Anyone who writes web copy knows how difficult it can be to stay on top of things and juggle all the different requirements at once. Working on the Internet is great because you always have lots of work to do but to be efficient you need to have a few techniques under your belt that will help you manage your time accordingly.
One of the first things I learned is not everything is about technology. To each his own of course but I don’t use anything electronic to help me plan my day. There’s lots of great calendars and BlackBerry apps available to help you along, but I still prefer to use a paper day planner that I can flip over and hold in my hands. I still like to cross things out with a pen and write things in as the day goes on and maybe it’s a bit old-fashioned but it still works for me.
Of course planning out my day is still important and beyond the day planner I like to use a dry erase board as well for those clients that have a lot of changing demands. It’s important to be able to juggle all of your work requirements but those aren’t all that you need to look at.
The idea here, especially when you’re working from your home, is to be able to juggle work and a reasonable home life. For me that’s the hardest part because there are always distractions and unintended noise that I really find quite a distraction. ( Of course having to Labrador retrievers doesn’t help any with the way they like to run around and accidentally rearrange things while I’m sitting at my laptop.)
All this brings me to the point of this week’s effort. Us stay at home writers need a support network of sorts and that means we need to share ideas about how to keep that dripping tap in the bathroom from finding its way into your work. I did write a column about this a while back and got some interesting feedback but I have a great feeling that there’s a lot more out there.
Another one of the techniques that I’ve found is a leftover from my younger days when I used to work in shipping and receiving while I was writing one of my short story collections. Earplugs of the industrial variety are a great way to block out a lot of the high-end noise that you can find distracting, but I’ve also found that when you let a neighbor’s thumping stereo get inside your head it’s really hard to ignore.
Don’t get me wrong. I feel very fortunate to have a career in an expanding industry considering the fact that I live in a primarily industrial town and I’ve seen many friends lose their jobs. I just thought this may be a good time for a few of us to circle the wagons and share a few ideas about how to best work as freelancers from home.