Time bandits. Those little things around the house that can add up to major time loss over the course of a week. For anyone who freelances or works at home, you know what I mean. Chores, fun distractions, and personal business can all creep in and steal valuable time away from your freelance work.
Here are the top four time bandits in my life, and what I do about them to make sure that I stay on track with my freelance projects.
- The Internet
Oh, the glories that the World Wide Web has to offer. The web is my biggest distraction (aka: time bandit) because it is convenient, entertaining, and offers variety. Online gaming, fun articles, hobby sites, pictures of the Loch Ness Monster, dancing monkey videos on You Tube…and the list goes on. The point is, while browsing a few sites for article inspiration or research is a great idea, it can be pretty easy to get sucked into the wonders of cyberspace.
Before you know it, half of your workday is gone and you have gotten nothing accomplished.
So what do I do about it? Most often, I'll muster up all of the willpower I have, and force myself to stay focused on the writing project. Then, I'll give myself a five minute break each hour to stop working and explore the fun side of the computer. After that break is over it is back to work, with the promise of a fun break during the next hour.
Of course, there are always those days when the Internet is too much of a distraction, and I can't seem to stay focused on work.That is when I break out my notebook and pen, head outside, and finish my writing in longhand. I find that, being away from the computer for a while breaks the cycle, and I am able to put together an article much more efficiently. If I need to do a bit of research, I'll make a note of it and do it later. Or, I will head in, set the timer, and give myself 10 minutes to find what I need. Then I head back outside to enjoy nature and get some work done.
- Household Chores
Working at home can be like working in an obstacle course. You want to finish your work, but see all of these things around the house that you want to get done: a leaky faucet to repair, a shirt to iron, a floor to sweep, etc. It's great to get a jump start on household chores so that you will can enjoy a mop free weekend.
However, writing is your career, and it should be treated the way that you would treat any other job – with dedication and hard work.
Odd but true, I love to iron. So, some days I will give myself a break every few hours, to get some ironing and other household chores done. I'll set the kitchen timer for 10-15 minutes and focus in …