This global pandemic has forced us to do or study a lot of things we only told ourselves to learn once life permits us. With all the time on our hands now, there’s an option to squeeze in a masterclass or finish a book while also working remotely. However, you may have been noticing that you aren’t as productive as compared to the last few weeks. The distractions in your house might be telling you to find another workspace at home. [Read more…]
Just when we thought we already got the hang of working from home, here comes a new test to conquer. Because of the ongoing pandemic, we are all advised to stay indoors and observing social distancing. The idea of not going outside should be easy since we’re almost always at home, hustling virtually. However, new challenges reveal themselves as each day goes by – one of them is how to fix your body clock. [Read more…]
Feeling sluggish with a hint of lower back pain during work hours lately? You may want to double-check your current routine. Working in front of your laptop or desktop for at least six hours a day may develop short-term and long-term negative consequences. According to studies conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the absence of physical movement is a key risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes. But fret not, we know a few simple exercises to help you kick-off that active lifestyle in no time. [Read more…]
Freelancing is a siren song to many office workers. It symbolizes freedom and happiness. It symbolizes more time for relaxation and enjoying life.
Many in the corporate world will leave stressful jobs in the corporate world precisely because they’re chasing that dream. They want that promise of well-being, fulfillment, and happiness. [Read more…]
The freelance lifestyle is envied by those who work a traditional nine to five job, but it is rife with myths and misconceptions. In this post, we look at the realities of the freelance lifestyle.
The idea for this post came to me when I got a Google Calendar notification that it was my “last day” at my former company. That was almost a decade ago that I dove into freelancing full-time.
For some reason, I haven’t gotten around to deleting that entry. I suppose it serves as a reminder to take a step back and do think about what has happened between then and now.
Today, the question I have is whether I am rocking the freelance lifestyle or if I’m merely getting by – and I pose the same question to you.Are You Rocking the Freelance Lifestyle or Are You Merely Getting By? Click To Tweet
Being a freelance writer means spending lots of time at home sitting in front of a computer. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the opportunity to stay in shape. Because your time is a bit more flexible than the rest of the nine to five world, you have some other perks, if you’re willing to use them.
When it comes to fitness and exercise, though some of you may have to learn how to push through the barrier of “I can’t do it” mindset, the actual keeping in shape part really isn’t all that difficult.
Consider the following five ways for remote workers to stay in shape. [Read more…]
I’ve written about the benefits of occasionally working outside, and recently, I have been thinking about it again. It’s probably because I haven’t gone out to work in a while.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but you probably work at a coffee shop (as opposed to a restaurant or pub) when you don’t work at home.
What I’d like to share with you today is what to bring when you work at a coffee shop. It may seem like a no-brainer, but there may be some things that you haven’t thought of. Based on my experience, here are some things to do/prepare before you go to work at a coffee shop.
Have a special bag to carry your mobile office.
Having a dedicated bag for your mobile office, as I like to call it, serves two purposes.
One, you do not have to dig around your regular bag for your laptop, charger, and other things you need for work. Your personal items like your wallet stay in your regular bag. Things are more organized and easier for you.
Two, your devices are more protected. There are bags that have compartments that offer protection for laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and other electronic devices.
Always bring a power strip.
I used to laugh at this idea – until I struggled with finding an available socket. When that happened, I got a small power strip (2-3 sockets) that I use when working at a coffee shop.
The brilliant thing about having this strip is that when there is a lack of wall sockets, you can easily ask the other people near you if you can plug the strip and then offer to share sockets with them. If you’re lucky, then you might even make friends, contacts, or potential clients.
Earphones may not be essential for some writers, but in my case, I am more productive when I am isolated from the noise around me. Sometimes, even writers who do not really care about the buzz of chatter in a coffee shop may get distracted by unusually loud customers. That’s when earphones come in handy.
Don’t forget old-school tools.
A notebook. Pens. Business cards (if you have them).
You never know when you might need them, and as they say, better safe than sorry.
What items do you consider essential for working at a coffee shop?
I could be wrong, but I think that many freelance writers – especially those who work mainly from home – are more introverted than extroverted. At the risk of stereotyping, many of us prefer to stay indoors, read books, browse the Internet, and watch (good) TV shows or movies/documentaries.
