(Last updated March 26, 2020, 2:30 PM)
President Rodrigo Duterte declared an “enhanced community quarantine” in Luzon to respond to the growing COVID19 cases. Right now, businesses are closed with almost no public transportation options for the masses.
With the shut down of businesses, income is also limited for most people. But our bills don’t stop. Do you risk it and go outside just to pay your bills?
Senator Bong Go suggested the early release of proportional 13th-month pay and a one-month suspension of bills. He also proposed a moratorium (or temporary prohibition) of rental fees and flexible work arrangements.
The private sector reached out to help. Some extended the deadline for payments. Here are as follows:
— GlobeICON (@globeicon) March 15, 2020
30-day payment extension for Globe Postpaid (Mobile and Broadband), including business and enterprise customers nationwide.
We’ve put in place a 30-day payment extension period for all our postpaid customers of Smart, Sun Postpaid, PLDT Home and PLDT Enterprise. #StaySmart
30-Day payment extension for postpaid subscribers of PLDT Home, PLDT Enterprise, Smart & Sun Postpaid.
All Cignal Postpaid subscribers will be given a 30-day payment extension from your due date.In order to ensure that…
30-Day payment extension for postpaid subscribers.
30-Day payment extension for postpaid subscribers.
30-Day payment extension from your due date.
PAUNAWA SA CUSTOMERS:Bilang bahagi ng aming patuloy na pagsuporta sa kasalukuyang enhanced quarantine sa Luzon,…
30-day payment extension from your due date. It will be added to the 60-day grace period before you receive a notice of disconnection.
MAHALAGA SA AMIN ANG INYONG KAPAKANANPangunahin sa amin ang kapakanan ng aming mga customer habang lahat tayo ay…
30-day payment extension from your due date.
UPDATE: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Home Credit will not be charging fees and penalties. For payment extension, no…
You can request for payment extension by answering this form.
In this difficult time, please allow us to extend this humble assistance: a 60-day payment extension for qualified…
60-day payment extension for qualified Credit Card, Auto, Home, SME and Personal Loan customers with due dates of up to April 15, 2020.
30-day payment extension for auto, personal, mortgage and EEL loans, and credit card for qualified customers. You will receive an email or SMS if you qualify for the extension.
In times like this, let this be one less thing for you to worry about.Auto, Home, Personal and Salary Loan clients in…
30-day payment extension for auto, home, personal, and salary Loan clients in good standing, with due dates from March 15 to April 15, 2020.
We are giving qualified credit cardholders in good standing and with due dates from March 17 to April 15, 2020, the…
30-day payment extension for qualified credit cardholders in good standing and with due dates from March 17 to April 15, 2020.
30-day grace period for qualified credit card, personal, home, auto, and SEME loans.
#MeaningfulBanking means extending meaningful assistance to those who need it most. #YoureInGoodHandsFor more…
30-day grace period for qualified car loans, home loans, and credit card payments.
We will always be #SimpleLangMaaasahanGrace period on loan payments!
30-day grace period for qualified auto, home, and personal loan clients.
30-day payment extension for Credit Card, Home Loan, Personal Loan, Auto Loan, Business Mortgage Loan, or Business Express Loan with no past-due balance and the payment due date is between March 16 to April 14, 2020
In these trying times, we are giving a 30-day payment extension for China Bank consumer loan customers in good credit…
30-day payment extension for China Bank consumer loan customers in good credit standing. As well as, Auto and housing loan amortizations due from March 15 to April 15, 2020.
In support of the nationwide efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus, Robinsons Bank is giving a grace period for the payments due on March 16 to April 15, 2020 for eligible customers.
30-day loan grace period for payments due on March 16 to April 15 for customers with good credit standing.
We are with you during these challenging times. We understand the health and safety of your family is your top priority…
30-day payment extension for cardholders with a payment due date which falls from March 16 to April 12, 2020.
We are one with our kababayans during this difficult time. PNB will be implementing a 30-day payment extension for all…
30-day payment extension for the payment of all PNB Credit cards with due dates March 18, 2020, to April 15, 2020.
IMPORTANT ADVISORY30 DAY GRACE PERIODIn response to the Enhanced Community Quarantine program, AUB is implementing a…
30-day grace period for Credit Card Holders, Loan clients for Housing, Motor Vehicle, Personal, Salary, and Seafarers Loans.
