Personal issues play a huge role in the performance of a worker. Whether you sit behind a desk at an office or you work at home, there will always be personal issues of some sort. Some of them may be minor and easy to dismiss. Others may have a more draining effect.
Whatever the case may be, there is one thing that most employers and clients agree on: personal issues should not affect your work.
They should be left at home once you step out the door; but what about freelance writers? How do you separate personal issues and work when you work from home?
It’s a tricky problem, but let’s take a look at specific issues, how they can affect your work, and how you can fix them.
If you’re married or have a partner, relationship problems are likely to occur. When these things happen, it can be very difficult to focus on your work. Your mind would probably be racing with thoughts – a mixture of anger, frustration, and hurt. Obviously, you don’t want these thoughts, as your writing will definitely suffer.
- If your partner works at home too, go out and find another place to work for the day. That will physically distance yourself from the problem and help you focus on work.
- If you can stay at home and continue working, give yourself a break every now and then. During these breaks, allow yourself to dwell on the issue and think of how to solve it. Once the break is over, only focus on work. Don’t allow your mind to wander back to your problems. The same thing applies if your problem is as serious as getting a divorce or separation. Deal with the problem at specific times, but keep a tight rein on your thoughts while working.
This is one area where work-at-home people have the advantage. For people who have to physically travel to work, having to stay at home when they’re sick is a bigger problem because their boss may not be happy about it. Then there is the fact that their sick days might get used up.
For remote workers, you have other options:
- Let your client/s know about the situation. This is essential if you have a deadline. More often than not, clients who work with freelancers are understanding in this matter.
- Allow yourself some hours “off”. If you have no pressing deadlines, you have the option to not work while you’re feeling bad. Don’t push yourself.
If remote workers have an advantage with regard to health problems, they are more likely to have financial issues. The degree of uncertainty for freelancers is higher, simply because they do not receive a fixed salary every month; so there are months in which money flows in, and there are lean months.
The fix: Plan, budget, and have savings. When you have a lot of work, and a lot of money comes in, set aside as much as you can for those lean months. When the lean months come, you also can employ money-saving measures to make it through. By doing this, your work shouldn’t be affected by financial issues when you don’t have as much earnings for a certain period.
What other personal issues do you/have you encountered as a freelance writer? How do/did you deal with them?