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EP 63: Plan With Me – A Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer

Have you ever thought about working from home? Considering a career in freelance writing? On Episode 63 of the Homework Help Show, host Cath Anne shares her tips and tricks around how she successfully navigates working from home as a freelance writer!

Looking for study tips, help with essay writing, or advice on how to be a better student? Welcome to The Homework Help Show, a weekly show where we teach, assist, and offer valuable insights for student life. From study hacks to writing tips, discussions about student mental health to step-by-step guides on academic writing and how to write a resume, we’ve got you covered. Want your questions answered? Write them below or join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #askHHG

Cath Anne: [00:00:07] Hi guys. And welcome back to our channel. This is The Homework Help Show hosted by Homework Help Global. And my name’s Cath Anne. Here on the show we provide you with valuable content for your academic and student life.

Cath Anne: [00:00:23] Now today I am super excited because we’re doing something a little bit different. If you’re a follower of the show you might notice that I am not in my regular recording spot. Instead I am here in my home office and I’m super excited to be here because today I’m going to take you through a little walk through a day in the life of my life as a freelance writer and freelance content creator. So I’m really happy to be able to share my day with you. Now if you are interested in becoming a freelancer and you have a little bit of experience or maybe you don’t. This might be a valuable video for you.

Cath Anne: [00:01:09] Now remember, everyone’s life as a freelance writer or freelance content creator or artist creative it’s going to look a little bit different. And this is just me sharing my experience with you. So I’m really hoping that this will be helpful to some of you who might be interested.

Cath Anne: [00:01:28] OK. So a little bit about me just to kick things off. I am as you may know I am the weekly host of The Homework Help Show here at Homework Help Global and I am also a writer for Homework Help Global. However I do also have my own small content creation company and I work for myself from home.

Cath Anne: [00:01:54] Which I absolutely love. Now it does come with some challenges because I do have to navigate many responsibilities and many requirements from a multiple multiplicity of clients. So that certainly does come with some challenges however it does allow me some flexibility and creativity which is something that I am so grateful for and that I absolutely love.

Cath Anne: [00:02:21] So now let’s jump into how I spend my day as a freelance writer. OK. So I usually start my day my waking up to the smell of coffee. I set my coffee pot. For the night before and. I wake up at around six forty five to the smell of fresh brewed coffee. And that just absolutely sets my day off to a good start. I do. I love coffee. However the smell of it. There’s something about it that’s so aromatic and beautiful and it just helps me wake up in the morning. However I don’t begin my day by having a cup of coffee. I first have a big glass of water to hydrate my body and to get my digestion system going in the morning while I’m having my glass of water. I helped my partner to prepare for work and get him off and out the door. Then I sit down with my cup of coffee. And then I have my smoothie. Now what do I add into my smoothie. So I always have a healthy smoothie every morning. I put a plant based protein powder in to begin with I add some berries. Sometimes a banana. Then I add in some maca root powder some actual up which are two hormone balancers and adapted genes. I then add in some probiotic and probiotics or sometimes some flax seed and my probiotic powder. And then then top it off with some almond milk and put it in my blender and I drink away.

Cath Anne: [00:04:12] So while I am enjoying my coffee and my smoothie that is when I do some personal development reading and I’ve started this practice every morning and I usually do it for about five to 10 minutes just while I’m enjoying my coffee and while I am having my smoothie because it sets the tone for my day and I’ve created a little bit of a ritual for myself in the morning. So I am currently reading this book by Stephen King on writing and it is his take on his writing process. So this is a wonderful book for a writer and I highly recommend it. This is the second time I am reading it. So I’m loving it.

Cath Anne: [00:04:52] So if you know me you will know that I always have one to two books on the go at one time. So in addition to the Stephen King book I am also reading a book called you do you by Sarah Knight. I’m not sure if that will pick up on the screen. There we go. Maybe we’ll put a little link to it in later. But it is also a personal development book and it is how to be who you are and use what you’ve got to get what you want. So it is all about being who you are and embracing who you are and using that in your personal and professional goals. So I am really loving that read. I highly recommend it. It’s super motivational and inspirational.

