Digital Detox: FREElancer’s Birthday Gift

Last Sunday, I celebrated my 35th birthday and the best way to celebrate it is a Digital Detox. As a FREElancer, I feel the need to detoxify myself from the radiation of my computer, and that is one of the best birthdays I ever had. It went so cool and relaxing. I enjoyed every moment of it.

Working at home is very rewarding and I can’t trade it for any other job in the world but sometimes, it becomes unhealthy.

Read:  4 Health Problems Freelancers Are Facing Today

The four corners of your home robs you of creativity that is why it is best to relax, unwind and free your mind once in a while. When your mind is cluttered with many things you need to accomplish in a day, you can’t think freely. I’m glad that my birthday falls on Sunday.

I decided to go to the church first. Praying is calming. It brings you to your senses as well. I went to “Pink Sisters Chapel” where I heard wishes and prayers can come true. You can write your wishes and prayers and the nun in pink kneeling in front will pray for you (I don’t have a picture of the praying nun, we need to respect the solemnity of the place).

Pink Sister

Next stop is at the “People’s Park in the Sky”. It was built on the highest point of Tagaytay, Cavite.

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Photo: The Backpack Adventures

This is a historical place which was previously called “Palace in the Sky” which was built by Marcos but wasn’t completed to welcome a guest.

The construction of the unfinished “palace” began in my birth year, 1981. What a coincidence. I didn’t know that before I visit the place. It’s cool to know.

At the unfinished mansion, you have the liberty to marvel at the sight of Tagaytay Highlands. You can rent a telescope for 20 pesos/30 minutes to look closer of the Taal Volcano and the Taal Lake.

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The air is very refreshing and soothing. It is the best feeling. It is not something your aircon or your fan can give you. If your mind is in chaos, nature will give you peace. Appreciating nature makes me appreciate life even more. Nature detoxifies your mind and brings back your creativity

Inside the park is you’ll find the Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of Fair Love which has its own story to tell. It’s nice to learn new things and know the history.

Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of Fair Love

Thank God, the sky is clear in the afternoon and we can able to have a feast as a thanksgiving for the past year and for another year.

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Picnic with friends

Let’s make it a habit to detoxify ourselves with the radiation. It will make us more productive, creative and healthier.

 

Back to work!

a
Cliff Hazel Santos is a Top Rated Upwork Freelancer, 
with 100% job success rate. She is also an entrepreneur, 
she owns Dive-In Travel Agency and she is an aspiring blogger.

 

Lazada Philippines

Lazada Philippines

4 Health Problems Freelancers Are Facing Today

As I celebrate my 7th year anniversary as a freelancer, I came across this question from a fellow member of a freelancer group I belong to,  “Wala kang ibang nararamdaman na pagbabago sa katawan mo?” (Don’t you feel any changes in your body?).  I know what he meant by asking me that. I know that working online full time for 7 years will bring some changes to your body or should I say “health”. He might be feeling something in his body after hours of sitting and working in front of his computer that’s why he came up with that question. Well, I can’t deny that there are changes and I answered him, “yes, I gained weight” and laugh at my comment. However, that is 100% true and it attracts comments from my co-freelancers, agreeing with the statement.

Working online has pros and cons and one of the cons is health issues which you may develop all through the years of working online. If you are planning to get into this industry or you are already starting, it is a must that you should know these health issues so you can prevent it from happening as early of today.

Here are some health problems that you might develop throughout your freelancing career.

  1. Weight Gain – Let us start with the obvious. Freelancers tend to gain weight because they are on the same spot their entire working hours. We don’t walk to the bus station, commute and walk to the building on your way to your office. We simply open our eyes, open our laptop and get the job done. We even eat in front of our computer, especially if the fridge is one grab away. We all know that being overweight is unhealthy and can lead to serious diseases. Now, that you are aware of this, avoid eating in front of your computer and place the fridge miles away so you are forced to stand if you need a drink or you want something to eat.
Photo Source: Metro
  1. Backache – Since you sit all day, you tend to develop backache, I experienced that from time to time. This makes me want a massage all the time. Though, that can help to relax your muscle, you can still do something to avoid it. Just have mini breaks and you’re good.
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Photo Source: Prevention

 

  1. Stress – Freelancers are prone to stress. This is especially when they to do multi-tasking and need to juggle their time between their clients.
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Photo Source: The Globe and Mail

Lesson: Don’t eat more than you can chew. You can have as many clients as you want, but you must be responsible enough to only accept what you can handle.

