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The Work Habits of Freelance Writers Revealed

The Work Habits of Freelance Writers Revealed

Let’s get one factor out of the best way to start out: In response to this revealing but unscientific survey I did for Knowledge Week, no freelancers work of their underpants all day, debunking a well-liked fantasy that should you work at home, you typically achieve this sporting little to nothing.

Historically, most freelancers do work in a bubble actually, remoted from the world of workplace convention rooms and the idle chitchat that will get spat at coffeemakers throughout America. For freelancers, human contact is usually restricted to e mail, Slack and the occasional Amazon supply individual. Shoppers usually don’t want freelancers onsite, which for the freelancer is often nice as a result of being a shut-away could be a most popular half of the gig. An exemption from morning commutes, micromanagers and workplace politics that permit the freelancer to concentrate on the duty at hand, with out the “noise” that may derail a productive day on the keyboard.

That’s why I assumed “Data Week” can be a very good time to discover the one factor that binds all freelancers collectively: work habits. Not the method of writing, modifying, or designing per se… We’ll depart that for an additional ballot. The course of of how we work, the time we set time apart, what we put on, take heed to, drink, and the way we stave off — or embrace to our detriment — the weather of distraction.

I assumed it will be enjoyable to see how different freelancers do it, if simply to match. To see what works greatest for them, productivity-wise, lifestyle-wise, sanity-wise. Work habits we’ve all cultivated and not using a boss or a bullpen, or Ted from accounting to F all of it up.

What number of cups of espresso do #freelancers drink per day? And do they put on underpants once they drink it? These solutions and extra (!) on this revealing survey concerning the #freelancelife. Click on To Tweet

Having stated that, what works for one individual won’t work for an additional, as this survey proved. Some of the outcomes have been predictable, others shocking. Many have been indicative of developments reflecting how know-how has modified or influenced our lives.

This survey was designed to not be science, however as an alternative, as a common reference level to assist the comparatively untethered really feel related. To one another… and themselves. In any case, the extra you recognize about your self and the way you thrive, the extra you possibly can develop your freelance enterprise and get on a path to higher riches via information, empowerment and deep understanding.

True, freelancers won’t be capable of all co-work collectively in some large, utopic freelancer paradise…

However that doesn’t imply we should always all really feel alone.

Now, the outcomes!

Value Noting:  Of these polled, 73%* categorized themselves as “full-time freelancers” versus 27% who stated they have been “freelancers looking for a full-time job,” indicating that some of their time is probably going spent job in search of.

*Some survey outcomes on this article have been rounded up or right down to spare us all of the use of decimals. 

Survey on Freelancers' Use of Workspaces

Bucket #1: The work area

One of the highest causes individuals select the freelance life is in order that they don’t need to be in an workplace 40-60 hours every week. The want to work outdoors the world of fluorescent-lit cubicle farms, catty coworkers and roving eyeballs is an actual factor. However the place, within the want to be liberated from conventional desk jobs, do freelancers truly work and the way typically do they modify it up as soon as they plop down?

Nicely, in line with the survey outcomes, the idea of being a “digital nomad” doesn’t essentially apply to the every day routine (as a lot as a life-style selection), with half of freelancers staying put in one workspace for many of their day… with 41% copping to 2.

Chart: How Many Workspaces Freelancers Use in a Given Day

There have been, nevertheless, roughly 9% who stated they work from three or extra workspaces in any given day, and I anticipate that quantity will solely develop over time as freelancing continues to soar in reputation turning into extra of the cultural norm.

In a associated survey end result, it ought to come as no shock that 64% of ballot takers answered the query “Where do you find it easiest to work when you work remotely?” by answering “home office” adopted by “Anywhere with WiFi” at 18%. This majority was offset by the coffeehouse crew (9%) and a smaller quantity who wrote in “shared workspace,” which apparently sufficient, wasn’t a provided reply and shines a light-weight on a millennial-fueled development that’s solely getting extra common by the day.

What are the top distractions for freelance writers?

Bucket #2: Distractions

Keep in mind the times when the mail got here as soon as per day, you bought it, opened it and waited for the subsequent day (repeat cycle)? Most studying in all probability don’t, however consider it or not, that’s truly what used to occur. Now? We’re continual e mail checkers. Apparently.

Witness exhibit A.

Chart: How many times freelancers check email in a given day.

In case you don’t like pie, I’ll digest…

Almost 55% of these polled examine e mail at the least 21 occasions per day, with a comparatively eye-opening 14% of us checking greater than 40 occasions per day, maybe suggesting that freelancers rely most closely on e mail to really feel related to the surface world.

There’s a respectable chunk of us who hold email-checking confined to between Zero-10 occasions per day (27%), however they’re greater than dwarfed by extra vigilant of in-box curators, who clearly don’t need to miss a beat. Maybe one of the explanations for the frequent check-ins is as a result of we’re getting distracted by a slew of issues that have been by no means beforehand round to jockey for our consideration.

Which introduced me to my subsequent level/query…


Chart: What Do Freelancers Consider the Biggest Distraction While Working

Social media have been thought-about the most important distraction (not a shocker), with cell telephones subsequent, adopted by streaming media (YouTube, Netflix, et al.). The notion of being outside additionally clearly distracts, however at much less of a clip, as all of us glare into the unnatural glow of our screens. The “idea of doing anything else, but work” additionally has a method of consuming into our focus, with 23% confessing to this thought.