Cath Anne: [00:05:41] OK. So once I finished my smoothie and my coffee and done my personal development reading I then move on to doing a light meditation. So I usually meditate for between five to 10 minutes per day and each morning. And this just helps to set my mind set for the day and guide me through the day. So I’ve developed this practice of meditation and it’s been very helpful for me. Sometimes I use a guided meditation on YouTube or a meditation app and then other times I simply focus on a mantra and focus on my breathing.

Cath Anne: [00:06:19] And that is the type of meditation that I’ve found most effective to me. Now if you want to bring this into your life I would recommend kind of experimenting with different forms of meditation and figure out which one works best for you. And just to share with you my mantra lately has been expect nothing and appreciate everything.

Cath Anne: [00:06:40] So as I take my deep breath in deep breath out. Those are the words that I focus on. And my mantra will change depending on what I am personally and professionally working on.

Cath Anne: [00:06:53] Finally before I get into my work day I make sure that I always get some exercise in. Now this might look like doing a yoga flow or a few yoga flows doing an online yoga class going to a yoga class in my community. This might also like look like doing a hit workout which I’ve really been loving lately. Or it might look like going for a run now that the weather has finally gotten a little bit better. I have been going out for runs in the evening so I have switched up my morning routine and I think that is a good thing to bear in mind that although you might set a morning routine and that it is beneficial to have some sort of routine especially when you’re working from home. You can switch it up. So because the weather has been nicer I have been going for runs or going to a yoga class in the evening so that I get a chance to enjoy the weather as well.

Cath Anne: [00:07:53] Once I complete my morning routine I move on to my workday. The first thing I do when I begin my day is I look at my passion planner and I check and see what I have scheduled for that specific day. So I’ll go through and I’ll look and see what I have scheduled for my day after I look at my passion planner and I figure out any scheduling conflicts and address them.

Cath Anne: [00:08:21] I move on to my more skin notebook and what I do is I go into my most scan notebook and I make a list of tasks that I want to complete for that particular day. So that list is based on what I have already scheduled for my day and my passion planner. So I really like this two step method of organization because the passion planner helps me to organize my time. I also do use google calendar as well as Apple calendar on my phone so that I can keep track of meetings and that it will alert me on my phone when I have something coming up. But I am also a fan of using a physical agenda which is why I have the passion planner on hand as well and I really like to make a daily To Do list in my most notebook because there’s something just so tactile about having something physical that you can keep on hand and check things off as you go along through your day.

Cath Anne: [00:09:26] And I love to have my mosque scan notebook on hand because it helps me to make my to do list and check things off as I go throughout my day.

Cath Anne: [00:09:36] So when I begin my workday and I make my to do list I focus on three major tasks for the day. This is because I want to maximize my time and be most productive but also keep my goals for the day manageable.

Cath Anne: [00:09:53] Managing three goals and three major tasks per day is the best way to manage your time because it is certainly attainable to accomplish three goals in one day. So for example today on my list is to film one video for homework help create content and write copy for a local client and attend a workshop in the afternoon around sales and marketing. So those are my three goals for today. And I will write them down here in my to do list.

Cath Anne: [00:10:27] Now each time I complete a task I take a colored pen and I check that baby off and that is because it helps me to stay motivated when I can see in a bright color usually pink is what I use that I have completed a task. It just keeps you motivated throughout the day and keeps me wanting to work on those goals.