30-day extension for UCPB DriEasy Auto Loan, HomEasy Home Loan, SalarEasy Personal Loan, or BizEasy Business Loan with due dates from March 19, 2020, to April 18, 2020
CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED ADVISORY: https://www.facebook.com/409310309136361/posts/2830761856991182/—To ensure…
60 days grace period (from the previous 31 days) for all premium payments until April 30.
Beyond providing insurance solutions, the health and safety of our customers, our employees, and our partners are of the utmost priority.
60 days grace period (from the previous 31 days) for all life and health policies (Individual & Group0 due from March 16 until April 30.
60 days extended premium payment after your due date for all life insurance policies issued and assumed by Manulife Philippines, Manulife China Bank Life, and Manulife Financial Plans whose dates fall between March 16 to April 30, 2020.
#UPDATE as of March 18, 2020: Now more than ever, we are here to continue keeping you protected from life’s…
60 days grace period for policies with due date from March 1 to May 31, 2020.
Pag-IBIG FUND OFFERS THREE-MONTH MORATORIUM ON ALL LOANS Pag-IBIG Fund is offering a three-month moratorium to its…
3 Month Moratorium for member-borrowers residing in NCR and Luzon for Pag-IBIG Fund Housing Loan, Multi-Purpose Loan, and Calamity Loan borrowers with payments due on March 16, 2020 until June 15, 2020.
Take note: you need to apply for the moratorium.
The BIR extends the ITR filing deadline (RMC 28-2020) from April 15, 2020, to May 15, 2020.
Also, numerous tax filings such as VAT filings are extended for one month. Check RMC 29-2020 for the list.
We will keep you posted for additional announcements. Stay safe!
How are you?
Really. How are you truly feeling today? Are you happy? Sad? Or just neutral?
More often than not, we are not 100% happy for today. Ever wondered why we couldn’t be happy all the time?
For example, you might have experienced getting something like the latest phone today, and you were so happy that you’re one of the first to snag the coveted gadget. But after some time (usually around 1 to 2 weeks), you suddenly don’t feel that much happiness with it anymore.
It’s like a cycle that never ends. And there’s actually a term for it — the Hedonic Treadmill.
Understanding the Hedonic Treadmill
The Hedonic Treadmill (or the Hedonic Adaptation) is a theory that happiness has a baseline. It was first identified by Brickman and Campbell in their study “Hedonic Relativism and Planning the Good Society (1971)”, the hedonic treadmill describes the cyclical nature of happiness.
And when we become happier (or sadder), there will come a time where we go back to this baseline. The baseline can be seen in this graph:
As you can see, as we go far from the baseline, there will be a tipping point when we go back to being neutral to a certain trigger.
Similar to the phone example a while ago, if you receive a large pay raise, you will be happy for quite some time. But after a few months, it will be the new normal, and you’re not really ecstatic about it as much as before.
That explains why rich people are not always happier compared to poor people — that this happiness is temporary.
On the other hand, if something awful happens to you like breaking up with someone, there will be a time that you moved on. This sadness is also temporary.
Determining the Happiness Baseline
According to her book “The How Happiness,” Sonja Lyubomirsky theorizes that 50% of our happiness baseline is genetic, 10% are determined by external factors, and 40% is set by our actions, perspective, and attitude.
Some are genetically predisposed to loneliness and depression. Scientists have isolated a gene linked to people with recurrent depression. Also, the ability of your body to produce serotonin (the “happy” hormone) affects this.
What’s good is that we have 40% that we can control. And that percentage is substantial enough to make a difference. Now lies the question, how do you use this new knowledge to be happier?
Make Gradual Changes for Your Happiness
Imagine that you have a pay raise, now you can finally buy all the things you eyed for so long. Eat out at the restaurants you always wanted. But again, your happiness level will just return to normal once you are accustomed to it.
One glaring example is lottery winners. It’s probably the biggest pay raise you can get in a lifetime. But why do lottery winners become bankrupt within 9 months to 5 years? And most have returned back (some even worse) to the happiness level they had before?
Aside from poor money decisions, it’s because they made all the changes abruptly. Most of the lifestyle adjustments they did are called “pleasures” which researchers have described as fleeting and as quick bursts of happiness.
I’m not saying to forego any pleasure because having that burst of happiness can lead to an upward spiral of happiness throughout the day or week. It can even be a shield to stress.
