Being a full-time, independent content creator can sound like a dream job. No commute, setting your own schedule and, most importantly, full creative control. However, the very things that attract you to this lifestyle might end up impeding your productivity. In today’s blog, we’ve looked at some productivity problems you might face and what to do about them. Here’s how you can stay productive as a full-time content creator.
Schedules can be useful
I know, working to your own schedule was one of the reasons you became a full-time content creator in the first place. And if working whenever you feel like it is going well for you, great! But for many content creators, there comes a day where you open up your laptop and the work just isn’t flowing. For those times, scheduling your workday might be useful. Choose your working hours, stick to them as best you can, and try not to work outside of them.
The great thing about being a freelancer is that you don’t have to work a standard 9-5. If you’re a morning person, you can wake up early and get everything done by 2 pm. If you’re a night owl, you can crawl out of bed at 11 am and work into the evening. Or if you don’t like working for long stretches, you can do four hours in the morning, take a three-hour break, and do another four hours in the evening. Ultimately, if you need to run an errand or you want an afternoon off, you can deviate from your schedule. But even having a schedule in place can help you stay on track, even if you don’t follow it 100% of the time.
If you don’t like the idea of scheduling your whole day, you could consider smaller productivity hacks like the Pomodoro technique. The technique divides your work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by microbreaks. After four of these, you get a longer break. You can use a kitchen timer or the Pomodoro app and vary the lengths of time to your liking. Proponents of Pomodoro claim it increases focus, keeps motivation high, and results in a better awareness of time.
Manage stress and burnout
Work-related stress can affect anyone, in any sector. When not managed, stress can have serious consequences, such as burnout. A study in the Netherlands suggests that, although self-employed people burn out less frequently than their employed peers, burnout is on the rise for both groups.
Self-employed people may face occupational causes of stress. For example, if you work in the same space as you relax, you may find it difficult to switch off at the end of the day. For more extroverted people, not having colleagues can lead them to feel lonely, which can also increase stress. In addition, even if you are earning well, some freelancers find not having the same income each month to be a cause of worry.
Whilst a little bit of stress can make you more productive, too much will hurt your productivity. So, consider your freelancer stressors and whether there are simple ways you can address them. For example, you could designate your desk as a ‘workspace’ and not allow yourself to work in your armchair, or your bed. This can help you separate work and leisure time. If you’re feeling lonely, you could consider joining a coworking space. Financial planning and keeping detailed records of what you save and spend can help you feel more in control of your money.
Stress concerns for creatives
For creatives, the passion that led you to choose this lifestyle can be the very thing that makes you stressed. Your emotional investment in your work can lead to perfectionism. While our competitive society often values perfectionism, maladaptive perfectionism can make you miserable and impede productivity. It’s important to be mindful of your critical inner voice, ask yourself whether perfection is really necessary, and give yourself a break.
Moreover, for many content creators, this is a hobby that has turned full time. Due to this turn of events, you may no longer have any hobbies outside of content creation. It might help to take up a new interest that is not at all related to your work. Hobbies will help you disconnect, release stress, and can be a source of self-esteem.
It’s not always easy to stay productive as a full-time content creator, but with a little strategy and self-care you can get through even the most difficult slumps. Remember that every job, even a dream job, has its ups and downs. Work smart and be kind to yourself.
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