Cath Anne: [00:10:48] Now when I sit down to do my work I use two strategies. First I track my time using an application called toggle and I’ll bring it up on my phone. Not sure if you’ll be able to see it but we will link it in the description box the toggle application helps me to track my time so I can track my time based on each task and it just gives me an overall idea and an overall sense of how much time I am spending on each task per week. At the end of the week toggle will send me a rundown a report of how much time I’ve spent on each task moving forward. I can then take that information and plan my weeks ahead accordingly. This also allows me to track my time for my clients so if there are any clients that I have that I bill on an hourly basis. Toggle is a great application to use because I can keep track of my time and build them accordingly. Similarly it also gives me an idea of how much time I am spending on tasks throughout the day. Now there may be times where l spend three hours on a task and only work three hours per day. However each day I do like to spend at least five to six solid hours of work so toggle will help me to track that and keep an eye on how much work I am actually doing in the day. The second strategy that I use is I use the timer on my phone when I sit down to do a task. I set the timer for twenty five minutes.

Cath Anne: [00:12:26] Now this is called the pomodoro method and we have talked about it a lot on The Homework Help Show. If you’re interested in learning more specifics around the pomodoro method we will link one of our episodes so you can check that out. Essentially the pomodoro method is a way to maximize productivity. You set your timer for twenty five minutes and work flat out for twenty five minutes. Then take a five minute break. Reset the timer for twenty five minutes after the five minute break and work for another twenty five minutes. I find this method has been super productive for me before I know it and now has passed and I’ve maintained a consistent workflow and I’m able to check off some of those to dos. Now after I make my to do list for the day I check my emails for follow up and note if I have to send any emails I find that slotting time once in the morning and once in the evening for emails is most effective. If I’m checking my emails throughout the day I tend to get distracted and this takes me away from my work by scheduling a time in the morning and in the evening to check my emails and respond. I’m then able to put a strict focus on my work through my work day.

Cath Anne: [00:13:45] Now if I have any calls interviews or meetings to attend I always schedule those for the afternoon. This takes advantage of the body’s natural circadian rhythm. You know that afternoon slump that you get where you just need a little piece of chocolate or maybe a second coffee to give yourself a boost while scheduling meetings or interviews or conversations in the afternoon around 2:00 or 3:00 o’clock means that your brain will be stimulated in a different way because it’s encouraging conversation and engagement. Instead of sitting in front of your computer typing away like you do in the morning scheduling these types of events in the afternoon is a great way to take advantage of your body’s natural rhythms. So for example today I mentioned that I have three things on my list filming this video creating some content for a local client and attending a workshop and it just so happens that that workshop will be from 2:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon and I’m looking so forward to that each day as a freelancer looks different and I plan them accordingly.

Cath Anne: [00:14:56] One tip that I would give to folks interested in getting into freelancing is to schedule one day a week where you focus on finances now finances might not be your favorite thing to do. However it is very important. As a freelancer to make sure you are in control of your finances. Every Friday morning I schedule a slotted time. Specific to working on my finances. I produce invoices check on my weekly finances and to do my budget for the month. I also look at things like taxes and my projects my projected income for the year. This just helps me to keep a handle on my finances and know where I am in terms of my small business. I love the flexibility of a freelance lifestyle.

Cath Anne: [00:15:53] And I love the ability to plan my days as I see fit. I like to start my work.

Cath Anne: [00:16:00] In early in the day and then finish around 5:00 p.m. So I have my evenings free. And as I mentioned I always like to get at least five to six solid work hours in her day. And I track that using my toggle at. Once I’m finished for the day I complete my day by reading. Exercising and enjoying some quality time with my partner and my cats.

Cath Anne: [00:16:33] So that’s it for me today guys.

Cath Anne: [00:16:37] I hope you have a productive day. And please jump into the comments section below and let me know how you manage your time whether you are an office worker a student or whether you’re a fluent freelancer as well. I’d love to hear how you manage your time and what strategies you’ve implemented into your own life that have been effective. I hope you guys like this video let us know and maybe will do a few more videos like this.

Cath Anne: [00:17:10] Thanks so much for joining me guys. Have a great summer. Talk soon and take care.