Friday, 29 July 2016

Freelancing Week Part Three; Time Management

Hello and welcome to the final part of Freelancing Week! I hope you had fun because I've found myself having a lot of fun writing all of this. Let's take a look at the last thing on the list and deal with "Time Management" today.

To be honest I suck at time management. Badly. Really badly. I cannot put into words how much I have always sucked at managing my time.

But to be honest freelancing has kind of helped that.

Much like you must budget your money you must also budget your time. There are a few ways to do it too. One way to effectively manage your time and stay motivated when doing work is to listen to music. It's a good idea to put a music album on and just work through the music, telling yourself you'll take a short break when it's done. If you do that you can find yourself working for a good 60-90 minutes with a 10-15 minute break at the end of it.

That's a good idea but it's only half of what I do.

The other half is to just keep buggering on.
It's the British way
By that I mean I try to power through all my work and then take a break when it's all done. I can sleep when I'm dead; so to speak. I can't say I recommend this because it can really eat away at your day and leave you tired.

I did try and implement a simple daily plan though. These days I wake up around 11AM (yeah I know it's bad; I have my reasons). I have breakfast and just do morning things until around 12. At that point I fire up Pokémon Go and spend an hour or so catching Pokémon "exercising". I then work until it's time for tea at around five (stopping at half four to actually make food) before going back to work until around 8 or when the work is done. On the days when I go to the gym I swap out "exercising" playing Pokémon Go with going to the gym from around 3-6 (with an hour for eating/shopping with Paul, my gym buddy). I'll then go back to work when I get home. I also go shopping on Wednesday which means I don't start work until around 3PM. Oh and I volunteer Sunday which means I don't work until around 5 until 7 when I do my podcast.

You see why I have a hard time sticking to a schedule?

It's even worse when I'm busy. That's the main reason I've eaten so much takeaway food lately. I find myself so busy I decide to not stop working at four and instead keep going and order food when I'm done. This also leaves me hungry and leads to over-eating.

Don't do this. For the love of God don't do this. I've gained 20 pounds! DON'T!

Working is important but so is taking care of yourself. Never let the work get in the way of your health. Most clients are very understanding and will accept it if you don't deliver the work as fast as you humanly can.

So there you have the key to effective time management; make a schedule and stick to it. Be willing to give yourself a little leeway though. There's no need to plan every minute of every day. Don't forget to take care of yourself too.

Well I hope you had fun with Freelancing Week. Look forward to a nice announcement on Monday!

Oh and if Kate ever shows me the infographic I'll be sure to share it with you all.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Freelancing Week Part Two; Finances and Motivation

Welcome to day two of Freelancing Week! Today I will be looking at managing finances and staying motivated.

Managing your finances as a freelancer can be pretty tough. You can be hired at any time and you can find your pay delayed as payments process. So for me it becomes important to plan around the money that you're going to have more than the money you do have now. So for example I can tell that in the next four weeks I'll receive $500-600 (at least; I'll likely end up with more). So I'm able to plan around that with a good budget.

That's the key to managing finances; budgeting. Create a budget you know you can stick to and then stick to it. I must admit I'm actually pretty bad at that though! A few weeks ago I said I was going to budget myself £100 and then stick to that. To be honest I already spent it. So I've come up with a new budget. I'm going to give myself £30 a week. It's more money overall (£120 compared to £100) but I'm less likely to overspend. The more money I have the more freely I spend it. I'm terrible at this. Terrible I tell you.

I would say that finances are also one of the main keys to staying motivated. Most people give up with freelancing because they don't make money off the bat. It really can take a while to build up a reputation and start building up a nice bank balance. But when you do start making money it will definitely help you stay motivated. It also allows you to buy yourself treats and keep yourself motivated that way.

Until then though a great way to stay motivated is to also look at your reviews. While most people will give you a generic "Great job" there are people who go a little further and give you a real nice review. Even if they don't who doesn't enjoy being told they've done a great job? Taking a look at your reviews and seeing that people really enjoyed your work is a great way to stay motivated. Knowing that you are good at your job helps you to keep doing it. Everyone loves the work I do for them. That's why they come back. Knowing that people enjoy my work really does keep me motivated.

I'm doing something and I'm doing it well. What could be more motivating than that?

Coming up on Friday is the last part of Freelancing Week; Time Management!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Freelancing Week Part One: Networking

Good day and welcome to freelancing week. I'll have to pretend to be professional for the next week or so. I'll try to still keep it fun too though. Well the first topic on the list was networking so let's get right on to it.

Networking is no doubt one of the most important parts of freelancing. It's important that you build up a base of regular clients. It's great if you can build up further connections and have these clients recommend you to other people but that can be a little tough. To be honest I think some people are unwilling to share some freelancers and may not want to recommend you to other people. I've actually had people ask if I could work for them exclusively a number of times. I've always had to turn them down because I would rather have a network of regular clients.

