Coping With Self-Isolation: Top Tips for Textbroker Authors
Lockdown, social distancing and personal protective equipment. These are a handful of terms which will serve to define 2020 for years into the future. What began as a quizzical virus has now reached the point when more than half of the global population is under some type of quarantine. Millions of jobs have already been lost, and countless others will be called into question during the coming weeks and months. This is why the prospect of working at home is now much more of a reality than ever before.
Of course, well-established Textbroker authors might already have a slight advantage if they are able to maintain their current workloads. However, this might be easier said than done. We are currently living through times which are entirely unfamiliar to modern humanity. The fact of the matter is that our society is in the depths of a plague (although the word “pandemic” is more palatable to the average individual). This has placed us under a great deal of stress, and we are now faced with more logistical challenges than would have been imagined in the past. Let us quickly look at some relevant concerns before moving on to discuss the ways in which authors can maintain a healthy mindset while still earning a substantial income.
Far from Business as Usual
Current predictions indicate that the world will enter into a recession until at least 2021. Pubs, restaurants, retail establishments and the entire service sector have already been feeling this economic bite, and the fact of the matter is that we are still far from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
However, the real concern from a medium-term point of view is the physical and psychological effects that our current state of quarantine will have if left unchecked. Many of us are unable to go outside to exercise. All but the most essential activities are prohibited indefinitely. Children and parents are forced to remain within the confines of their homes (or perhaps worse, their apartments) for weeks on end. As such situations have never occurred in modern history, their full effects are yet to be realised. Sometimes termed as a “social recession“, it is understandable why so many individuals from all walks of life are quite concerned. Those who are unwilling or unable to adapt to such a dramatic change of events could very well suffer from conditions such as:
- Weight gain
- An increased use of drugs and alcohol
- Feelings of anxiety and depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Family and/or relationship problems
When we then take into account that countless job sectors are laying off workers on a daily basis, it becomes clear that these and other issues are far from superficial. This is why there is perhaps never a better time to fully embrace your role as a Textbroker author.
The (Digital) World Will Never be the Same
The simple fact of the matter is that for better or worse, our lives will not return to normal for some time; perhaps years. The travel industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 outbreak. Tourist havens such as the Gold Coast of Spain will remain vacant. Housing sales throughout the United Kingdom will continue to slump. Some brick-and-mortar retail businesses might never recover from such a profound and prolonged downturn. However, the same cannot be said for the online e-commerce sector.
Experts predict a massive boost in the number of online ventures during the coming weeks and months. As more individuals are choosing to leverage the power and scope of the digital community, enterprises which already enjoy an established presence could actually benefit from this global pandemic. This is why the services provided by Textbroker authors are already in high demand. In other words, even the darkest of clouds will have a silver lining. It is simply a question of knowing where to look.
Having said this, novel situations are often associated with their own set of unique challenges which need to be overcome. As the majority of Textbroker authors are now facing entirely new demands and responsibilities, knowing how to adapt to such scenarios is critical. Whether you are a part-time writer or you have maintained a full-time position for years, you are facing what can only be called a brave new world. Let’s therefore take a look at how you can maintain healthy writing habits while still embracing a positive mental outlook.
Working from Home: The Top Strategies to Embrace
It can be argued that the most profound challenge associated with any type of self-isolation is the simple fact that we no longer have the opportunity to step outside for a break if we begin to feel overwhelmed. This can often lead to increased levels of mental fatigue and as a result, questionable project outcomes. Just as online experts recommend that you adhere to a predetermined set of working hours, always be sure to know when to say when.
Another issue that has always been associated with working from home involves the ability to maintain discipline. It is quite easy to become distracted by a Facebook post or video portals such as YouTube. While these are indeed excellent ways to keep in contact with friends and family members during such trying times, they can also detract from your writing efforts. So, be sure to remain focused on the task at hand. You can always navigate to these and other portals when a break is in order.
What about those who are currently locked down with roommates or family members? Might this make it even more difficult to work efficiently within such a confined environment? After all, it can be tough to remain committed to an important writing project when others are only a few feet or metres away. As the website Connecting Generations notes, it is wise to establish a self-contained working area. There are several advantages attributed to this strategy:
- You will be able to avoid extraneous distractions.
