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The Working Day

Your Work Day Soundtrack

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A friend of mine had an interesting post on her blog recently.  She shared the soundtrack of her life, with each part of her world arranged by an individual tune.

As a freelancer, I’ve been trying to figure out if I am more productive with the music on, or with the only sounds in the room being the clicking of the keyboard and the snoring of my dog.

I’ve tried a few different audio stimuli:

  • Hard rock – no, not screamo, but good old classic rock and roll.  AC/DC, Stones, and sadly, Nickelback.
  • Talk Radio – maybe it’s just me getting older, but I am starting to appreciate some of the content on NPR and CBC
  • Binaural beats – Could be that this is psychosomatic, but if I need to maintain intense focus (read: get it done before the pressing deadline) I put on some good headphones and click on the binaural beats.  Something magical about theta waves or something like that – but, it hasn’t failed me yet.

Nothing is a clear winner yet, and each seems to be more useful for certain tasks.

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Five Easy Ways to Vent Safely

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Have you ever had one of those days where everything was going wrong?  You missed a deadline, you lost a good client, an oft-promised cheque still hasn’t arrived, final notice on your cable bill came today, the client isn’t buying into the concept, your spouse is upset, your dog has fleas, and to top it all off – you just dropped your bread, and it landed butter side down.  Worst Monday ever.

Here are 5 tips to help you blow off some steam before you climb up to the bell tower.

  • Me Time – Go for a walk, go have a coffee, get extra sprinkles on an ice cream, whatever.  Take 30 minutes for yourself.  You’ll be amazed at how hard it is to explode when you’re halfway through a peanut buster parfait.  Unless you’re allergic to peanuts.
  • Buddy up – Before you get to the worst day ever, find a friend/coworker/distant relative and make an agreement to allow each other to vent – occasionally.  Having someone that can listen and understand can help you refocus on your priorities.  And hearing someone else whinge and whine about their piddly problems can be cathartic.
  • Shout it out – Find a safe and quiet location – quiet as in no one can hear you, not quiet as in your local library – and then let it out.  Hoot, holler, yell, cry, scream, speak in tongues.  Say what’s on your mind until you can’t say anymore.

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How Do You Find Free Time?

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Sometimes being a freelancer means finding ways to get the most out of your 168 hours each week.  This probably applies to everyone, but it seems that freelancers have to worry more about self promotion, client billing, finding clients, and having a life.

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