Networking is almost impossible to do on your own when you're getting started. You could introduce yourself to people and try and send them your business card but do you know what I do when people do that? I ignore them. I have also had people try and network with me. They send me messages saying that they will do work for me. I do all my own work thanks. I've considered hiring people and trying to go into more of a business for myself but I'm respected for my quality. If it wasn't me doing the work I know that I would lose clients.

When you just start out you should really use a service like Fiverr or Upwork. I'd recommend oDesk but they were bought out by UpWork. So they're off the map. Going with a bigger service lets you connect and network with clients to your hearts content. People come to you with work or you can approach them and say that you can do the work for them. What matters is that everyone is in on the game. If you're on those services then you're either looking for work or looking for workers. No one will complain if you try and network with them.

So how did I build up my network? I did hard work. (Almost) everyone I've worked with has been so impressed with my quality of work that they come back for more. I have two negative reviews. Two. And I can say I earned them too. I mess up a little sometimes. Everyone does.

Manners go a long way too! When you do a job it's always good to thank the person for the work and tell them that you look forward to working together in the future. Try and make things personal too. When you deliver your work mention something they asked you to do and tell them that you did it. Or use their name.

Networking is as simple as delivering quality work and connecting with people. When you connect with people like this you, well, you make connections. You establish a stream of steady work.

Don't give up hope if it takes a while either. I'm not kidding when I say that it took me about two years to begin supporting myself through freelancing. Even now I'm still only earning about as much as if I had a part time job. It'll likely be another year or so until I'm earning enough to completely support myself.

It takes time and it takes work but a good network is essential to surviving as a freelancer.

Coming up on Thursday: Managing Finances and Self-Motivation!

Friday, 22 July 2016

Friday Funnies VI: Adrian's Revenge

I doubt this is actually the sixth edition of this shit. I just wanted to make a Simpsons reference.
I believe this is the main force in the Australian military

Who's the real loser now? Oh wait it's still me

Speaking of games...

This is sensible gay humour 
I'd watch this movie. I'd watch it all. 

I'd also wear this shirt. 

The last bit is actually from a comedy show but I believe the original ad is real. Real fucking hilarious. 

Ayy gurl let me Squirtle on dem Jigglypuffs

That's one way to not get a job ever.
Jesus from sobriety and false advertising
Look forward to next week folks. It's going to be great. Like America will one day be again*.

*Not my actual opinion; said for comedic effect 

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Coming Next Week; Freelancer Week!

About a week ago I was contacted by a lovely lady called Kate. She had read through my blog and was interested in connecting with freelancers like myself and getting their experiences. She's putting together an infographic (well, the people she works for are) and I'm one of the people they approached.

Go me!
Pokémon Go me! Even though I play Pokémon Go this is likely to be the only reference to it on this blog
She approached me with four topics in particular that she wanted me to write something about. She originally asked if I could do a few lines about each topic but I thought "Hey, I could write a whole post about each topic and make it a themed week."So that's what I'm going to do next week.

If you've ever been curious about what I go through as a freelancer then you'll enjoy next week on the blog as I discuss the following four things:

1. Networking
2. Managing finances
3. Self-motivation
4. Time management

Each topic will have its own post except for managing finances and self-motivation. To me those two kind of fit together so I'm going to be putting them into one topic. So you can look forward to that. While I will look forward to seeing what Kate puts together.

I assume I'll get to see it anyway.

On the plus side it's going to be super easy to blog next week!

Monday, 18 July 2016

How Winning an Award Ruined My Life

Okay the title of the post is a little melodramatic. I doubt winning the award actually ruined my life but the day I won that award definitely sucked and was an awful day overall. Our good Captain. Well, the Captain recently wrote a post about how his daughter Rags won an award at her school and it reminded me of tie thime I won one at mine. By the end of this post you'll come to understand why I repressed the memory.

The cat is my memories
I can't even remember what year it was, or what I won the award for, I just remember that the school held an annual awards ceremony where the pupils who did best in subjects were given awards. I believe I won an award for my IT performance. It was either IT, science, or maths. I was always smart but never had the motivation so I was only an average student who squandered their potential. So the day came when I had to go to the awards ceremony and it fucking sucked.

First of all I bruised my toe bone. See, I was bullied a lot in school and I would respond to this bullying by lashing out at doors and walls. Oddly enough if I had lashed out at the people who bullied me they might have left me alone. Looking back I understand that it was because I lashed out that they teased me. Never feed the trolls.


