Friday, May 21, 2010

Workin' in my Jammies!

Since summer began, and I'm out of school, I've been working from home writing online.  I've mentioned it probably a dozen times, so it's nothing new, but I'm finding that I really enjoy working online from home. I don't have to go anywhere, wear anything special, or wake-up at any specified time, and I'm able to earn about $15 an hour right now.  Simply can't beat that, in my humble opinion.  Of course, when I say "about $15" I mean that it's a little less than that because with research and formatting, one article takes me about an hour and 15 minutes right now.

Today was an exception, I spent more time writing today than usual, I worked full-time and got five articles written... but this is unusual.  Most days aren't like this.  On average, I spent about 4 hours writing 3 articles per day, 5 days per week right now.  Today can be blamed on yesterday, when I didn't feel well and only wrote one article.  All in all, for my first week actually working online, rather than treating it like a money-earning hobby, I got my 3 article per day goal met and I feel really good about it.  So good, in fact, that I'm taking the weekend off.  I've been planning to only write 5 days a week and I'm thinking of changing my days off to Monday and Tuesday because the short part of the pay week is between Monday and Wednesday.  Won't go into it more than that because it's not that interesting.  Honestly, the only thing interesting about even as much as I've said is that I get to choose my days off.  I love that!

There are, however, a few things that I find I don't like about working at home.  The first has to be Facebook and email, I can't stay away from them. I waste hours a day doing nothing but playing Facebook games and it's cutting down on my productivity.  I know it's a simple matter of willpower to avoid them, and I did okay --if not great-- today, but I'm hooked. Besides, anyone who knows me or reads here with any regularity knows I suck at willpower. I recently made some changes with my twitter account, namely deleted it and opened a new one, so I'm going back to using Twitter because I feel like it's far less of a distraction that Facebook.  Also, I like the instant gratification and ability to say what I want about what I'm doing.  Facebook always makes me feel a little self-conscious about status updating.

The second is easily state of mind and by that I mean the ability to feel like I'm actually working a job. I could write in my jammies all day if I wanted to, but I find that doing so makes me feel like I'm not working, which messes with my productivity as much as my Facebook addiction. I need to feel like a big girl, in my big girl clothes, so I'm finding that if I shower, wash my hair, and put on something I'd wear to school when I'm first up in the morning (er... early afternoon?) that I feel more like I'm working.  Jammies and lounge-type cloths are reserved for lounging.  Jeans and a comfortable shirt are my work clothes.  It's silly, or at least I feel a little silly about it, but that's how it goes.

Finally, I have to have total quiet and a clean desk to be productive. I clean my desk up every night, after I've worked, made dinner, and cleaned the house.  That way in the morning, after I'm cleaned up and when I'm ready to work, I won't use cleaning up as a form of procrastination. I'm trying to look at this like a good thing, I'm learning what I use to procrastinate and actively trying to stop.  Maybe working, rather than going to school, is a good thing for me!

As for noise, there's nothing I can do about that. The TV's on right now, as I type this, and I'm having trouble focusing and blogging is pretty simple stuff -- he's watching Bill Mahr.  Focusing on maintaining AP style, while reducing my passive phrases to less than 8% of text, and trying to remember to put only one space after periods cannot be done with the TV on.  I've tried music, because I could wear my headset and Matt could still watch TV, but no.  I need quiet and that means Matt has to find another way to occupy himself while I'm working. What I need is an office, but for now, I'm just going to have to make having my desk in the living room work because the spare room is packed with junk that needs to go to the dump and needs to have the carpet replaced.  So, the living room's it and noise is out.

All in all, though, I feel like working from home is working for me.  The amount of freedom I feel being able to work from home is amazing.  The sky's really the limit, my only real limit is my own ability to produce faster.  I'm working on that this summer because the heat's not really on.  At 3 articles, 5 days a week, I can make about $900 a month.  I know it doesn't sound like much, but when you consider that many of my bills are paid through August, it's more than enough.  The beauty, of course, is that at that rate, if I write two more articles a day, my earnings go up to $1,500 a month.  It's a gradual process of stepping up into more income.  I'm working on it, but I'm happy to be doing so and hopefully it will allow me to find more freelance projects along the way.  I'm hopeful!

For now, it's 10:30 and I still have a grocery list to make and shopping to do.  Going to be a challenge to see whether I can make meals with just the microwave, electric griddle, and foreman grill.  Good night!