But then, getting them all at once will quickly dissipate the feeling you get from it. So if you get a raise or freed up some extra cash, better make slow changes to make most out of your happiness.
When Something Bad Happens, Change As Much As You Can
On the other hand, when something bad happens, people change things gradually. When they get a large pay cut, they slowly take out expenses. They gradually change their lifestyle choices. And this prolongs their sadness.
So as much as you can, change everything all at once. For the example above, list all the expenses and lifestyle choices you can forego, and implement them all at once. Take out your night outs, Netflix, premium toilet paper, and so on.
If you had a breakup, maybe get a haircut, delete the phone number, or burn all the photos (okay, maybe just stash them without harming anyone). Do it all at once! So that when you recover, you go back to the neutral baseline of happiness faster.
Get a Hobby or Find Something Exciting to Do Once in a While
Life is not all about work. You need the right amount of pleasure to make it more meaningful. To make your life fresh, get a new hobby or do something exciting once in a while. In this way, you have something to look forward to every time.
Have a Gratitude Habit
Being thankful for something boosts our happiness in life. For one, if you start writing down the top 5 things you are grateful for every day, you are suddenly aware of the small things around you.
You can also do volunteer work or charity work to express your gratuity. This mindfulness makes us appreciate our lives; however simple it may seem.
Set Meaningful Goals
The Hedonic Treadmill plays on time. The more we are accustomed to something, the faster we go back to our happiness baseline.
When we do something that is slightly harder than our skills, time stops, and we enter a state of flow. This excitement and enjoyment improve our quality of life. That’s why setting meaningful goals will prolong this happiness.
Nurture Your Relationships
Lastly, no man is an island. Humans are social beings that can nurture each other. According to research, our brain works better if we are interacting with other people. Also, most people who are alone have higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
There are multiple times when all we need is someone to talk to during a bad day. That’s why we should nurture meaningful relationships to be happier.
With that, let’s break the cycle and be happier in our career and our lives. Cheers!
Our freelancing career can blossom if we can do more things in a given time. And the income jumps even more if we can solve bigger and harder problems for different clients. And the fact that it’s hard, it’s not something routinary that everyone can do.
I mean. How can you think of many creative ideas for your clients? It might be your problem as well. That’s where the Focused Mode and Diffused Mode of thinking comes into play.
Understanding the Two Modes of Thinking
Before we can use these two modes of thinking, we must understand what they are. Focused-mode is quite apparent. It’s time you are intensely focused on a task without getting distracted from your environment.
On the other hand, the diffused mode is when you let your mind wander freely — letting it think whatever comes to mind. Usually, this happens when you do something else like play a random game, take a shower, or walk at the park.
So Which Is Better?
Now, you might be thinking that one is better than the other. Not exactly.
If you only used focused mode, there will be times that you will be stuck in a problem. And focusing more on something you can’t answer (at least now) will not magically give you the answer.
On the other hand, using only diffused mode is aimless and quite chaotic. You will not finish any task at all. The best way is to use both interchangeably.
Did you ever had that moment where you are focused on something, let’s say a puzzle, and you can’t seem to solve it? So you decided to sleep first. And magically, when you awoke, you now have the answer! It is a situation where both the focused mode and diffused mode are working hand-in-hand.
Focused Mode First, Diffused Mode After
When you are focused on something, you utilize the prefrontal cortex, which stores short-term memory and current tasks. But sometimes, you can only do so much.
When you rest and do something else for relaxation, your brain still works subconsciously on the problems you were too focused on. (Take note: You really need to be focused intensely for this to work.)
It connects your thoughts with other disciplines you know and allows creative solutions to come out. Your brain works in the background. So this rest period is quite productive.
With that, we can intentionally be mindful of our thinking modes. With the interchange between the two modes, we can make sure to deliver quality work to our clients.
I hope you solve more problems for your freelancing clients with this new skill! Good luck!
Freelancing can give the balance we want in our lifestyles. We have the freedom and time flexibility to juggle our passions, family time, and our careers. But we need to be disciplined enough to handle all the distractions we have with this freedom.
And we can use “Deep Work” to our advantage.
What is Deep Work?
Ever had those moments when you have just a short amount of time to finish your work, and suddenly you have this intense focus that resulted in the perfect output your clients love? You were so in the zone that all the ideas just kept flowing in at record time.
That, my friend, might be a deep work session.