Anyway, I had enough, kicked a wall, and injured my toe. I wouldn't learn I had bruised the bone until much later. This incident is one of the reasons I always wear steel toe capped shoes these days. I even have steel toe capped trainers for exercising. So my foot hurt. A lot.

Second; I had to walk to my friends house and stay with her until it was time for the award ceremony. I didn't mind this much actually. Except for the fact I was walking on an injured foot. But my mum wouldn't be able to drive me back in time and my dad was at work. Actually neither of my parents were present at the ceremony. I suppose that would be point three. My dad picked me up afterwards but he wasn't there for the actual ceremony.

Fourth; I ripped my trousers. I was a chubby kid so bending down too much would sometimes cause me to rip my trousers. To this day I almost never lean down. I will always squat rather than lean. Even when I'm wearing jeans.

The actual award process itself went smoothly. Except for the injured foot, lack of parents, and rip on the ass of my trousers. Thankfully I don't think anyone really noticed that one too much. It's what came after the award ceremony that is the real "fuck you" though. The real proof that God really does not love me.


When I got home I was pretty happy. I was able to put all the bad shit behind me. I mean, I won an award and I got to spend a few hours with my best friend. It wasn't that bad overall. I suppose. That's when I got some bad news from my mum. She had a family friend over and she had brought her kids with her.

I don't remember if it was my mum or my sister, or even the kid, but someone had the bright idea to let my hamster get some exercise while I was gone. They put the little guy in his ball and let him run around. What do you think happened when a kid saw a ball moving aroudn on its own? He kicked it of course.

My hamster broke its leg and had to be put down. There I was with an almost broken toe, an award in hand, and now I would have to watch as my dad put my hamster down by drowning it.

Looking back I'm sometimes surprised I was able to forgive my father. He is a lovely guy and I love him to pieces (it's one of the reasons I still live with him; to take care of him), but he would always be the one who had to put my pets down. I think I know it can't have been easy for him either. I know he it must have hurt him to do that to me. So I forgive him for that. Plus I know how much he genuinely cares about me. When I started therapy he would be the one to take me to therapy sessions and he would take me out every Wednesday. We'd go bowling, or play snooker, or just have dinner. What mattered is that we did something together. That's why I still have lunch with him every Wednesday to this day.

That was single handedly one of the worst days of my life.

I don't know why I posted this. I really don't. Sorry for depressing you all.

Congratulations once again to Rags. I hope your award day went better than mine.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Friday Funnies Something

Can't talk. Catching Pokemon.

True story.

I don't have kids either and I need dis.

Never shout "Polo" when the cops shout "Marco"

Why don't my ideas fit together?

America wouldn't elect a huge swarm of bees because they would have a queen again.

This is why dogs aren't all that smart.

I'd go see that cat

Or play Pokemon Go while driving

That's dedication to a pun

I'm just saying this totally works.
Man I need to call the doctor about my blood test.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Catching Up

I got a pretty nice random message yesterday from a friend I haven't heard from in a while. I met her through blogging actually. After her own blog kind of fizzled away so did our friendship. We just kind of drifted apart. As always happens with my relationships; both romantic and platonic. This one was platonic before you ask.

Wrong Plato. Solid advice though.
One of the reasons I'm so bad at retaining relationships is that I'm not very good at talking to people. As in; I won't even say hello to someone. I have trouble initiating a conversation much less holding on to one. Part of me is afraid that they won't want to talk to me. Part of me is afraid I'll be bothering them. Part of me is also afraid of rejection; of them not even saying anything to me. All three of those things have happened when I've tried initating a conversation with people so I don't even bother anymore.

That's bad because it makes the other person feel like you don't want to talk to them either. Or perhaps they are in the same situation as you. When you have two people waiting for the other person to say hello because they don't want to do it themselves, well you've got two people who are never going to say hello to each other again.

What do you even do after you say hello? How do you hold a conversation? Hell if I know. If you look at what I say to people you'll find I basically reword what they say and say it back to them.

Maybe that's why I'm such an excellent rewriter. I've been doing it most of my life and very few people have noticed it.

Who knows? All I know is it would be nice if she stuck around for a bit. Apparently she still reads the blog. So if you see this say hi! If not then don't I guess. You can hardly follow an instruction you don't receive, no?

Monday, 11 July 2016

Detoxing (Or How I Ate Nothing But Fruit)

So I mentioned on Friday I was going to detox over the weekend and that I was getting a blood test. I haven't gotten the test results back yet so I figured I'd talk about the detoxing first. I actually forgot to ask when I would get the results back. I'll give them a call in a few days if I don't get a letter. Just a warning folks. This post will possibly get a little gross. So feel free to just skim or skip it.