That’s exactly what my personal preferences are, and when I do go out (and actually look forward to doing so), it’s to go grocery shopping and maybe sit down for a while at the coffee shop around the corner.
In short, I barely socialize with “real” people in “real” life.
It’s not that I don’t have friends. It’s just that I rarely go out to hang out with them, and it has become the status quo even more since I went freelance full-time. This, I call “freelance writer isolation.”
There are some freelance writers I know who have expressed the same sentiment. They do not complain about it – as I said from the get go, we have the tendency to stay indoors – but they have brought up the occasional need to interact with others.
This brings me to my main point to end the week: Can you relate to the idea of freelance writer isolation?
- Do you regularly go out for coffee, dinner, or drinks with your social circle?
- Do you talk to people face-to-face on a daily basis? (People: not yourself and not your partner/family members)
- Do you feel lack of interest or anxiety when you “have to” go out?
If so, you might actually need to exert an effort to get out of the house – not to work (although working outside occasionally is good, too) – but to interact with others.
I know that it is much more comfortable staying in your comfort zone. Plus, there is always work to be done, articles to be written, proofread, and submitted – and the list goes on and work.
Work is always a good reason not to get out of your writing cave, but it can also lead to negative consequences related to freelance writer isolation.
For one, if you don’t watch out, you might get the blues, or worse, become depressed. This can be a direct result of lack of social interaction.
Counterintuitively, isolating yourself may actually result in less productivity. While you may think that you get more things done by staying inside most of the time, you may be missing out on stimuli that can contribute to more ideas and a better feeling of overall well-being, which then leads to better productivity.
Worst case, you might end up suffering from writer burnout, and we know that getting out of that situation may not always be an easy task.
So, if you’re like me, and you have a tendency to isolate yourself from the rest of the world, push yourself to get out of your cave.
What are your thoughts and experiences on this topic? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
P.S. This post was inspired by my friend nagging me to go out more. I did have a night out with high school friends the other night, and yes, it did me good. (But I have to be honest and say that I still like staying at home.)
I’m a homebody. Anyone who knows me also knows that it sometimes takes a lot of convincing to get me out of the house. Sometimes, though, even a couch potato like me goes outside to work.
When I do, I actually end up enjoying it and getting work done – more than usual. That’s more than enough reason to occasionally work outside, right?
In case you’re like me, and you need a “little” convincing to venture out of your cave, let me share some things I’ve learned from working outside of the house.
Fresh air is good for the health.
Well, as fresh as city air can be!
I live right smack in the middle of the central business district, so patches of green are hard to come by. Fortunately, there is a small park within walking distance to where I live, and it’s right across my bank, which I do have to visit at least once a month. That’s where I am right now, actually, and the trees and “fresh” breeze do help clear my head.
I guess I don’t have to say it, but I’ll say it anyway: when your head is clear, ideas (and words) flow more easily.
I actually get to see real people.
Writing is a solitary activity. I think we can all agree on that. When there is a lot of work to get done, it is not unusual to spend prolonged periods of time inside without seeing and interacting with “real” people.
You may talk to clients and other writers every day, but that usually happens over email or chat. Whatever happened to good old face to face interaction?
Truth be told, I’m perfectly content without face to face interaction, and I’ll be the first to flake when it comes to social activities. I’ll have to admit, though, that seeing real people – and actually interacting with them – does wonders for the mind and soul.
The benefits are hard to pin down. I cannot give you concrete results, but let’s just say that even the simple act of being at a cafe (and people watching) seems to make me feel better – as long as I don’t do it often. 😉
Ideas seem to like a change in environment.
You know how there are moments when we feel that we need a change? Any change?
When those moments arise, the easiest thing to do is get out of your hole and change your surroundings. Even if your home office is the most comfortable place in the world, a change in environment might just be what you need to get those creative juices flowing. At the very least, different sights (maybe sounds, too) will take your mind off whatever may be getting you down.
So yes, putting on “real people” clothes and working outside is good from time to time. When was the last time you tried it? What’s your favorite “outside office”? Why not share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below?