According to Cal Newport, the writer of “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World,” Deep Work is a professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes one’s cognitive abilities to your limit. This type of concentration produces topnotch work that is hard to be copied by everyone.
Examples of deep work might be strategizing on how to market yourself to clients or brainstorming for possible marketing pitches and campaigns for your client.
Conversely, shallow work is non-cognitive work that can be done while distracted. Since it’s something easy or almost mindless to-do, you don’t get a competitive advantage over that work. It doesn’t add much value.
An example is organizing your emails alphabetically or typing the birthdates of your teammates from Facebook.
We All Have the Power
The good news is we all have the capability to do deep work. The bad news is the world is so distracted, we don’t do it enough or at least intentionally. Imagine the value we can create by harnessing the power of deep work at our will, how different will your freelancing career be?
With that, here are tips to take advantage of deep work for your freelancing career.
Schedule Your Deep Work
Firstly, you need to intentionally find time to do deep work. Deep work is a skill that everyone can learn. But like a muscle, it needs to be practiced to strengthen more. On maximum, a person adept in deep work can do around 4 hours per day in 60 to 90-minute intervals.
This might be lower when you’re just starting. Here are 4 schedule philosophies that you can choose from.
Monastic Philosophy and Bimodal Philosophy of Deep Work Scheduling
The first two philosophies are quite extreme. The Monastic Philosophy is secluding yourself from all the distractions in the world pretty much like how monks and nuns are cloistered, while Bimodal Philosophy is secluding yourself for certain timeframes. It can be weeks, months, and even bi-annually.
Although these two are the most effective, it might not be an ideal setup for freelancers because you need to communicate with your clients online. You can’t be disconnected for long periods of time.
Rhythmic Philosophy of Deep Work Scheduling
The next two are probably a better fit for freelancers. The Rhythmic philosophy entails incorporating deep work in your work rhythm. As freelancers, we probably have the time flexibility.
We can schedule our commitments. And we know the best time to work based on our natural tendencies. Are you an early-riser, or are you a night owl?
Schedule deep work on your best hours to reap more productivity.
Journalistic Philosophy of Deep Work Scheduling
What if you don’t have a fixed schedule? Sometimes, our freelancing career might be on-call. Or we just like that productive chaos of arranging meetings and commitments back-to-back. If you have so much going on, how can you do deep work? The Journalistic Philosophy of deep work scheduling is for you.
Similar to how journalists work, they need to be on-the-go with the latest happenings around their area. At their downtimes, they write as fast as they can to deliver the time-sensitive news the public needs. But they don’t know their exact schedules or when certain events will happen.
They take advantage of the pockets of downtime they have to do deep work. If your schedule is also erratic, having the journalistic philosophy might suit you.
Building a Deep Work Routine
Now that you have chosen your desired scheduling philosophy that will fit you. It’s time to build a deep work routine. Your routine will be heavily influenced by the following factors:
We associate our surroundings with certain habits we have. For example, we feel sleepy when we are on our bed. In the same way, we can associate certain places for deep work. It might be your home office space, a corner in a cafe, or a plane ride.
As long as you’re in that location, you are doing deep work.
To be intentional, you need to set how long you will do deep work. It’s like a muscle you need to train.
For starters, a 15-25 minute session is a good start. If you do this consistently, you can work your way up to around 60-90 minutes per deep work session at around 4 hours per day.
You will have to set rules for your deep work session. Something like, you are not allowed to use your phone, or you need to be seated the whole time for the deep work session.
The same with associating your location, you can associate rituals to your deep work session. For example, if you start the Pomodoro timer or if you open your laptop, you are in deep work.
Make Sure You Rest
Life is not all about work. You need to rest and enjoy your life as well. And the practice of deep work acknowledges that.
The amount of deep work we can do is finite. By resting, you can recharge your ability to do it again tomorrow. With that, I hope you take advantage of this new superpower in your freelancing career! Good luck!
The freelancing market has provided opportunities that can help us have work-life balance. You can now work from anywhere you want and have more time for the things that matter the most. It might be more time for your family, your passion projects, travels, and more! Name it — the options are endless.
But the options you have are directly proportional to the productivity you can deliver. The problem is, we are faced with too many distractions in this world. Why are we distracted? And how do we limit distractions to get more productivity?
How Our Brains Work
It all starts with how our brain works. Based on research from Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley, our brains focus on “bursts of attention” rather than a continuous flow. Think about it like a video. A video is a set of photographs stitched together to produce a motion picture.
