If you’ve been freelance writing for a while, then the concept of ‘social distancing’ may be nothing new. However, there’s a big difference between working from home because you want to and having no choice but to do so.
Although I’m a big fan of working from home, as I enter my fourth week of quarantine, I’m beginning to miss the outside dearly. The only upside is that as freelance writers, we’re better equipped to deal with this shift in working conditions than most others.
Even so, being under quarantine for a long time can wreak havoc on your productivity and your mental health. It’s important to find ways to stay at the top of your game and keep your productivity during quarantine high -and that’s what we’ll talk about today!
1. Find a Place Where You Can Work Without Distractions
We can all agree it’s difficult not to get distracted when you’re working from a computer. At any moment, Netflix or Reddit are just a few keystrokes away, so it can be hard to stay productive.
There are plenty of ways you can battle online distractions, but offline ones are equally as important. If you’re not staying alone now, chances are your house is a lot more crowded than usual.
If you’re hoping to get some serious work done, you need a space that’s free of distractions. That doesn’t mean you should force your family to leave the place, though (it’s a quarantine!). However, you do need to set some boundaries about when it’s okay to disturb you and find someplace where the noise level isn’t too high.
Let’s be honest – it’s impossible to avoid distractions altogether if you share living spaces, but your goal is to minimize them as much as possible. If possible, take over a room for a few hours each day and use that as your home office.
2. Set Clear Boundaries Between Work and Time Off
One of my biggest issues as a freelance writer is I have a hard setting work boundaries. Sometimes I’ll work well into the middle of the night because I chose to slack off during the day or I just can’t put the computer away.
Usually, that lack of boundaries between work and time off is already bad news. When you’re locked inside your house, it becomes critical.
If you’re hoping to make it out of lockdown with any semblance of mental health, it’s important to start enforcing those boundaries now. The best thing you can do, in my experience, is stick to a work schedule. Once the workday is over, you clock out.
When things get back to normal, you can be ‘flexible’ when it comes to that schedule. After all, one of the best perks of freelancing is you can take time off to run errands or do whatever you want during the day. However, it’s important you don’t let that freedom derail your schedule altogether.
3. Find Ways to Exercise Indoors
I know you’re probably already sick of seeing your friends post their workout routines and home meals on Instagram. We all are. However, there’s no reason why you can’t stay healthy and do a little bit of exercise indoors, without sharing it with the entire world.
Personally, I hate working out at home. However, the quarantine has given me a great excuse to get back into yoga and finally mastering the jump rope (take that Covid-19!).
I’m not going to recommend any workouts because I know everyone has different goals when it comes to exercise. However, if you want to stay sane and be productive, make an effort to do at least some kind of exercise once a day. Once this is over, we can all go back to being lazy, but outside.
4. Use the Time to Explore Personal Projects, Such as Blogging
If you’ve been putting off any personal projects due to a lack of free time, guess what? Now you don’t have any excuses not to pursue them. It’s all good if you want to spend your time indoors relaxing, but this is also the perfect opportunity to try out new things you might not have otherwise.
We always talk about how easy it is to set up a blog but how it also takes a lot of work to grow it into a decent source of income. If you’ve been considering getting into blogging for a while, you can use this period to tackle the setup process and get your first few articles up.
Building a decent library of content that brings in consistent traffic takes time. That means the earlier you get started, the faster you can begin to see results. Maybe after the pandemic is over, you can walk out of it with an engaging blog that already has a bit of traction.
5. Set Up a Support Network of Work-From-Home Friends
If any of your friends have ever made fun of you for working from home, now is the time for payback. By payback I mean offering your wisdom to them.
During the past few weeks, a lot of my friends have begun working from home for the first time in their lives. For some, it’s as exciting as it was for us when we first set out to work as freelancers.
The difference is, you and me have a lot more experience when it comes to staying productive while working from home. One key element to high productivity, for me, is to have an ‘accountability’ buddy. That can be any friend that works remotely and the way it works is we keep each other in line so we don’t slack off.
Now, you have the opportunity to do the same and you have a lot of friends to pick from. If you notice someone in your circle is having problems adjusting to working from home, reach out and help each other stay productive!
Even for freelance writers, being under quarantine poses some serious problems with productivity. You may have to share your working space with others, you’re unable to go out and unwind, and more.
It’s important to keep in mind that, if you’re still working, then you’re one of the lucky ones. The decrease in available work across the board means it’s essential that you stay at the top of your game (which should be the norm). Let’s recap what you can do to make sure that’s the case:
- Find a place where you can work without distractions.
- Set clear boundaries between work and time off.
- Find ways to exercise indoors.
- Use the time to explore personal projects, such as blogging.
- Set up a support network of work-from-home friends.
How are you keeping up with freelance writing work under quarantine? We want to hear from you, so leave your comments below!
Image credit: Pixabay.