  1. Depression – Even we know that we are lucky to work at home and we are our own boss, we can’t help but to feel depressed sometimes. We missed the social life that we have before and the only social life that we have right now is social media. Well, if you are feeling this way get up and go out!

Freelancers Health

These health issues are only a problem if you don’t know them. As they said prevention is better than cure. Plan your working day and make it sure that it is productive and healthy at the same time.

 

Feel free to share your tips on how to have a healthy freelancing lifestyle.

 

a
Cliff Hazel Santos is a Top Rated Upwork Freelancer, 
with 100% job success rate. She is also an entrepreneur, 
she owns Dive-In Travel Agency and she is an aspiring blogger.

Lazada Philippines

How to be an Online FREElancer? (Q&A Lists)

Due to insistent public demand (lol), I compile several Q&A lists that will help people who want to be an online FREElancer like me, get started.

Working online with a rate and a schedule of your choice is what it means to be a freelancer. Here are several questions that people I know, friends and family are asking me and you might want to ask too.

  1. Who am I?

Let me first introduce myself. Before you read any further, think first if the author has the right to give some piece of advice with regards of a certain topic. In my case, I am an online freelancer myself and I’ve been doing this for almost 7 years already. Therefore, I have the right to give you some piece of advice 😉

  1. What do you do online?

I do several and different things, from admin tasks to marketing ONLINE.

  1. Where do you get jobs?

Personally, I only get jobs from one outsourcing site which is Upwork. Upwork has been previously called oDesk. It turns Upwork when eLance (another outsourcing website) and oDesk merged.

  1. Do you work full time or you have other offline jobs?

I say full time (though I have jobs on a contractual basis) because I don’t have any other means than this since I started July, 2009

  1. Who introduce Upwork to you?

Architect Charlot Fernandez (whom I will be forever grateful of), who has been working online part time  and working as a Project Architect in an Engineering firm at the same time. Now, she is working online full time as an SEO Specialist and a proud WAHM.

  1. What makes you decide to work online?

I’ve been dreaming of FREEdom. I wish to work on my own time, in my own place, in my own pace, whenever I want and wherever I want. This is what I am seeking for so I dive in!

  1. Is it for me?

Only you can answer that. If you are motivated on your own, you love to be challenged, you are competitive and a risk-taker then this is for you.

  1. How can I get started?
  • First sign up at any outsourcing platform of your choice. If you are asking me how to sign up, I will not tell you. If you can’t do a simple task like signing up in a single platform, you shouldn’t be here and this is definitely not for you. No hard feelings and no offense meant.

    – Upwork

    Upwork Sign-Up

    – Fiverr

    – Onlinejobs.ph
  • Complete all the details and information needed. Usually there is a guide for you on how to get started.
  • Upload your best picture, the one that smiling successfully. Clients are seeking for freelancers with a positive aura. It will help you land a job.
  • Take a readiness test (this is for Upwork). Upwork Test
  • Think of a title that suits your skills i.e programmer
  • Look for jobs that match your skills. Create a cover letter that kills. Don’t stop until you get the deal.

I will update this from time to time. If you have any questions that aren’t included here, feel free to comment and I will answer you right away.

Good luck and break a leg!

 

aCliff Hazel Santos is a Top Rated Upwork Freelancer, 
with 100% job success rate. She is also an entrepreneur, 
she owns Dive-In Travel Agency and she is an aspiring blogger.

Continue reading “How to be an Online FREElancer? (Q&A Lists)”

7 Morning Habits of a Successful Freelancer

Freelancers wake up and sleep at their own time frame and freelancers have different working schedule so an advice to wake up early in the morning to be productive might not be applicable to some, especially to those who are working in graveyard shift. However, you can apply this habit even if you sleep in the morning and wake up at night. You can pretend that your night time is your morning time. Let me discuss these 7 habits that will help any freelancers to be successful and productive.