In terms of numbers, our brain scans the most important thing to do for around 4 times per second. Usually, it deems the things that are immediately pleasurable or life-threatening more important over the rest.
So in a span of 45 minute focus times, you are essentially combining 4 times per second in a span of 45 minutes.
This is because of how we protect ourselves from olden times. Back then, there might be a predator or some natural disaster looming around us. One simple mistake might cause you and your family’s lives.
It’s still useful today to avoid accident-prone situations like safely avoiding fast cars on the road or stopping us from touching a blazing-up oven (based on actual experience). But this overly sensitive scanning is not helpful when we want to focus on important tasks.
The question is, how do we limit these distractions from ruining our freelancing careers?
Take the Source Of Distraction Out of Sight
Our willpower is not enough to stop us from getting distracted. When the object of distraction is right in front of us, we can only do so much.
Knowing this, why not just take out the object away from our sight? If you are distracted with your phone, put it in another room.
You can also use the Pomodoro method to trick your brain into doing your tasks well. With this, our brains won’t scan anything else more important than the task we are doing now.
Change the Environment
What if your environment is the cause of distractions? For example, you are working in your living room with the TV at full blast, or maybe you are in a place near a construction site?
You can’t really take them all out. Why not transfer and have a change of environment? There are plenty of places you can find to have that productivity boost. Armed with your highly mobile laptops, you can work in cafes or coworking spaces that are quiet enough for productivity.
Know yourself and your productivity requirements and be creative in finding the best places to work in.
Have a Dedicated Workspace
Maybe, you haven’t declared a dedicated workspace for your freelancing career. If you have an extra room or space that’s quiet enough, why not make it your dedicated workspace?
When you see your bedroom, you associate it with sleep. Similarly, you associate your workspace with productivity.
Distracting Parenting Duties
When your distractions are your kids, you don’t actually want them gone in your lives. But they can be really a pain in the ****. Luckily, there are ways to balance your freelancing career while parenting.
Check out this guide for creative tips to handle your naughty kids.
Distractions are certainly a major problem in our freelancing productivity. But with the proper tools and mindset, you can do your tasks well to achieve your goals! Good luck!
As a freelancer, we can set our prices to what we want. It is a free market! The problem is, a free market doesn’t readily accept what you demand. You need to find someone who will pay you happily for the value you can give.
For most aspiring freelancers, what is that value? What is the proper amount to charge your prospective clients?
Agencies vs. Freelancing
Before tackling this, you must understand one other option. If you don’t know what to charge and you’re afraid to set a figure, an agency might be a proper fit for you. Reputable remote working agencies will offer you a decent amount of money based on your market value in the geographical area you’re in.
For example, you are staying in Manila as an SEO expert. You can expect to have an offer for similar jobs in Manila. Don’t expect Canadian rates or Australian rates. But at least, you are fairly compensated in your geographical location.
The Movement to Insourcing
In freelancing, it’s different. You can charge as much as you want, even the international rates.
But be wary. Some people charge high amounts, but they can’t deliver the job worth that price. That’s why some international companies are moving to “insourcing.”
If you are not familiar, a country (for example, Australia) has different wages per region. The salaries vary if you employ in Sydney compared to Hobart.
Insourcing means that instead of outsourcing in other countries like the Philippines, they opt to get talent inside Australia but in a different region. In this case, a Sydney-based company might get from Hobart rather than Sydney. Mainly because of their bad experiences with incompetent talent abroad.
Giving Value to Your Clients
We don’t want that to taint the freelance market we are enjoying. Therefore, it all boils down to what value you can give.
Are you listening to what your clients really want, not what they are just saying? Do you understand the effort involved in reaching that goal? This is the mindset you should have when pricing your services.
- Know what they want.
- Know what needs to be done and how long to finish it.
- Know the value it can give to their business.
For example, someone might be paying you $500 to get leads that can give $10,000 in sales. It’s a no brainer.
Check the Market
With the clients in mind, you need to have a ballpark figure on the average prices of the services you can give.
You can check online job boards for similar services and how it’s priced. It’s also good to know trusted people in the industry to guide you in pricing. Find FB groups in your niche. Look for mentors that have experience already.
You can use that as a starting point to charge your prices.