For some reason searching "You were warned" brought up a lot of "America is fucked!" stuff
It was less of a detox and more a bit of a cleanse, for lack of a better word. Basically my system has been a bit clogged lately. Or it's really felt like it. I also know that junk food is kind of like a drug in a way. The more of it you have in your system the more of it you want. It becomes almost a dependency. So I had to get it out and in order to do that I chose to employ fruit.

See a friend of mine told me about something she called the "fruit cleanse" a few years ago. Basically you just eat fruit for a few days. It's not starving yourself but at the same time you're not really taking in any fat but you are taking in enough carbs and calories to have energy and fruit is surprisingly high in fibre too so it helps, well, cleanse. I've only tried it once.

It really hurt and I almost never left the bathroom.

This time it went a bit different. It actually didn't have much of an effect. Maybe I didn't do it for long enough? Or I ate too much fruit? Though in my experience eating too much fruit, even if I eat other things, can have the same effect. All I know is that, outside of feeling incredibly hungry for a while, it didn't have much of an effect this time. I suppose I should try and do it for a few more days but, yeah, it just hurt my stomach.

I suppose there's always the chance my body isn't as fucked as I thought but I highly doubt that's the case. Constipation is not the sign of a healthy body. Now to wait for the blood test results I guess.

Oh well.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Getting My Blood Tested

Today I'm having a blood test done and over the weekend I plan to detox. I'll tell you more about both assuming I survive.

It's cool though; lizard people don't count!

I wish I could buy a diamond. I'd rob a grocery store with it.

I know a few girls this would work on

This is why I'm afraid to wear my Natureland jumper at Natureland. I don't want people to think I work there.

I'm so doing this. All the time.

Some people are just named for the job

...He's got a good point

I'm just saying this has happened to me

I really want to follow this page. It's glorious.

How do you plan to deport Mexicans when there's a wall between America and Mexico? Check and mate
See you on the other side. Hopefully not literally. Nah I'll be fine. I've done this before.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

It's Time For a Change

I recently decided to switch up how my bedroom is arranged. I got the idea a few weeks ago but I wasn't sure I could actually pull it off. So I took out my tape measure, measured everything up, and saw that it was indeed possible. In particular I swapped my bed for my desk and bookshelf.

I also recently re-hung this picture using an actual picture hook this time.
It wasn't a massive change but it still took over a day to sort everything out and I used up four or five bin bags cleaning everything up. I also did all of this on the day I went to the dentist. I've been very busy all week. But what matters is that I got everything done. I even put together two flat pack DVD cabinets. Together with hanging the picture this is the most DIY stuff I've done outside of painting my room.

They're still in one piece
I changed things around so that I could sleep easier. I have blackout curtains but, in a stupid moment, I didn't stop to consider that the curtains would need to be a little bigger than the window. As it was a lot of light was still coming in from the sides and bottom of the curtains, and my bed was to the side. Now it's against the wall opposite the window and, with my desk in front of the window, I have a great view when working and the curtains are held in place.

There are only two problems that have arisen. The first is that I can no longer reach my bedroom window. I've fixed this problem already by using a broom handle. The other problem is a little more concerning. Somehow I managed to get dust everywhere while I was cleaning up. I've been sneezing a lot for the past few days and last night I had real trouble breathing. It's a good job I found my inhaler or I'd have been in major trouble.

Not quite as sure what to do about that problem. I can't clean up everything, sad as that is. I want to get an air purifier but they can cost a lot. I'm not weak enough to be killed by dust though.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Happy Treason Day

Today many Americans will be celebrating how their country did something that, just last week, they were condemning the British for doing; overthrowing an oppressive regime of twats. At least we didn't kill anyone!

I'm only half-joking of course but I found the parallels interesting. No doubt there were many colonists who felt that America could never make it on their own. For a period of time things were tough for America. Now, 240 years later (by my possibly bad math) the country has become a global superpower.

For better or for worse.

See I can say pretty much what I want about the Americans because they won't be reading today. They'll be too busy blowing up their country with fireworks. I love fireworks though so if anything I'm jealous of their ability to do so.

If you are an American and you do happen to read this, then have a kickass day today. If you aren't American then just try and ignore the "USA!" chants and explosions.

Remember what that guy from the Simpsons said; "Celebrate the independence of your nation by blowing up a small part of it!"

Friday, 1 July 2016

Is Today Friday?

I felt like shit yesterday. Let's hope I feel better today eh?
The Japanese tried to warn us....

I'd go for it

I miss my flip phone

This toy pays for itself!

You know it tastes good at least

I'd call the burn unit but they probably couldn't afford the treatment

I want to go to Cornwall. Fuck London.


I'm just kidding. Your mom has way more sex than that.

I'm going to Hell and I'm going to enjoy the ride.
Sorry if some of these are things I've posted before. I'm trying to organise my "funny shit" folder.


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