  1. Wake up earlier than the usual time you wake up.

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Your morning starts when you wake up. If you are a morning person, you can start your day as early as 4am or 5am. If you are a night owl and begin your working at 8pm, you can start waking up 2 to 3 hours earlier. Set your alarm clock to the highest volume and continuously. Do not place it in your bedside table. Place it somewhere far enough that you need to stand and walk to turn it off. Waking up early will give you more time for yourself that you often neglect when you start working the moment you wake up. It will also give you more time to interact with the people around you. You can have a chat with your parents or spouse while having coffee without worrying that you need to start working because you know that you have ample of time to spare.

  1. Start the day with a grateful heart.

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Do you have a feeling when you wake up that it is just the same day and the thought makes you lazy to move? Shift your thoughts. The moment you open your eyes, think of the things that you are grateful for. Being grateful for what you have the moment you wake up will give you energy to face the day. Thank the Lord for everything and your day will be bountiful.

       3. Exercise. 

One of the problems of the freelancers which I am guilty of is that we tend to gain more weight every day.

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Since we are working at home, we don’t have any physical activities and we go straight to our computers the moment we open our eyes because we believe that when we work early, we will finish early. However, we shouldn’t compromise our health because it is our biggest asset that will give us dividends in a long run. The money we earn from working wouldn’t save us from misery of failing health. Also, a person that is overweight is often prone to depression. Taking the time to have a physical activity is a must and it doesn’t take too much time. You only need at least 10 minutes daily. Make it a habit and it will do wonders. You can jog at your neighborhood or you can have an exercise equipment in your home like:

Gym Fitness Sport Equipment Spinning Bicycle Cycling Exercise Bike

Gym Fitness Sport Equipment Spinning Bicycle Cycling Exercise Bike

or use Hot Shaper and sweat. Lose tummy fats while sitting all day.

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or have Gamercize PC Stepper and turn your work day into a challenge workday.

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  1. Feed your mind.

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Take advantage of the morning when your mind is fresh and stress-free to read a book or an article that will help you with your personality, job and business development. Make it a habit to read, you can read newspaper while having a cup of coffee or listening to podcast while walking your dog in the morning. Additional information will trigger ideas that will help you to be creative and productive in the whole day.

 

  1. Eat a hearty breakfast.

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Breakfast is the most important meal in the morning. Eat well so you can think well. If you are hungry, you can’t work productively and you will feel uncomfortable during the working hours. This is also the perfect opportunity to dine with your family members and have a healthy conversation while having your meal.

  1. Plan your day.

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Even if we are working at home and we have the liberty to work anytime we wanted, it is still essential that we plan our day in the morning. This will serve as our map so that we will never get lost in what we should do first and not to miss out any task. This is especially if you have multiple clients. Planning your day will keep your sanity.

 

  1. Do the hardest and the important task first.

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Doing the hardest and the most important task at the beginning of your day will make the rest of the day light. It is hard to work when you keep on thinking of the task that you know you should be doing and that is important. Another thing is that when your mind is fresh the hard task seems so easy unlike when you do it last when you are already tired, it seems unbearable.

Many freelancers wannabe doesn’t make it through a year because they don’t cultivate a habit or a schedule. It is hard to discipline yourself when you are at home and you know that you can work anytime so a habit is a must for you to succeed.

Do you have other habits in the morning or at night that lead you to a successful freelancing career? Feel free to share 😉

 

Happy freelancing day!

5 Things to Consider When You Are Traveling with Your Work

One of the perks of being a freelancer is that you can travel anytime you wanted because your work is with you. As long as you have your laptop and there is an internet connection, you are good to go. But wait! Can you really enjoy traveling while you have loads of work to do or you are just wasting your money? Sure, you can bring your laptop with you anywhere but once you have settled in the place, can you go out and breathe some air?

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I have traveled with my laptop with me and I know how it is. Yes, you can work and you can have fun but you have to prepare, especially if it took days, weeks or months. Preparation is the key to enjoy the place and to appreciate being a freelancer more than ever. If it is a day or two, you don’t need to consider many things. You are free as a bird! If not, here are the things you should take note.

  1. Travel when your loads are light

As a freelancer, I’ve experience high time and low time. There are times when project keeps pour in and you can’t resist them all. More projects, more dollars. There are also times when you’ve got a few and some projects ended. When we got more, we get tired and wish to go out but when we got few we get sad and blue. My advice is take advantage of the high time to prepare for your vacation. Save money and search for the best place. When low season comes, it is time to go out and have some fun! You have the money and you have more time to enjoy!