The Worth of Your Time
Next, you need to know how much you are worth per hour. This is a subjective question that can be answered in multiple ways. You can start by identifying the total amount of your average expenses and your desired savings.
Using that figure, divide it by the number of hours you are realistically willing to work. That’s your desired rate. And then, compare the rate with the market rate you found from your peers or on the job boards.
Your desired rate might be higher than what you are currently valued in the market. Don’t be hopeless. At least, you know now the things you need to work on to achieve your desired rate.
Our worth increases with the number of problems we can solve. Instead of moping, learn new things and have the confidence to take on bigger problems to get higher rates.
Likewise, there will also come a time when you will have an influx of clients. Your time is worth more because of the demand. You can now dictate your prices for projects that are worth your time and extra effort.
Charge Per Project, Not Per Hour
For freelancing gigs, it might be best to charge per project, not per hour. Roughly, you should know how much time it would take to finish a project. Why should you be constricted with hours if you can finish it faster?
If it would take you 3 days to finish a $1000 project, would it matter if your daily price is $100? Your quality work at the amount of time you spend will still be worth $1000 to the client who will take advantage of it.
Charge per project to have more flexibility with your time.
Ask their Budget
Sometimes, the answer is right in front of you. It’s good to ask your prospective clients, “what is the scope of your project, and what is your budget?”
With your knowledge of the pricing of your services in mind, you will know if the budget is fair for you. Sometimes, it might even be higher compared to your expectations.
Check the Value It Can Give to You
What if you don’t get the price you want? You can still negotiate if you can. But sometimes, you should look at what the project can give to you. If you see that it’s:
- a doorway to more opportunities
- a cause you want to support
- an interesting project you will enjoy
By all means, take it even if the payment is not that high. After all, our long term goals and happiness come first, right? With that, good luck with your freelancing career!
We are plagued with distraction. We know that we need to be productive to reach our dreams. But we keep on checking our phones for social media updates or that “casual browsing break” for online shopping. How can we battle this distraction tug of war to improve our freelancing career?
One way to battle distraction is through the Pomodoro technique.
It Plays on How Our Minds Work
No, we’re not eating pasta. The Pomodoro technique was discovered by Francesco Cirillo during the 1980s. In a nutshell, you breakdown your tasks into bite-sized 25-min “Pomodoro sessions” and taking a 5-minute break in between.
Based on research by Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley, our minds work in bursts of attention. Think about a video clip. It comprises multiple pictures stitched together to produce a recorded moving motion.
Our minds are the same. It scans for the most important information around 4 times per second. So if you are working for 25 minutes straight, it’s like combining that 4 times per second in a span of 25 minutes.
It is useful during ancient times because we need to be aware of the information around us. A predator might attack us, or a natural disaster might be looming our way. It can spell the difference between surviving or not.
In modern times, it protects us from accidents. But the hyperactive scanning of our brain gets us distracted with all the information present around us.
Why the Pomodoro Technique Works
It plays on how our minds are designed. We are easily distracted because there is so much information to process around us. And our brain chooses to do the most satisfying one. For example, social media induces spikes of dopamine, the “happy hormone.” So we are easily distracted by every social media notification ring we can get.
The Pomodoro technique stops that. The timer tells our brain that for this 25-minutes, this is the most important task in front of you. This is what you should be doing.
And in case we get cues for distractions, it’s easy to say, “I’ll finish this first. After all, it’s just 25 minutes.” And your 5-minute break is like your reward for doing the task well.
This is How You Do It:
Now, what’s left is actually to use it. This is how.
- First, get a Pomodoro Timer. It can be a traditional Pomodoro timer or an app on your devices such as the Pomotodo App or the Forest App.
- Start the timer for 25-minutes. You have to focus on just your task for that time — no phones, no social media. Just your task.
- After the 25-minute Pomodoro, you can rest for 5-minutes.
- You can do whatever you want in your well-deserved 5 minutes. It can be a quick browse on social media. A 5-minute game. Gobble up something in 5 minutes. Anything you want!
- Take note, after every 4 Pomodoros, you can take longer breaks (around 15minutes to 30 minutes) to help you relax for the next cycle.
- And repeat the Pomodoro cycle again.
Yes, it’s that easy! Right now, try out the Pomodoro technique and see the difference in your productivity. Good luck!
We have to be productive to succeed in freelancing. Time is our most valuable resource, and if we can do more things in a given amount of time, we can achieve our goals faster. One way to do that is by creating an effective to-do list. Here is how to create one.
