A 2018 survey revealed 62,000 writers and over 238,000 freelance writers and translators in the UK. The study also states that writing is the fourth most common freelancing job in the UK. Like every other job, a freelance writer’s nature can cause some health concerns if caution is not given. Therefore, you must invest in your health to earn more from your career. So, how can freelance writers ensure that their jobs do not negatively affect their jobs? Here are a few tips to help you do just that.
1. Give your eyes a break
Eyestrain and fatigue are common health challenges among people who work a lot on computers and smartphones. Freelance writers spend hours working on the computer, which places them at risk of experiencing these challenges. Therefore, it is advisable to give your eyes a break occasionally as you work. Another reason why you would need to give your eyes a break from your screen is an eye health problem known as “computer vision syndrome.” According to Dr Matthew Gardiner, an ophthalmologist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, this phenomenon is experienced by individuals who sit behind their bright screens for long hours at arm’s length or closer.
Despite these health issues and many deadlines to meet in a day, freelance writers find themselves under some stress and pressure. Therefore, taking a break amid the pressure and the pending deadlines can be a bit challenging. However, you need to employ a broken strategy for your health’s sake. For example, you can adopt a popular break strategy like the 20-20-20. When you spend twenty minutes on the screen, you can take a twenty-second break to look at objects at least twenty feet from where you are. You can also protect your eyes by using quality lenses when working. Fortunately, you can find it easily on credible online shops, making it easy to purchase. You can also create a periodic break plan to help reduce the strain on your eyes and optimise concentration and productivity levels.
2. Minimise the time you spend sitting
Freelance writers usually spend hours sitting at their work desks, typing away. Many health professionals have advised corporate individuals and freelance writers to adopt better sitting postures. According to Meghan Markowski, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, bad postures such as sitting at a desk, looking at your smartphone or lounging on your sofa can lead to backache, neck pains and other aggravating conditions.
Poor posture can also lead to various issues such as stress incontinence, which causes you to pass a little urine after you cough or laugh. You may also have abdominal pressure from slouching.
You can correct your poor posture by using an ergonomic desk or standing desk while you work. You may also build your standing desk by piling lots of books to the perfect height. If you have the luxury of extra money, you can invest in improving the entire workspace to boost productivity. You can also learn the appropriate way of sitting. For example, you can sit straight in your chair, let your head rest naturally on your neck without straining towards the computer. Also, bend your knees at right angles and rest your foot flat on the floor or the footrest.
3. Set your hours
Most day jobs start at 8 am and end at 5 pm. In the office setting, there is a defined time for everyone to work in a day. However, working at home can cause you to work longer than when you probably had a regular job. The great thing about freelancing is you have more flexible hours. However, without adequate time management skills, you may not enjoy these benefits. Setting a working hour schedule is an excellent way of preventing this.
If you are an early riser, you can start your work earlier. For instance, you can begin your day at 7:30 am and end at 2:30 pm. When you have established such time that fits the kind of person you are, you need to implement that time management system. When it’s time to end the day, turn off all electrical gadgets and lock the office.
Freelancing may be the new normal. However, in the absence of defined healthy habits in a regular job, you can end up giving yourself more health problems. You can, therefore, plan and consciously adopt some wholesome routines to safeguard you as you work from home.