A day in the life

You want an honest look at the life of a freelancer? Here’s one typical day for me which starts between 5 and 5:30 every morning.

Breakfast and morning devotional

Facebook/Twitter

Intense writing before daylight

Finish job 1 before most people get to work

Second breakfast

Consider a shower

May check Facebook

Phone interview

Dancing around the room

Transcribing for two minutes

More dancing

More transcribing

Consider a shower again

Chair dancing

Write furiously while singing the Best of Abba or the Bee Gees

Admin work

Phone interview time II

May shower, may not

Dancing

Hear Taco Bell and run for the border

Check Facebook

Writing

Perform a 70s ballad to the birds outside my window

Writing and chair dancing

Praying that I finish my tasks before the Braves game

Admin work

Writing

Dance

Dance

Dance

Shower

Go into a complete panic about what I think I should have done that day.

Watch the Braves while planning for the next day.

Fall asleep watching Netflix on my iPhone

What is your typical work day like?

 

The Atlanta Braves, birds and other distractions

I am not a fan of summer’s hot temperatures but summer does mean baseball. But baseball also means I get distracted looking up the starting pitchers for the Atlanta Braves or the latest stats on Freddie Freeman.

Honestly, baseball is not my only distraction. And let’s be honest. We all lose focus occasionally (or once a day). Nearly everyone gets drawn into social media. Oh, and don’t forget the email panic where you check every 15 minutes just in case you have a note from a potential client.

But those are not even my biggest distractions. I do a lot of research. Let’s say I am researching bird of North America. I see that a bird is a native of a place I have thought would be a great spot for a vacation. My bird research leads to more personal research about a vacation destination. I waste 15 minutes before I snap back to reality. But hey, I am great at trivia!

So how do you overcome it? The truth is, you may never have a day when you are not distracted at least once or twice. But I have found some ways that work for me.

  • Work blocks–I have written about this before but it is a part of how I stay focused. I set aside a certain amount of time for each task I do. If I know I must complete a task in an hour, I am less likely to wonder to la-la land for 20 minutes.
  • When I need to be online, I only keep the tabs relevant to what I am working on active. I don’t want to know if an email is coming in or if I have a Facebook notification.
  • I work at home so it’s not just online distractions that can complicate my life. I often turn off my phone or hand it to my husband. I keep the door to my “office” closed for many tasks. I also have my desk facing a window and I have a group of birds and squirrels that love to put on a show for me every day. Sadly, some days I lower the blinds. I also try to limit personal conversations, even with the husband, during the work day.

Finally, if you have been around me you know I am a planner and a list maker. I always try to complete my to-do-list. And I try to reach the weekly goals outlined on my calendars.

This all sounds so easy but it is hard to do. How do you keep yourself from getting distracted?