I'm in the midst of a freelance work experiment. Instead of trying to be productive the same amount each day, I'm working in bursts.
In light of my recent motivation issues, I'm trying something new with my freelance work schedule.
I'm experimenting with working in bursts.
Freelance Work and Bursts of Productivity
The big advantage of freelance work is that it's flexible. While there are some posts that have to be written on certain days, and while there are deadlines to meet, the truth is that most of my writing is flexible in terms of when it needs to be turned in.
As a result, even though I have my days scheduled out with various posts for several clients, I don't actually have the posts written on those days. In many cases, my posts are scheduled out weeks later. Why should I stress myself out trying to make sure I get all of those posts done on a day when I've got errands to run and things to do with my son?
My new freelance work experiment is working in bursts, when I feel like it. So, when I feel energized, I sit down and do as much as I can. Sometimes this means working ahead — which is awesome. And, if I'm not feeling the motivation, I don't have to try and force myself to be productive.
Is It Working?
So far, I think that it's working reasonably well. At times when I'm focused, I avoid social media and my email inbox. I even ignore my buddies on Skype. I just sit down and write.
I'm accomplishing much more, and I have time to work on two side projects that I've wanted to get involved with for the last two years. I'm finally just going for it, and I have time. A lot of it is due to the fact that if I don't feel like doing the “work” part of my freelance position, I just switch over to the projects I'm super-excited about.
I've been on this (non)schedule for two weeks, and so far, I really like it. My work is getting done, I'm making progress on my other projects, and I have time for the other things that I like to do in my life.
Taking Care of Myself and Freelance Productivity
Also helping my productivity situation is my renewed commitment to take care of myself. I'm exercising again, and eating healthier. I made some good progress between last summer and Christmas, and then my health and my de-motivation took it's toll.
For the last two weeks, I combined my freelance work experiment with getting back to taking care of myself. I start each morning with yoga, and then I do some cardio/strength training. I signed up with the gym, and I'm back to swimming twice a week (which I love). I've started meditating again, and I'm not eating nearly as much junk.
The result is that I feel better, and more ready to tackle my freelance work and my side projects. I think this combination of work, plus adding the focus on my health, is providing me with just what I need to get back into gear.
Do you ever experiment with your work schedule? What helps keep you motivated and on top of things?