Weekly Newsletter for The Freelancers: Here is the latest newsletter of the week starting on 18th November 2019.
Critical to the success of every person working from home is being able to manage the distractions that are so readily available. Most of the distractions are controllable.
This is not to say that your work-life balance should be so inflexible that you can't have time for taking your children to the playground at the park or taking the dog for a walk in the early morning.
What it involves, in many cases, is working smarter and being organized. If you are like me, you will have thought about placing this issue at the top of your To Do List over the forthcoming holiday break. Most freelancers will have done the same. It is important to look back at past years to see how this occurs every year.
Nick Golding who is one of the staff of Freelancer.com wrote the evergreen article in 2017 11 distractions you experience when working at home and how to avoid them for their Community Blog.
Obviously, Nick has a freelancer's mindset! Katie Perry from AND CO has been thinking of us too and how we can work smarter in 2020. Katie's contribution in 2017 was 10 New Year's resolutions for freelancers which appears in the Freelancer's Union Blog. You can read the article here.
For those readers who have asked, "How to work from home with kids?" Daisy Wademan Dowling from the Harvard Business Review has answered with her article here.
We are always interested in hearing ideas that help freelancers. We will even publish articles that you feel passionate about sharing. Our guest posting policy is here.
"Millennials, and the generations that follow, are shaping technology. This generation has grown up with computing in the palm of their hands. They are more socially and globally connected through mobile Internet devices than any prior generation. And they don't question; they just learn."– Brad D. Smith
In reading this article it is important to understand what millennials are in the workforce. I confess that I did not know exactly so I checked out the definition. Here it is:
"Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are the generational demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years. Millennials are sometimes referred to as "echo boomers" due to a major surge in birth rates in the 1980s and 1990s, and because millennials are often the children of the baby boomers. The 20th-century trend toward smaller families in developed countries continued, however, so the relative impact of the "baby boom echo" was generally less pronounced than the post–World War II baby boom." This is according to the Wikipedia article here.
You will probably come to the same answer as I have after reading this article by Laura French in WorldFinance.com entitled As more Millennials are choosing to freelance, employers must evolve to suit employees' needs which you can read here.
I believe that millennials are motivated to be freelancers by the flexibility of being their own boss. Do you agree? Being my own boss matters a lot to me!
Freelancers are right at the cutting edge of the changes in the Future of Work.
Christine Lagarde, the past Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, recently conducted a forum on the Future of Work.
At this forum, Sara Horowitz, the recently resigned CEO of the Freelancers Union, spoke about the importance of freelancers. You can watch the video of the forum by clicking here.
Critical to your success as a freelancer is knowing your time wasters. They can sneak up on you and trap you very quickly and before you know it you have lost a valuable hour of productive time. It is important to know your enemy.
Leo Babauta has given us all some help with his article The 20 Biggest Online Time Wasters, and 6 Strategies for Beating Them. Leo wrote his article for TheDumbLittleMan.com blog and you can read it here.
Personally, I find that the biggest time-waster is trying to keep track of interesting videos, articles, and emails that I want to follow up later, but want to have a quick scan of first.
This is, of course, a big mistake if you are in the middle of doing something of importance as it can distract you from being productive and creative.
It is on my list of New Year's resolutions to get this sorted by the end of January. The best solution, in my opinion, is to quickly copy the screen on which the relative information appears.
I knew that this would require some research, but as luck would have it the solution appeared when I was researching something else.
Tony Bradley's article Google Keep vs. OneNote vs. Evernote: We name the note-app winner which appeared in PCWorld.com was the answer I was looking for. You can read Tony's article here. I hope that you find it as helpful as I did.
Almost every freelancer's New Year's Resolutions will include improving their work-life balance. Mine did! The reason is, of course, is that it is a critical issue for the gig economy workers.
I have looked back on my previous year's resolutions and discovered that it was there too for 2017, 2018 and 2019!
It is because it keeps evolving each year and the number of choices is almost matched by the number of applications that are being produced to help us.
I decided to re-read Kevin Kruse's 2017 article Work-Life Balance: Tips from 24 Entrepreneurs Boiled down To 1 that he wrote for the Forbes magazine which you too can also read here.
I found it also useful read before moving on to read the Quora article in Inc.com for 2018 which was entitled How to Maximize Your Time and Find Work-Life Balance in 2018 which you can read here.
The article had this maxim preceding the main content "Hire all of the help you can afford". For freelancers, this is an important piece of advice.
The critical issue for all of us is that we do it correctly so that it does not cut into our profits too much. For 2020 we will look at this issue carefully as the gig economy continues to gather pace around the world.
When I was asked to write a review for IT Governance Publishing of Security in the Digital World – For the home user, parent, consumer and home office (written by Graham Day) I hesitated because my ToDoList was fairly full, but I reluctantly agreed.
It was the right decision! IT Governance Limited is one of the leading cyber-security businesses in the world.
Being a regular computer user and owning a number of websites and social media accounts I thought I had a reasonable understanding of the issues, but I was wrong.
I have been very lucky not to have lost major money from cyber-security mistakes. When I was reviewing the book I had a strong feeling that it was meant for me.
I don't know whether you have had that feeling. It is a bit like déjà vu, which we all experience sometime.
I think that this book is worthy of having weekly articles on it because it is so good and it is right on the money for freelancers. What struck me particularly strongly this week was that it has a section on both Social Networking Security and Parental Security.
I encourage you to look inside Graham Day's book here.
We are constantly searching for news articles and videos on skills development and inspiration for freelancers as well as developing our own products.
Each week we have decided to bring you the links to what we consider are the top three articles or videos. Here they are for this week:
From TEDx Woking by Rob May "Your Human Firewall – The Answer to the Cyber Security Problem":
From Scott Dinsmore TEDx Golden Gate "How to Find and Do Work You Love":
Jacob Morgan "How to Future Proof Your Career" at TEDx Academy:
There are now 5,000 skills in 90 categories that the digital economy can offer, according to Upwork's 2nd. Quarter 2019 Skills Index which you can read here.
Number fourteen on the list is Apple X Code. If you are like me, you will probably want to know more about Apple X Code. I looked it up on Google and this is a what it is here.
What is interesting about Upwork's list is that there are new digital skills and they are evolving very quickly. Innovation and technology are very important to countries.
In Australia this is particularly important because these skills are applicable to country areas impacted by drought. The value of the digital economy to Australia is shown here.
We have been developing an Amazon eBook series on freelancing for those starting out freelancing. Here are the first two eBooks listed below. Click on an icon to have a look inside at the index for each one:
The weekly AWS news video link to acloud.guru is here. They are the leading trainers globally for Amazon Web Services certification for freelancers.
As discussed in previous newsletters we are focussing on the niche website in the future because it is producing better results i.e. sales.
We have changed our strategy to include guest posts and this is one from our cybersecurity website. The guest contributor is Rebecca James with How we can prevent email-based social engineering attacks (click to follow the link).
We will let you know when another is posted. The goal is to increase traffic and diversify product promotion. There have been approximately 30 Amazon product sales (across all our websites) in the past month due to the keyword research and skills of Mamun, my virtual assistant.
We have decided to expand our search for appropriate articles for freelancers about cybersecurity and online scams.
Australian Competition and Consumers Commission's latest article worth reading is: Home buying scams.
Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert and consultant. He also runs a cyber security and fraud prevention website which you can see here.
Image Source: ROBERT SICILIANO