Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Structure, structure, structure.

I have had my first big insight this year, and it goes thusly: The only think I did lack in my work for being more happy with myself was a tiny little bit more structure.

One thing I love about being a freelancer is the freedom - you can decide, all by yourself, whether you want to work day or night, morning or afternoon; whether you want to take many small breaks or few large ones; and whether you want to work on this project now or the other one. It's not completely free, obviously, as soon as you have something like a social life (which I very much recommend) and something like customers who actually want to see results for the money they pay at a given point in time. But you get my drift - nobody cares whether you have lunch at ten, at four, or not at all.

Turns out nobody cares except myself. A few weeks ago, I started smattering a few more structural anchors into my week, and I am amazed at the difference it makes. Part of them are work-related (projects that I now work on every day, for just a short burst of time), part of them are personal things, and part of them are social. This means that most of my day is still free for me to shift things around, but that all of the current projects on the list get a share of the time, and none of them is neglected over several days, followed by a burst of activity.

I'm not sure whether this little bit more structure has made my work more efficient, but it has certainly made me feel happier as I start my day and work my way through it. So if you are a freelancer starting out, or have self-organised work times and feel not really content with how it goes, you might want to consider giving your days a little more structure... maybe it works as well for you as it does for me.

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