The single biggest enemy that you face here are distractions. They lead to wasted hours, tiredness, stress and low earnings.
You see, to earn the big bucks online, you need to focus on the key areas of the freelance blogging business: writing, marketing, networking, and closing deals.
Let’s look at what you need to overcome…
Self-Imposed And External Distractions
Realize there are self-imposed distractions (leaving your email client open) and external distractions (road digging outside). Those in the second group are largely out of your control.
However, you must take charge of those in the first group, if you’re going to be a productive freelance blogger.
On top of that, there are ways to minimize the impact of external distractions. Having a few simple solutions will help you to get more done, and to cope with anything that is thrown your way.
Here are the most common distractions that freelance bloggers face when working from home (and tips on how to handle them).
1. Email Distractions
How often do you check your inbox? Are you comparable to Pavlov’s dog? (a stimulus-response machine to the incoming email “ding” sound?)
If so, then you’re robbing yourself of vital time and energy.
While researching this article, this was identified by most people as their biggest (self imposed) distraction. Time and again, I found references to freelance writers having issues with email interruptions.
The fix: Close down all your email clients, and mute your speakers, so you’re never tempted to check. Also, schedule just 3 times a day to check your email. Morning, lunchtime and before bed, work well for me.
2. Web Browsing Distractions
Browsing the Internet can quickly erode away huge chunks of your day.
Not only that, but continuously staring at a computer screen will cause tired eyes. This means you will be less focused and less productive when you begin start working.
If you’re easily tempted by having a web browser window open, simply close them all before you begin writing.
The fix: Don’t open a browser window until you need to research a blogging project, contact a client or update a website (a paid blogging gig).
3. Social Media Distractions
Social media is an even more pernicious distraction than internet browsing.
A one minute update can easily morph into fifteen minutes of wasted time. It’s here that you’ll lose your momentum, get sidetracked, and find it difficult to focus again.
The fix: Set a time to check your social media platforms. Or, schedule your updates via Hootsuite or Buffer. This will free up your time, and let you complete the tasks that actually generate income.
4. Telephone Distractions
Breaking your writing flow by answering a call, or checking messages, is disastrous.
You’ll waste time trying to refocus and get back on track. Your writing won’t be smooth and your concentration will waver. Of course, writing requires a fully focused mind, so don’t sabotage your efforts by answering your phone.
The fix: You must turn off your phone while writing. Just check your messages every hour, or whenever you take a natural break.
If you need to be available for emergency reasons, or when caring for children or an elderly parent, devise a system. You could have a separate dial tone, or another phone altogether.
If you have phone calls to make, then schedule them into one block during the day. Doing this will provide a major boost in productivity. When you must answer a phone call, make it as brief as possible, so that you can return to your money making activities (writing, blogging & marketing).
5. External Noises
There are many times when you’ll have to deal with external noises. They can come from traffic, trains, airplanes, noisy neighbors or workers (servicing your home or building).
The fix: The bottom line is that sometimes you’ll need to find an alternative place to work. Sometimes getting out of the house is a big productivity booster anyway (a change of environment). Go to a local library, coffee shop or cafe.
Or, if you prefer, there are times when you can drown out the unwanted noise by playing music. Some freelance bloggers like to play music while they write, but this is a personal choice.
Bonus Tip: Tell People Your Working Schedule
Working from home means dealing with kids, wife, husband, partner, etc.
However you must value your time if you want to make a living as a freelance blogger.
This means making it clear to others when you’re going to be working (in a polite manner, of course). In other words: set a few boundaries. Build the habit and they will soon learn that you are not to be disturbed (and when you will be available).
Another quick tip is simply to close the door. This indicates that you are serious about work, and you don’t want to be interrupted. Tell the people in your house that when the door is closed, you’re writing.
How do you deal with distractions and interruptions? What tips can you add to the suggestions above? Leave your comments below.