We all experience it, that strong desire to take a little pause from your laptop because you just do not have the strength to continue- no not really, because your friends just came over and there’s this really hot gist! And so you discover, 5 hours after, that you didn’t switch off your laptop, yet you have deadlines waiting for you with so much zest.
Sometimes, you don’t even have to leave your own comfort zone, you’re typing and suddenly you have the urge to see a movie or just to check Instagram or Facebook for just a few minutes. Really, it couldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes; you think, but what happens? About 1 hour 25 minutes later, you check the time and are totally amazed by how time has taken wings and flown!
Almost no freelancer is immune to distractions, and each freelancer also has those distractions which are apt to be more convincing at luring him/her away than others. Take, for instance, social media- which indeed, I must confess, happens to be one of my strongest distractions since date!
What are distractions, really?
Distractions, simply put, are those things which effectively lure you away from your job as a freelancer; and which are strong enough to make you forget your deadlines for fleeting (or more) moments!
There are two major classes under which we can group these distractions; the first refers to those distractions which come from the world outside your computer- the outside world; while the other group is the inside world; the world which is with you, even when you have zoned out other people and other environments.
THE OUTSIDE WORLD
Distractions which fall under this category include:
· A friend who visits you and spends hours ‘gisting’ with you
· An old colleague who calls to say hi and ends up spending half an hour on phone with you
· Other responsibilities at home e.g. for a freelancer who is a wife and mother
· Interesting pieces of information lying around such as fashion magazines
Indeed, the list is endless, and I’m sure if you would be sincere enough, you would definitely come up with tons and tons of things that could serve as distractions in your external environment.
For me in particular, I find external distractions to be quite annoying because it means, that I cannot effectively plan my day as it ought to go because I have other things (which by the way, might not even be that important –such as that hot gist that would no longer be news within the next 2 weeks!).
Certainly, we would have to eliminate some of these external distractions if we are to excel in the field of freelancing; and how to do this, will be captured in my next article.
While you can decide to zone out of your external environment/ the outside world by switching off your phones, not responding when the door is being knocked, leaving your house scattered- because you simply do not have the time to tidy it up (and I certainly wouldn’t advise this!), the internal environment is even harder to tame for most individuals. Think about it, on this computer contains so many things you can switch to once you desire to- and some of these include movies; which you could even end up watching throughout the entire day; as well as games- which you could also end up playing throughout the day, because there’s always one more level for you to surpass and surpassing it would be the highlight of your day- well, until you need to surpass the next level.
Let us face it, distractions are everywhere, more-so within that PC which you love so much and through which you ought to deliver quality as opposed to wishy-washy jobs. So, how do we curb this dreadful menace that might want to curtail our progress as freelancers?
For a freelancer, one of the most important things, which is held close to the heart is TIME! And boy, how time flies! Therefore, we need to fashion our duties and obligations in such a way that neither an internal or an external distractor would have rights over our work-time or work-space.
How, can this be achieved?
All of these and more would be captured in the next article.
Thanks for reading. What is your greatest distractor as a freelancer? Would love to hear from you, in the comments section.