Tag Archives: work habits

Individual Work Habits

by Catherine L. Tully

Catherine L. TullyEach one of us is different, therefore it would make sense that every one of us has their own unique habits when it comes to writing. Now I’m not talking about how you prefer to construct a sentence or what your favorite catch phrase is–I’m talking about work habits.

Work habits are just as tailored to the individual’s taste as writing habits are. For example, most writers have a beverage of choice that they sip on throughout the day–or turn to for a little extra pep. I’ m a La Croix (sparkling water w/ a little flavor) gal, and sometimes I’ll do a coffee too.

Where you work is also one of those “work habit” things. I spend a lot of time writing on the leather couch with my pup at my side. Occasionally I will sit at my desk, and if it’s really nice out–I’ll go to the park for a while, just to get some fresh air. I admit to a fondness for working at Panera, and a general dislike for working at the library.

But that’s me.

What else? How about how long you like to work? I do best in long clumps of time with big chunks off in-between. For example, I’ll work for 4 hours straight, then do something else for 2 or 3. This continues over the weekend as well.

Interviews will bring other work habits to light. I still use a pen and paper for mine (unless I conduct them via e-mail), and although I’d love to put the person on speakerphone, it seems to slow me down.

Others? When I get blocked, physical exercise seems to push the ideas through, and when I’m tired, I simply have to nap–or I’ll fall asleep at the keys.

My techniques, I guarantee, won’t work for everyone. I’m sure there are writers out there who can slam a Red Bull and wake up–or that take a nap and wake up with all kinds of fresh ideas. We’re all different.

What do your work habits consist of? Anything stand out as quirky or unusual? We’d love to hear from you!

Quality Sleep = Freelance Productivity

Freelancers and Sleep ApneaIt’s no secret that a poorly rested freelancer is tired, cranky, and probably less productive than he or she would be with a decent night’s sleep. There are plenty of observations about this, among them the blog post 10+ Ways To Get a Better Night’s Sleep. But staying away from caffeine, alcohol, and an inactive lifestyle aren’t going to help some people enough to change the game.


Between 30 and 50 percent of the U.S. population snores, “at some time or another” according to data from the University of California, Irvine. Snoring itself is not the problem, but sleep apnea can be for between four and 13 percent of snoring U.S. citizens, as many as 18 million people depending on which data you read. Sleep apnea is essentially a type of breathing interruption during sleep. Symptoms include “excessive daytime sleepiness”, a feeling of being mentally dull or not up to 100% effectiveness. Headache, sore throats, and even hypertension can be linked to sleep Sleep apneaapnea.

Some cases aren’t severe, some are more serious. But the freelancer who snores or suffers from sleep apnea is likely not getting good rest, and suffering from that lack of rest more than people who simply have to watch the coffee intake after lunchtime or adopt a healthier lifestyle. Do you snore? Are you tired and washed out reading this blog post? Looking for something to do about it before it seriously affects (or continues to affect) your freelance career?

A personal sleep study may be a good idea to consider, but there are a few things you can try to reduce your snoring first. Avoiding alcohol close to bed time is a no-brainer, but using “breathing strips” such as Breathe Right to open your nasal passages could have surprising results.

Don’t take that as encouragement to avoid seeing a doctor, getting an expert opinion or trying a sleep study. Sleep apnea can be a major problem for some sufferers and expert medical advice is crucial in such cases. But for those who snore, suspect they might have a sleep interruption because of it, and want to try a low-cost solution could find the breathing strips in combination with other suggested healthy sleep steps like avoiding caffeine and alcohol to be a very good move toward more healthy sleep.

I write all this to say that in my own case, being one of those four to 13 percenters who likely have snoring and/or sleep apnea related issues, the breathing strips really do work. I notice a remarkable difference in the quality of sleep with them, especially in combination with allergy meds during the hay fever season, plus diet and exercise changes. These things, working together, make my daytime hours much more productive. Learn more about sleep apnea at the University of California Irvine official site.

Joe Wallace is a writer, editor, social media addict, and rabid audio consumer. He is currently working on his book WTF Records: The Turntabling Guide To Weird and Wonderful Vinyl and blogs about all things vinyl-related at Turntabling.net