I had a way know-how and social media would come up, which is why I additionally requested “where freelancers put their cell phones” once they’re working, to which a staggering quantity (77%) admitted to holding this den of distraction “within arm’s reach.” Twenty-three % checked the field that claims they hold it “nearby, but out of their eye-line.” No one, I repeat no one, admitted to maintaining their cellphone “out of sight, out of mind.” It’s fascinating, contemplating this gadget could be enemy #1 on the subject of harming productiveness.

Chart: Where Do Freelancers Put Their Cell Phone When They Are Working

As a result of I’m one of these individuals who likes to get again to different individuals comparatively shortly, I additionally needed to ask concerning the timeframe it takes freelancers to answer individuals after getting a textual content, on common, as a approach of gauging how our movement goes.

Right here’s what got here out of that:

  • 18%: Take lower than 5 minutes to answer individuals
  • 36%: Take between 5-10 minutes
  • 18%: Take between 10-30 minutes
  • 27%: Do it once they’re accomplished with the duty at hand

These outcomes make you marvel if we’ve gotten higher at multitasking consequently of digital know-how… or worse.

In efforts to gauge different parts of distraction, I additionally requested concerning the media that folks “play in the background while they work” and these numbers revealed themselves, with some survey members ticking a number of packing containers:

  • 41%: Work with movies or music enjoying within the background
  • 14%: Work with the TV on within the background
  • 5%: Work and speak on the telephone on the similar time
  • 5%: Work with classical music enjoying
  • 5%: NPR
  • 5%: Podcasts or music

Half revealed they work with “only the thoughts in their head,” admirable given all of the aforementioned enticements of the digital age.

However it will appear that quantity is poised to dip.

Survey of freelance writers' daily routines.

Bucket #three: Day by day routine

One of the best wins within the freelance recreation is the power to work as many hours of the day — or as few — as you want. To that finish, I discover it fascinating that nearly half of the freelancers polled are working/prospecting no less than seven hours a day regardless.

Nevertheless, it must be famous that the only hottest reply under was between 5-6 hours a day (46%), which exhibits that that the lion share are working considerably lower than the typical American employee with no commute.

Chart: How Many Hours a Day Do Freelancers Work?

Naturally, to work that onerous or sensible as a freelancer, it might appear that a extra unnatural spike of caffeine can be an necessary half of this day by day pursuit of productiveness. To that, the responders busted out a powerful “Yup.” Solely a minuscule 9% stated they don’t drink any espresso. The relaxation are, nicely, shoppers… with near 20% clocking in with three cups or extra per day.

Chart: How Many Cups of Coffee Do Freelancers Drink in a Typical Work Day?

Oh, and on the subject of wardrobe, consolation is vital. When requested what our gracious freelancer responders wore “to work,” an awesome majority (73%) admitted to sporting “casual clothes that are comfortable,” maybe taking benefit of the truth that there’s no set gown code at residence. But 14% “still get dressed as if [they’re] going to an office,” maybe as a psychological nod towards productiveness. One other 14% boldly admitted that they keep in no matter they “slept in until at least lunchtime,” empowering in that they’re taking full benefit of the truth that no one is watching, save for a associate, partner or perhaps a home pet.

As beforehand said, no one copped to principally simply sporting “underwear, maybe a shirt” all day.


Chart: What Do Freelancers Typically Wear When They Are Working From Home

In a separate query involving every day rituals, survey respondents have been primarily cut up 50/50 relating to whether or not they “map out a to-do list” earlier than beginning work for the day – with a slight nod towards those that do.

After which there’s the query I requested about punctuality:  “When you have a deadline, do you usually turn in an assignment?”

True, freelancers usually don’t report back to an workplace, however they do have issues they nonetheless want to show in. 55% admitted to delivering assignments “the day they’re due,” indicating the bulk of freelancers wish to take on a regular basis they want with a venture (or really feel there’s a bias about turning one thing in too quickly.) 41% responded that they flip in assignments “Earlier than the day it’s due.”

A complete of 5% revealed they flip in assignments “a day late.”

Whether or not this can be a drawback for them or not was not polled.

What art the perks of being a freelancer or remote worker?

Bucket #four: The Perks of Being a Freelancer

Though it’s not a “work habit” per se, it appeared apropos to ask respondents: “What are the greatest wins in your life because you freelance?” As a result of, hey, we’re all speaking and it’s a ballot. Solutions have been diversified and pre-populated per the shape (with a number of solutions accepted), however it appears these solutions definitively faucet into at the very least some of the main attracts of this enterprise way of life.

Chart: What Do Freelancers Consider the Biggest Wins in Their Life Because of Freelancing?

“Flexibility with scheduling” took the cake with “less stress,” “more traveling” and “more quality family time” coming in second, third and fourth respectively. In an fascinating twist, four.5% % confessed that “It’s essentially been the same as full-time work,” which appears to point that a small few have made the freelancing full-time factor an identical expertise to the world left behind.

Is that good factor or a nasty factor? We will depart that as much as them to determine…

One factor is for positive. They’re undoubtedly sporting extra than simply underpants.

The work habits #freelancers boldly cop to on this #survey may shock you. See the place you stack up! #writerslife Click on To Tweet

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