- You can work at your own pace.
- A separate office tends to foster a work-related mentality.
Another pivotal factor to highlight is that you can separate your work from your daily life. This helps to mimic the very same real-world situations which are currently lacking. Furthermore, you are more likely to avoid problems with roommates and family members if clear boundaries are established.
How to Avoid Falling Down the Rabbit Hole of Isolation
Humans are gregarious creatures by their very nature. In fact, collaboration during times of duress is one of our major strengths. The good news is that many writers are rather self-motivated; some considering themselves to be introverts. However, even the most stalwart of standalone personalities can fall victim to negative thoughts and feelings when working from home. This is why maintaining a semblance of normalcy is an excellent way to remain one step ahead of the game while writing.
Keep a regular writing schedule. Take your lunch break at the same time each day. Be sure to monitor your workload in order to avoid falling behind. Begin your day with a “plan of action” in mind and try to tackle larger projects when you have the most mental alacrity. Always obtain an adequate amount of sleep every night. Not only will this enable you to embrace a healthy perspective, but it has also been shown that sleeping is critical in terms of your immune system.
Still, we come to another important point that has not yet been examined. Many full-time writers are now staying home with their families for an extended period of time. There are instances when this can force them to lighten their Textbroker workload. As the saying goes, the show must go on. This is why clients will likely flock to authors who are able to pick up the digital slack. In other words, you may be surprised to suddenly find that you have been inundated with an inordinate amount of orders within a relatively short period of time. Although this is excellent in regards to earning an appreciable side hustle, such a situation can also lead to burnout and errors that might have otherwise been averted. Here are some useful suggestions in order to avoid falling victim to your own sense of professional responsibility:
- Pace yourself when working on larger projects.
- Prioritise your orders based off of their due dates.
- Clarify any questions that you may have with the client well in advance.
- Take breaks if you begin to feel any discomfort in your neck, back or wrists.
- Try to avoid consuming an excessive amount of caffeine.
- Do not work beyond your capacity, as this will only result in revision requests and higher levels of stress.
Above all, never be afraid to ask for an extension or even to turn down a project that you do not believe you can handle. One of the defining factors of the Textbroker team is our strength in numbers. If you decline an order, there is no doubt that another writer will be happy to address the needs of the client in question.
Maintaining a Realistic Perspective
Finally, we need to take a healthy dose of reality in order to gain a more circumspect perspective in regards to freelance writing in general. Medical journalist Muiris Houston recommends a rather interesting approach. In regards to the concept of self-isolation, try identify and isolate negative thoughts before they begin to overlap into other areas of your life. In terms of writing, some of the most understandable worries that many of us will need to face sooner or later include:
- How long will it take for this quarantine to be lifted?
- What happens if work slows down for an indefinite period of time?
- Will I lose all of my clients if I happen to fall ill?
Do not berate yourself for experiencing these and similar thoughts, as they are only natural considering the present situation. The main takeaway point is that projecting such a mentality is akin to believing that you are able to accurately predict what the weather will be a year from now. No one has the answers.
Writers are a unique breed due to the fact that they tend to embrace a self-sustaining lifestyle. While this can be an enviable trait during these times, there are also many challenges which the majority of us will need to overcome. The good news is that the Textbroker team is always here to help in the event of an issue or a question. Furthermore, adopting the measures highlighted throughout this article will place you in an excellent position once this pandemic passes (and yes, it will eventually pass).
Even the most prolific of writers needs to keep in mind the risks associated with this current predicament as well as what steps can be taken in order to remain one step ahead of the game. Some will argue that there has never been a better time to embrace the freelance lifestyle of a writer and with the correct mindset, there is no doubt that you will be able to enjoy future success.
About our authorRon first arrived in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Although initially pursuing a career in wealth management and finance, he learned that the content writing community provided the highest level of personal satisfaction while still being able to personally help clients. He has been a full-time professional writer since 2011. Some of his other interests include martial arts and bodybuilding.