Freelancing can be associated with many F-words (no, not THAT one), but they won’t all fit on the subject line. Feast, famine, and fire hose are all excellent descriptors of volume and timing as freelancing work ebbs and flows. Then there’s flexibility, the F-word that allows me to take a day here and a day there to attend a workshop, embark upon a naturalist expedition, or get some volunteer work done during the work week.
But what puts the “free” in freelancing is the fact that the boss is YOU. To work today, or not to work today – that is the question answerable only by you. All the decisions are yours, and all the consequences, too.
The theme this week seems to have been freelancing – here’s some of what I shared.
Yep – it’s a real feast/famine/fire hose existence! | The myth of the 40-hour workweek – Freelancers Union http://t.co/1xYhHWd1Dm
— Erin White (@WhiteErinM) September 3, 2015
It’s absolutely true – there is no real definition of “normal” when you freelance. The routine parts of my day tend to be the beginning and the end. I have morning rituals and chores, and I have evening rituals and chores. In between, it could be billable hours, or it could be non-billable hours. It could be work, play, networking, professional development, or some household project that just can’t wait any longer. How many hours I actually work for pay really depends upon how much work is coming in and when it is due.
Freelancing AND Working From Home
Living in hurricane country has given me something of an edge when it comes to home office BCDR (business continuity & disaster recovery). Thinking about power and internet and alternative work spaces becomes second nature here in #SWFL. This article presents a good list, but as with any BCDR plan, you have to test the plan. Identify places to work, and then work there a couple of times BEFORE a disaster strikes. Find out which place has the slow WiFi, which place is too loud or too crowded, who’s got the best coffee, and where all the power outlets are located. Keep a power strip in your go-bag so you can get the outlet monopolizers to share. A little practice not only helps you to scout locations in advance of your need for them, but it also gets you out of the house periodically. A change of scenery now and then is good for your attitude and gives you a fresh perspective on your work.
I took Labor Day off too, but I worked Sunday. Freelancing means flexibility, but it doesn’t lend itself well to procrastination. If you want to be able to flex things around, you need to be uber-prepared to drop this ball and pick up that one as needed, without compromising the timeline of the first one. It’s a juggling act to be sure, but I stay on top of it by always knowing what’s due and when, and then planning my work and play lives accordingly.
Freelancing AND Psychology
When I first started working on Wall Street, I often heard people in the office referring to certain floors in certain buildings as “the platform”. Years later, in an organizational psychology class, I came to understand that “the platform” was literally a desk sitting on a platform, high enough to observe what everyone was doing on the rest of the floor. This was a throwback to manufacturing days, and the proven theory that a behavior observed is a behavior altered. When people on the manufacturing floor knew they were being watched, their productivity was measurably improved. It seemed ridiculous to me at the time that knowledge workers would need a supervisory “platform”. Most of the time, what they are producing is not observable or measurable in that manner. Since the days of the “platform”, cubicle walls have come and gone, all in the name of productivity. In a freelancer’s life, accountability comes from the “platform” within. You either have the discipline to produce without external supervision, or you don’t.
Nature Geek AND #SWFL
Ending on a fun note – I love where I live! And I’m able to live here because I am successful at freelancing from home. Check out all the amazing things I’m able to see and do. Try not to be too jealous 🙂
That’s a sample of what I’ve been reading this week. Check my about.me landing page for links to where you can find me on the web.