing that article that’s due in several hours.
- Sort your Rolodex. Okay, so who uses a Rolodex these days? You know what I mean…If you’ve got a heap of paper business cards or a mess of an email/phone contact list, why not organize these contacts? Smartphones and software have made it easy to merge contacts so you’ll have all details in one handy place.
- Pay online writing communities a visit. If you’re not part of one, you might want to consider joining an online writing community. Google+ and LinkedIn have some thriving communities where you can share your work, read the work of your peers, and even read funny memes.
- Write a page or two of your novel. It may not be the most enticing thing to do when you feel like procrastinating, but if you’ve been sitting on that novel for ages, you might as well – at the very least – give it a look. Who knows, your muse might pay you a visit!
- Do your books. I’m not trolling you. I know that doing the books isn’t the most relaxing activity, but we’re talking about procrastinating productively. If you’re so tired of writing that you want to avoid it temporarily (even if that deadline is drawing ever nearer), then looking at your business’s finances may actually be a better prospect.
These are the things I think can help writers deal with the urge to procrastinate. What do you think of the concept of procrastinating productively? Do you have other activities to add to the list?
More on procrastination:
10 Procrastination-Killing Quotes by Writers, for Writers
Are You a Precrastinator or Procrastinator?
Finding freelance writing jobs is not the easiest of activities. You’ll probably attest to that. This is why we have those periods when we can barely make ends meet in spite of scouring websites for jobs.
Whether you check our daily listings of freelance writing jobs, look for jobs on this website or do Google searches using the keyword “freelance writing jobs” and all its variations, there are times when you won’t have as much work as you need.
Then there are those times when you bite off more than you can chew. It happens to the best of us – whether it’s because you take on more clients or existing clients give you more work (which you feel you can’t say no to). The result is the same: work overflow.
This can lead to stress – both physically and mentally, which can then lead to subpar work or missing deadlines.
What to do when you have work overflow, and you want to deliver quality work on time? Here are some practical tips.
Work longer hours.
This one’s a no brainer. You simply have to work longer hours. You will also have to pass up on extra-curricular activities that you normally engage in – at least until you get all the work done. These could be going out for coffee with friends, going shopping, or watching a movie. After all, it’s a small sacrifice you have to make. You’ll be meeting your deadlines, making your clients happy, and getting paid for it.
Focus, focus, focus!
What do the terms “rigid structure” and “more focused” mean exactly?
If you don’t use a calendar to plan out your day, then this is the time to do so. Estimate the time you will need to write one article and indicate that in your calendar. Do this for all your tasks so that you know just how long it will take you to finish everything. Here’s the crucial part: follow whatever is written down in your calendar. Use a timer if you have to.
That being said, don’t forget to set aside time to eat! Working longer doesn’t mean depriving yourself of basic necessities.
Be a lean, mean writing machine. Whatever it is that gets you in your writing zone, do it. It’s been said so many times, but close all windows that are distractions – Facebook, Twitter, and so on. Turn off sounds and notifications. Focus on one thing alone: the article you are working on.
Do this one article at a time, and you’ll get done faster.
If you really can’t cope with the work overflow, there is always the option of outsourcing your work.
Pro: Your load gets lighter.
Cons: You don’t earn as much as you have to pay the other writer. Also, you need to ensure that writer you outsource to meets your standards, which may not always be easy.
Tell your client/s.
If worse comes to worst, and you really cannot handle your workload, it’s time to face the music. You have to tell your client/s your situation. You can then ask if an extension is possible and offer other options. The important thing is to be honest about everything AND to offer a solution to your problem. That way, your client/s will get the impression that, while you are unable to meet the terms you initially agreed upon, you are still in control of the situation professionally.
Have you had to deal with this situation? What did you do to fix it?
Freelance and contract work has proven to be a viable job alternative for employees. However, not everyone is sold with the idea of telecommuting or working with a remote staff.
According to the statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor compiled in 2012, work offered to freelancers and contractors are expected to increase only by 3% within the next 10 years , which is considered slower than average. While freelancers can enjoy benefits that will make employees envious ,the problem lies in the inability of employers to find freelancers for their companies. Among the companies surveyed by Tower Lane Consulting:
- 37% are unable to find qualified freelancer
- 36% feel that paying freelancers is burdensome
- 34% have difficulty managing and making contact with freelancers they hired
- 68% desire a freelancer hiring tool
- 60% demand for a tool that provides visibility and reporting options between them and their freelancers
Given these issues that aspiring freelancers will have to deal with, there are apps and tools that answer these problems to make your transition from office to freelance life much easier! Below are some of the best tools that you ought to use.
If you are looking to hire additional people to help you with your freelance gigs, the next step is managing the list and filtering the best freelancers for the job. This becomes difficult if you have fielded in hundreds and thousands of applicants and don’t have the time to sort out each.
Thankfully, Recruiterboxmakes this process much easier by creating custom sets of steps that candidates must take to complete their application. This tool also lets you collaborate with your clients so you can share feedback and notes about the screened candidates.
One of the reasons why businesses look for freelancers is the supposed ease of getting the job done. Therefore, they will need a quick and easy payment system that allows them to receive invoices from freelancers and send the amount to them without complications. This is precisely what Hiveage does .
“For freelancers, its all about getting things done quickly and easily, and that’s exactly what our simple, intuitive user interface offers them,” says Hiveage CEO Lankitha Wimalarathna. “We’re sick of clunky applications that require learning, and much prefer our users to jump right in and start doing. If you know how to use a web browser, you’ll know how to use Hiveage.”
A concern among businesses when hiring freelancers is the time spent on projects given to them, especially if the freelancers are paid per hour. Because of this, different time management tools have been made available to track down their hours to be able to send to clients.
One of the best is Toggl, a lightweight and efficient software that lets freelancers track the time spent for work and generates reports for their employers. The tool allows you to add people to specific teams, allowing both employees to organize tasks for the different teams and freelancers to manage and bill for different projects at the same time.
Collaborating and getting stuff done has been made more convenient with Trello. This task management tools allow freelancers and businesses alike to set up cards of tasks to do for their projects. The cards can be moved to different columns on a page to indicate whether the task on the card is pending, on progress, or done. Its notification system will let people know when tasks are updated or need to be done immediately. More importantly, people can add members involved in the project to the board so everybody is in the know with regard to the project’s status.
What other tools or apps that you use to make your freelance life easier? Share them with us by commenting below!