Limit to 10 Tasks a Day
Yes, you might have used a checklist of some sort. But how often did you finish all of it? Was it helpful, or was it just a list of to-dos that you can’t seem to finish at all.
Check your to-do list. Dozens of tasks might populate it. We are all busy! But if you are paralyzed with the mountain of tasks you listed. You will be busy forever.
Limit your to-do list to 10 a day so that you won’t be overwhelmed. Aim to clear them by the end of the day. If after, you still have time to do more. That’s when you tick-off other tasks.
Pareto Principle: Prioritize the Most Important Task
Next is knowing what tasks to prioritize. With this, the Pareto principle comes in handy. It states that 20% of your tasks are attributable to 80% of your results. So in all your tasks, check the top 2-3 tasks you need to do to create 80% of the results.
Even if for some reason or emergency and you can’t finish all your tasks today, you can still get results when you finish the top three critical tasks.
Group Similar Tasks Together
Often, we have tasks that are alike. These can be tasks to send emails, call leads, reply to messages. Why not cluster them together to save you time?
Our brain has a lag time when we switch tasks. If we do similar tasks in the same timeframe, we can avoid this. So if you have emails to be sent to your suppliers, clients, and sponsors, do them in the same hour.
Breakdown Large Tasks
Some tasks take too much effort to do. Sometimes, knowing this can overwhelm us from doing it. It’s time to break down large tasks into smaller pieces. After all, how do you eat an elephant? It’s one bite at a time.
If you need to write an ebook, you can make subtasks like “research ideas” or “organize the chapter titles.” With this, you know that you are progressing — one step at a time.
Set Realistic Deadlines
The last thing is to put realistic deadlines. If we just do our tasks without targeting a completion date, we might become complacent and never finish anything at all.
Be mindful, though. Some people set impossible deadlines and are left disappointed. Deadlines like “I will earn 1,000,000 this year” with no experience in freelancing. I’m not saying you can’t do it. I’m just saying you need to gauge the possibilities and your skills. And adjust the timeline accordingly.
Now, you can start writing your to-do lists. You can use your trusty pen and paper or download some reliable apps like:
- Google Task
- Microsoft To-Do
With that, I hope you can create the perfect checklist that can bring you to 100% productivity! Good luck!
As freelancers, our time is our most valuable asset. The more clients we can serve in a given time, the more we can earn our goals. But these goals are not so easy to get. There are times when we set goals but fail to get them. And it’s frustrating!
But worry not. If other people can hit their goals, you can too! You just have to be SMART! Yes, that capitalization is intentional. This is how to make your goals SMART!
What are SMART Goals?
In November 1981, George T. Doran, the consultant and former Director of Corporate Planning for Washington Water Power Company, created the acronym SMART in his paper “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.” to help people set meaningful goals. SMART means:
If you say, “My goal is to be productive today.” What do you want to be productive about? Is it in your work? Your dishes? Your mobile game?! You need to make your goals as specific as possible to focus on it.
Anything you don’t measure, you don’t improve. And we need to know if we are progressing in our goals. Like in fitness, you measure your progress by using a weighing scale.
So if your goal is to earn this much money in your writing career, estimate how many articles you should finish per month. If it’s graphic design, check how many clients you shold be talking to.
If you check your statistics and you are far from hitting the goal, you can readjust your course and strategies to hit it. And you wouldn’t have known if you haven’t been measuring.
“People tend to overestimate what can be done in one year and to underestimate what can be done in five or ten years.” This famous adage is applicable more than ever.
People try to set audacious goals and feel bad when they don’t hit it. Lose 100 kg this year. Earn 1 Million this year. And with constant defeat, it kills us inside one failed goal at a time.
This has to change! What you can do is set actionable goals. Try using the “MTO method.”
MTO means “Minimum, Target, Outrageous.” For example, in a month, you need 30 articles to reach your desired income. You can set an MTO goal like
- 20 Minimum
- 30 Target
- 50 Outrageous
In this way, if you hit your minimum, you won’t feel bad that you’re not reaching your goals. And just in case you hit your target, you won’t be complacent and might try to target the outrageous one.
Next is to make your goals relevant. If your target is earning an X amount of money in writing, you might not want to study graphic design for now. It is a good side goal, but if you are pressed with time, focus on tasks that are relevant to the outcome you want.