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  1. Tell your clients in advance about your plans.

Some of us stick with a long-term clients, thus there is no low season for us. If this is the case, plan still. Your client’s business has its season too. Years of working with the same client gives you an idea of the time you have lighter loads. Plan on that date, most likely your client will give you his blessing since there is nothing much you need to do for him. Should unexpected things happen in your vacation and you become unreachable, your client knows where you are. If you are lucky, your client will let you enjoy your travel without workloads and even give you bonus.

  1. Prepare your belongings.

It is not all about clothes for us freelancers. We need to secure our gadgets are on our traveling bag. Create a checklist and check it one by one before you go. You don’t want to bring your laptop but forgot your charger or else you will pull hair off. Make sure you have everything you need to have a stress-free travel time.

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  1. Plan your itinerary and your working time.

Let say, wake up as early as 5am to work for 2 hours so that is until 7 am. Then you are off to enjoy the place and go back at your hotel at lunchtime and work for another 2 hours so that is 12-2pm then you can go out again for some of your activities, go back at 6pm, work a little while resting your feet, have dinner and hit the bed. It depends on you and depends on the place. As I’ve said preparation makes you not neglect your responsibilities and not to forget to enjoy. We are freelancers, you can re-arrange your schedule the way you want it.

  1. Work in advance and don’t schedule a lot of activities on your vacation.

We travel to relax our mind and body, if you are too tired with all the activities, though it is a lot of fun, you’ll regret it. Why not just enjoy the food, enjoy the view and have a chat with the locals?

Work in advance. Do all the hard part of the job so when the you are traveling you’ve got nothing much to do but to enjoy.

Come and let’s find a beautiful place to get lost 😉

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Freelancers Tip : 3 Benefits of Houseplants for Freelancers

Freelancers work anytime, anywhere but most of the time we work at home. It is a must that we are working in a comfortable environment. We should have a working space where we can concentrate on our daily tasks and to let the members of the house know that we are working.

Admit it! Since you are at home all the time and you use your dinner table or living room center table as your office, people in the house forgot that you are working, thus they keep on bugging you with their concerns and they can’t keep quiet. A working space is a must.

Another thing that a freelancer should have are houseplants. Let me repeat, we are working at home and we should at least have a piece of environment inside the house.

There are many benefits that a houseplant can help freelancers’ productivity. Let me just break these into 3.

3 Benefits of Houseplants for Freelancers

  1. Plants are relaxing. Looking at the monitor all day makes a tired eyes, you should look at something green to relax it. Something green is a plant. Have a small one at your working table. When your eyes are nearly to tears (please don’t wait for this) or you feel your eyes needs a rest, stare at the plant for a few minutes, when you feel that the nerves in your eyes started to relax, you can go back to work again. Looking at the plants not only relax your eyes but it also helps you to be creative. When you are relax, ideas pour in.Modern home office workspace with laptop, architecture illustrat
  2. Plants clean the air. We all know in our elementary days that plants takes carbon dioxide and release oxygen, thus all the bad odors that we have inside the house will be eliminated. It is distracting when the house doesn’t smell good. This is especially after you mom fried fish, the house surely stinks. Having a plant in your kitchen will be helpful to absorb all these odors and you can now breathe fresh every day. Most especially, you can go back to work without distractions.Herb-Pot-TRIO-by-Sagaform
  3. Plant makes you happy. Plants are pleasing to the eye. All interior decorators know this. It sets you into a good mood. It sets your spirit on the go. Working at home can never be boring even if you are alone because there are living things surrounds you and silently watching you. You can talk to them if you want to (you will never tag crazy, promise! J). You can also take a mini-break to water them and check them out or just adore its beauty.535fb7f2dbfa3f42a000005c._w.1500_s.fit_.jpg

There are many more benefits that a houseplant can bring. Some studies said that it can help enhance cognitive function. It can help you with your memory and concentration. It also heightened attention and help you achieve your goals!

Do you already have plants at home? What type of plants do you have? Can you recommend us one? If you haven’t had one, it is time for you to consider it. Happy freelancing day!

Lazada Philippines