Freelance writing is appealing for a number of reasons. It gives you an opportunity to earn money while working from home on your own time. It pays well and if you enjoy writing like me, it only makes sense to get paid to do it!
I started my blog the summer of 2015, but it wasn’t until March of 2016 that I actually committed to blogging regularly. I originally started the blog simply to blog. I never thought it could ever lead to me making money, especially in such a short amount of time!
Since March of 2016, I have gone from making 1 cent from this blog to making hundreds of dollars a month – and my business is still growing.
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of procrastination (me!!)
But for real, sometimes we find ourselves getting so overwhelmed with all that we have to do that we don’t know where to even start. Or maybe the task at hand is, frankly, so boring that we can’t focus for more than .3 seconds.
So the only solution to combat procrastination is to wait until the very last second and cram to get something done, right? Wrong!
As much as we all use excuses like “I work well under pressure,” or “I do my best work at 3:00 am,” these are just lies we tell ourselves to make procrastination okay.
Procrastination sets us up for some pretty unhealthy habits. It brings unneeded stress into our lives and messes up our schedules so that what we could have done weeks ago becomes first priority last minute.
We’re too young to be setting ourselves up for a lifetime of stress and staying up until 3:00 am to finish something. Those habits are literally taking years off our lives.
Since I started blogging, freelancing, planned a wedding, and took on more commitments to my personal and professional life, it has become all too easy for me to procrastinate. I find that I procrastinated on literally the smallest task – like calling the organist for our wedding – and I created so much unnecessary stress about it that I started to panic. It isn’t a healthy way to live, and life isn’t going to get any less complex.
We all have a ton on our plate, and if we don’t start to organize ourselves and prepare ourselves to work now, we will only be setting ourselves up for failure. So here are 7 productivity hacks to combat procrastination.
If you’re like me and super type-A, you probably live on lists.
I mean, I have made a to-do list with the first item being “make a list.” It’s obsessive.
While lists are excellent to help organize your thoughts and know what you need to do, they often become entirely too overwhelming.
Instead of making one big list, I suggest splitting your life up into different to-do sections. For example, my current one includes things to do for my 9-5 job, household, personal, blog, freelance, and wedding sections. This helps me to focus on one thing at a time and I can clearly see what all I need to do.
I love this method because it has helped me to prioritize which aspect of my life is most important at that time. Am I behind on blogging? Do I need to focus on myself personally? What do I have left to accomplish for the wedding? It has helped my stress enormously.
Scheduling your week ahead of time helps you to prioritize and plan without being overwhelmed by so many things to do last minute.
If you are a couple, I have also found that scheduling out our week together and making to-do lists together helps to eliminate any communication issues or stressors. We both know what is coming up and what we need to get done. It has been extremely helpful in balancing everything in our lives!
Take a few minutes every Sunday to schedule out your week. You’ll be entering the week with success and it will help you to stay on task to prevent procrastination.
Have visuals of your goals everywhere.
We procrastinate when we forget about our goals. When we remember our goals, that should light a fire within us to get stuff done.
Write down your goals and paste them everywhere that you commonly pass or work. Put them in your office, bedroom, kitchen.
If your goals aren’t enough to motivate you, maybe you should be reevaluating what you want to be doing. I know when I think about what I really want to accomplish, I quickly stop my Netflix binge and get working!
There’s only so much external motivation you can do. Sometimes you gotta kick your own butt to stop procrastinating.
You are solely responsible for yourself. If you find yourself procrastinating, you are the only one to blame.
I am the first person to advocate adequate rest, but most of the times when we are procrastinating, we aren’t doing anything worthwhile at all. There is a difference between procrastinating and relaxing, so know how to tell the difference and how to stop procrastination when it is at its strongest.
Giving yourself too much time to complete a task only allows for procrastination.
The reason people *think* they accomplish something so much better last minute is because they have no choice but to work with a time limit.
Think of it like this. Say you have a task due in two weeks. If you give yourself two full weeks to do it, you’ll only end up procrastinating. But if you give yourself a new, shorter deadline, you’ll be sure to prioritize it enough to get it done.
This is probably my favorite tactic to combat procrastination. When you find yourself procrastinating majorly, I do a power hour, in which I try to get every dreaded task done within an hour.
You can do anything for an hour. Commit to a focused hour of working on that paper, planning your wedding, or cleaning the house. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you are focused and trying to get things done quickly.
It’s always funny to see how quickly I can actually accomplish something when I want to! When I procrastinate, that task can take a week to finally finish. When I focus, I can accomplish it in an hour!
The key to a successful power hour is to remove all distractions. Turn off the TV, put your cell phone away, and block Facebook. Dedicate just one hour to the task at hand and you’ll surprise yourself at how easy it really was.
When nothing seems to work, force yourself to get outside and get active.
Take a break to go for a walk, run, or go to the gym. You’ll increase your motivation and the endorphins will put you in a better, and more refreshed mood.
Procrastination doesn’t, and probably shouldn’t, be an acceptable way to accomplish the task at hand. All it does it prolong the amount of time it takes to complete something. The key to fighting procrastination is to identify your triggers and motivate yourself to focus.
I’ll be honest. Until a few years ago, I didn’t really know what a credit score was, why it was important, or how it impacted finances.
Here are the basic essentials about credit scores.
A credit score is a 3-digit number that reflects how you utilize credit, like credit cards, car loans, mortgages, and just regular bills.
This number is generated by information on your credit report. Think of your credit report as like a report card that goes into detail about various ways you could improve. Your credit score is the number to show whether you earned an “A” or an “F.”
It’s important to have good credit. With a bad credit score, you could be denied an apartment, get a much higher interest rate on a mortgage, and even be denied the chance to get cable or car loans.
When you commit to a service or borrow money, companies want to know that you’ll be able to promptly pay them back. A low credit score shows you as a risk, and many lenders are unwilling to work with you.
5 different factors go into determining your credit score, which are as follows:
Payment history accounts for around 35% of your credit score, so therefore is the most important thing to focus on. So in short, pay your bills!
If paying your bills is an issue, you need to focus on lowering your expenses and raising your income. Starting a blog is one great way to create income. Learn how to start your own blog here.
Using credit cards wisely, having a low credit utilization score, and having long-term lines of credit open all impact your credit score, however, they don’t impact it nearly as much as payment history. So if you’re just starting to focus on raising your credit score, figure out how you can pay your bills on time.
The law mandates that you have a right to a free credit report every year, but unfortunately, that doesn’t include a free credit score.
Luckily, most credit cards allow you to see your credit score on your monthly statements. You can also use creditkarma.com to find a free score.