Goals are dreams with deadlines. If you remember your high school years, how many times did a teacher assign a project with a deadline at the end of the quarter?
And when did you actually start doing it? Probably 1 week before the end of the quarter. Or for most, the day before the deadline.
Imagine if the project doesn’t have any deadline, you probably won’t make it anymore. That’s why you need a deadline for your goals.
A deadline gives you the urgency to do it. It also gives you the flexibility to plan your strategy well. If you are targeting 30 articles for your freelance writing business, you can plan to make at least 7 – 8 articles per week.
And just in case your plan doesn’t go well, you can adjust accordingly. For example, if by the second week, you just have 10 articles written, you can adjust your strategy to hit your target still.
It’s Not a One Time Process
Now that you can make your SMART goals, remember that it’s not a one time process.
Our goals evolve over time. After every action, you need to reevaluate your goals. And readjust your strategies to reach your goals. Cheers to achieving your freelancing goals this year!
After the shocking tremors from Taal, we are yet to find another threat to our wellbeing. This time, it’s silent but can be deadly if left unchecked. A new Coronavirus has been spreading from China and might start to become a pandemic across the world.
What is Coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a type of virus that affects the respiratory tracts of humans. Examples are the common cold and pneumonia. Way deadlier types are SARS (with 10% fatality) and MERS (30% fatality), killing hundreds in the world.
Right now, a new strain dubbed as the “Novel Coronavirus” has surfaced from Wuhan City, China. Having at least 56 confirmed deaths and might have affected 100,000 all over the world (as of January 27, 2020).
It is believed that the virus originated in a wet market selling wild animals like wolf pups and civet cats alongside regular produce. Wuhan City is now on lockdown.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic diseases that are passed from animals to humans. The animals act as reservoirs of the virus until humans contract them. For example, SARS was believed to originate from bats and spread to civet cats. And it mutated to a deadly virus ailing over 8000 people with 774 casualties.
What We Currently Know
The good news is the Novel Coronavirus is not yet as strong as SARS or MERS. The bad thing is it is spreading out, possibly from person-to-person. As it spreads, it can possibly get stronger with every victim.
Some people who have been diagnosed are reported saying that they have not visited the now shutdown and sanitized market.
With the coming Lunar Chinese New Year, Chinese nationals are expected to travel globally to celebrate. If the extent of infection is viral, this could mean an increase in cases over the weekend.
Although the WHO says it’s too early to consider a global public health emergency, the international community is doing measures to prevent the spread.
A Coronavirus vaccine team from the University of Queensland is now working to create one in as short as 16 weeks. But until then, what are the dangers we are facing?
The Threat in the Philippines
A flight from Wuhan arrived in Kalibo just before the ban. 141 Chinese nationals are onboard Royal Air flight RW 999. As of the moment, there are no confirmed cases of the virus with them.
The Philippines is now protecting our fellowmen by suspending flights from Wuhan City. Thermal scanners are also placed in our airports to prevent infected individuals from spreading the disease.
What You Should Do
But as responsible citizens, you can’t leave everything to chance. You have to do something to protect you and your family’s welfare. These are tips you can follow:
Avoid People with Respiratory Illness
If you see someone coughing or someone sick, don’t get close to them. You are risking the chance of contracting the disease. Even if they are your close friends, stay away at least for now.
Avoid Touching your Eyes, Nose or Mouth
We don’t get the illness from merely inhaling. Sometimes, it’s what we touch. The sick might have coughed directly to a table, and you accidentally touched it. Avoid getting it by not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth as much as possible.
Wash Your Hands with Soap and Water
Clean hands will protect you from this viral threat. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Secure your health by being cautious about your hygiene.
Use Surgical Masks
Even for freelancers, you might need to go out of your home office from time to time. Use surgical masks to avoid airborne viruses. It’s a simple way to protect your wellbeing.
Avoid Animal Markets
Especially for those with weak immune systems, it’s best to avoid animal markets. Again, the coronavirus is transmitted from animals to humans. You might be more susceptible to strong strains of these viruses with your condition. Better be safe than sorry.
Cook Meat and Eggs Thoroughly
Meat and eggs can be a source of viruses, especially raw ones. Cooking your meat thoroughly will kill most of the viruses and bacteria. Make sure to do this to avoid any complications.
With that, we can prevent ourselves from becoming victims. Stay safe.