Life As A Web-Worker – Are You Disciplined?

Slacking BusinessWhat do you think motivates a person to quit his day job and go web working full time? Well, there are many reasons and each individual has his own story. But overall, I think one of the primary reason behind this decision is that we think we’ll have more time for ourselves and our family, and we’ll be our own boss.

It’s true that there is nothing like gaining total control of those 24 hours, however it’s equally true that being conscious of such a control makes web workers lazy and they tend to slack and procrastinate, which further results in loss of productivity.

So it’s necessary that, as a web worker, you do not lose that mindset you had when you were working 8 hours at a day job and followed a schedule everyday. Here are some tips which could help bring that discipline back into your life and make you a better web worker.

Decide Work Hours

It’s important to realize that you are no longer working in the same congenial atmosphere where you are surrounded by colleagues and professionals doing the same work. You are now by yourself with your computer and in the same house which you considered as a haven for relaxation after the work hours.

You will also realize that at times you will not have control on your surroundings, especially if you have a family with kids, who will do everything in their (quite considerable) power to distract you and get you off work. :)

The key is to set aside time for work and time for ‘other’ things. It can be any set of 8-10 hours in those 24 hours. For example, a lot of web workers prefer working nights and wake up at noon. It’s cool, but you just need to make sure that you are able to isolate a productive 8-10 hours out of those 24 hours.

Organize Your Work Space

Organizing your desk is important because if you don’t do it, you won’t get that feel of working for something, which you get in a day job. If you live with your family, you should keep your desktop/laptop in a separate room which is completely aloof from sources of entertainment like television, game consoles etc.

It might be a good idea to rent a room somewhere near your home and use it as your office. That way you can expect less distractions. If you are staying alone, then obviously it doesn’t matter where you have your computer. It’d then require self-discipline to keep on working and not being tempted to switch on the television.

Make A Schedule And Stick To It

Having a schedule is essential and it helps you manage your time effectively and accomplish your work productively. You should also keep track of dates and occasions and finish your work accordingly, so that you meet the deadlines.

Also it’s easy to make a schedule, but it’s often difficult to follow it. And that’s the real test of your discipline. You should try hard to stick to your schedule and complete your projects first, rather than waste time online. Use various tools to determine the time you devote to serious work and analyze the results. Do a self-evaluation everyday and make goals for the next day. And try your best to achieve the daily goals.

Take Time Off – Seriously!

Being disciplined as a web worker doesn’t mean you should work on weekends and bring your laptop everywhere you go. In fact, you should take breaks when necessary and enjoy your time with your family and friends, without having to worry about that project or deadline.

I think web-workers and freelancers require self-discipline more than folks working at a day job. You are the master of your time and there are no outside forces (like a boss), to tell you what needs to be done and when. I hope you found those tips useful, please share your own tips and tricks in the comment section below!

Cheers,
Abhijeet Mukherjee

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About the author: Abhijeet Mukherjee is a blogger and freelance writer. He is a regular contributer for many blogs notably including DumbLittleMan.com and MakeUseOf.com. He also maintains his own blog about tech tips, productivity hacks and blogging tips – Jeet Blog

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Comments

  1. says

    Nice article!

    Self discipline is something that I am totally lacking in my day job, probably because it just isn’t motivating anymore. I will be going freelance soon and I think the benefit of working when I feel productive on something I really like doing will make it easier to have self discipline.

  2. says

    There are some great points there, it is tough when you can sit in your pajama’s, wonder off into the garden, and or do a load of laundry, it does come down to discipline. Which is often hard to define, if you are able to work on your own and at a pace that is beneficial to you and your clients, you are on the right road.

    I like the tip on organization, if we have “ocular” chaos all around us, it’s not easy to dive in. You can often feel like you need a life raft.

  3. says

    Great article. :D

    It is true that you have to be self-disciplined, but sometimes you can get too inmersed into the project you are currently doing, and forget about taking some time off. I am sure all freelancers have been there. :P

    It is usually hard to do it at first, considering all the distractions at home and enjoy the freelancing, but with time you will get there and enjoy freelancing. ;)

  4. says

    Hey Abhijeet – nice post! Yes, we need to be disciplined in our lives to remain productive. I personally think making a schedule is the best approach. That way, whatever the circumstances are, you have a framework to give you a sense of perspective.

    Regards,

    Keith Johnson
    Hallandale, Florida, USA
    Technical Writer & Author
    “365 Great Affirmations”

  5. says

    Thanks much, exactly what I needed as I venture off into the world as a full time freelancer. Find a work flow that works best for me is definitely something I have been struggling with. It’s not that I am not disciplined enough to do the work, I just tend to overdo it a bit!

  6. says

    I tend to bite off more than I can handle at once, so now I’m learning how to pace myself and allocate time to get things done.

    A dedicated work space and a routine are the things that keep me focused.

  7. says

    Agreed! I wrote a post about all the telecommuting mistakes I made at first, and all of these are on there. I would go through varying phases of putting work off till 4 a.m. in favor of Fresh Prince reruns, then trying to power through the hours by not taking a single break. I was fortunate enough to perform well, but it killed my quality of life.

    I actually can’t take credit for my discipline. I learned fast once my husband came into my life that if I wanted to spend time with him, I’d better stay focused. Oh, and I love the Rockin’ Comments!

  8. says

    You are right, discipline is a serious issue in freelance working. Even though I haven’t had a problems with my clients regarding deadlines, but someday it will hurt me bad. It’s really nice if this post also explains which software or application that may help us disciplined.

  9. says

    Great article! It’s true that we can easily be disturbed while working from home (phone calls, neighbours, kids, televisions and so on) … we must be self-disciplined.

  10. says

    I usually do web-working at night since I got school to attend in the morning and usually it ends at around 3-4 pm. Really need to get some schedule cleared up since I think I wasted too much doing nothing at school :(

  11. says

    The hardest thing for me, after over 8 years working as a remote professional, is taking time off. This year, I’ve finally started to learn that I’m more productive when I take off time. I still work long hours, but it’s not the ridiculous all-nighters I used to pull for days at a time (in addition to working during the day).

    Finding balance is the hardest, because you always have to choose between personal time, family time, project work and client needs.

  12. says

    I think one of my biggest problems is that I am easily distracted, especially when I work alone. I like the idea of making work hours. I think I will attempt to implement it. I’m in the process of keeping to a post schedule to keep me on track so pray for me!

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