We can do what we want when we want. We can works days, or nights. We can take days off during the week. We are at home for our families. And so on.
Cheerleaders for freelancing spend a lot of time pumping up this aspect of the freelance life. Hey, we can even take our laptops to the beach if we want!
The problem is, being the boss of setting our own schedule and work structure is not the same thing as having NO schedule or work structure.
In fact, floating around without any kind of schedule or discipline usually translates into low productivity and disappointment.
Put another way, having a “good day” and feeling great about ourselves is not driven by having the freedom to do nothing with our time. It’s driven by being productive, doing good work and feeling we have achieved something worthwhile.
So let me repeat...
Being the boss of setting our own schedule and work structure is not the same thing as having NO schedule or work structure.
Yes, it’s great to be the master or mistress of our time, and how we use it.
But…you’ll FEEL better and DO better as a freelancer if you create a clear structure for your work day, and have the self-discipline to stick to it.
Do that, and you’ll be far more productive, more successful and more satisfied with your work and your life.
Here is a rough outline of what my own day looks like.
The key here is that I block out 5 hours for uninterrupted work each day. That means no email, no social media, no checking on the news etc.
It is those 5 hours that make me so productive. Without this kind of schedule and the self-discipline to stick to it, I would maybe get half the amount of work done.
Do I break the rules sometimes? Sure I do. Sometimes a dentist appointment gets in the way. Sometimes I have a bad day, and all I can manage is to do my best. Sometimes my brain is fried by 4:00PM and I stop working and take the dog for a walk.
But even when I break my schedule, I always snap back to it.
There is a big difference between having a schedule and sometimes failing to stick to it, and not having a schedule at all.
Try this for yourself, and you’ll not only do better, but you’ll feel better too.
And if you have your own approach to bringing structure to your day, use the comments box to let us know what you do, and how well it works.
About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach. Read more…