Jurgita Raudonytė: How did I become a freelancer?

freelancers productivity

What are you working?

In short, I am a freelance copywriter and personal freelance consultant.

My main activity is writing various types of texts for websites, creating blog posts, conducting interviews. This is a very interesting activity, in which I never stop learning and, working on different projects, I have the opportunity to gain new knowledge - from the intricacies of working with the disabled to the nuances of the operation of the recuperative ventilation system! Sometimes I start to feel like a person - an encyclopedia, whose head is information that is useful only in brain battles.

I have been writing as an amateur for many years, professionally since 2016. And last spring, I received an offer to join the LDB-funded project "Find yourself" as one of the lecturers. I am participating in this project as a person who is engaged in work under the IVP and who can present the nuances of self-employment to young people from a practical point of view - from taxes to self-promotion.

And so it happened that in order to help other people to get a hold of self-employment in the jungle, I discovered another beloved activity - training and consulting.

Currently, I continue to work on this project, I travel to various Lithuanian cities to meet with participants, but these meetings are not enough for me, so I myself provide personal and group consultations. These consultations can be two-fold - sometimes I present the nuances of self-employment, basic fees, explain how best to present myself to clients, manage critical situations, and the like. In other cases, we analyze the client's communication, Facebook page, blog posts and talk about the effective use of texts in order to attract more customers and generate more interest.

I have also been one of the lecturers of the "Find Yourself" project since spring - I talk about self-employment, taxes, self-promotion, communication with clients, what you need to know about a Facebook account... After joining this project, I realized how much I like working with people, so I started prepare their own training programs, provide personal consultations.

And finally, at the end of last year, I started providing Facebook account administration services.

Now it may appear that I am a human orchestra - I write, and teach, and consult, and administer... But that's what freelancing is all about - to be successful, you have to know an infinite number of areas, be versatile, quickly understand new information.

And why do you do this? For money? Fame? Happiness? Economy? Something else? For what the most?

For freedom. The freedom to manage my time, the freedom to choose what jobs I want to do, the freedom to decide what time I get up in the morning and when I go on vacation...

I look at clients not as bosses who dictate the rules to me, but as colleagues with whom we strive for a common result. I trust that the people I work with are knowledgeable in their field and provide me with the quality information I need for my work. Clients trust my knowledge about how to most efficiently arrange information on the page, what length texts work best and where, and my experience working with different projects.

I am also fascinated by the dynamics of my work. Before I started working on my own, I tried many different jobs and it was always the same - the first few months were quite fun, even when I was a waitress I liked the opportunity to improve my customer interaction skills, movement and such. But after a certain period of time - usually just a couple of months - I started to feel a stagnation in my mind. Stabilization.

Now that's gone. When I start to feel that I need a break from people - I go to work more on texts. When I feel exhausted and lacking new ideas - I organize more meetings, consultations or generally throw myself into other activities - last fall I felt very tired from my activities, I needed new energy, new stimuli and other activities. So, I spent two months volunteering at the Kaunas Biennale, which was an extremely interesting and educational experience!

And wouldn't it be even more freedom not to work at all?

Sometimes I do that - I decide that enough is enough and stop all work. I finish existing projects, I don't start new ones. At that time, I pay more attention to my friends, read books, watch movies, go to the theater, travel... This fall, I dedicated my time to volunteering at the Kaunas Biennale — I joined the team of educators, gave English lessons to schoolchildren, also prepared several texts, took an interview. It was an absolutely different experience than my usual jobs, and working in an office job from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening, I certainly could not have afforded it.

However, I really love my activities — I like to write texts, it's crazy fun to conduct interviews, and I could give lectures or consultations almost every day!

Besides, when I don't do anything for a long time, annoying mosquitoes, flies fly, something rattles and buzzes in my head... And just as sometimes you need to let fresh air into your head to take a break from work, in the same way, that relaxing air in your head can stagnate and become oppressive - then only the work you love helps you feel better about your own thoughts again.

In short, the balance of work and rest is important to me, not to overwork, but also not to be lazy.

Would you even call it work if it's fun?

Yes. Pleasures are casual, sometimes frivolous, sometimes adventurous, free and fun.

When doing work, even the most pleasant one, there are obligations, responsibilities, deadlines. Things you don't want to do, but you need to (for example, tomorrow it will be cold, there will be a blizzard, and I need to go to Vilnius, meet with clients, conduct training. I don't want to. I don't want to get up early and come home late, I don't want to go out into the cold at all... But I need to .).

Tell us about your working time and place. As I understood - do you work outside the office and not from 8 to 5?

I'm a pretty disorganized person, and for any serious freelancer, being able to manage your time perfectly is an "A must have" feature, so this question hit me a little hard…

And yes, I don't work from 8 to 5 - otherwise it's a shame for whoever tries to wake me up at 8 in the morning!

However, sometimes I have to work in co-working spaces or I rent an office for a short time - this helps a lot when I notice that work productivity has started to drop at home, I have a hard time completing an order, I feel stuck.

Is it more comfortable to work in a coworking space? More productive?

People tend to adopt the behavior of others, to copy those around them. Starting with body language or the vocabulary used (friends who spend a lot of time together begin not only to use the same jargon, but also the wording of their sentences is similar).

When you go to a coworking space, there is a commotion of working people around you - keyboards are clattering, a conversation about a new contract can be heard in the background, a neighbor is coordinating details with a client, and you want to start typing on your keyboard yourself, show some work progress to an existing client, and finally sign a contract with a new client that has been being negotiated for a week. .

And anyway, it's very easy to think of distractions at home - you remember that the dishes haven't been washed, maybe the carpet needs to be vacuumed, or the weather is nice now, I'll go to the grocery store for dinner, and after a walk I'll do some work... Meanwhile, there's no washing machine in the coworking space, and you're not going to get dusty anyway clean all the tables, start the movie and it won't work (well, it's not working here, so I'll watch half of it now, then I'll finish the work, then the other half...). All that remains is to work!

There are developers who claim that the space should be divided - in one, you plan, and in the third you sit down and work seriously. Have you noticed the difference between where you go to create art and where you go to calculate, say, taxes?

And what about those developers - do they have three offices or do they bring three desks to one?

The space I work in is not important to me. It has happened that I wake up in the middle of the night and run to write something, because I know that if I fall asleep, I won't remember in the morning, and I can't let go of such a good idea for an article! I have worked in my pajamas in bed, stretched out on the floor of the living room, at a desk and a smaller coffee table, I have written texts while traveling by train and flying on a plane... By the way, the plane is the least productive place of all the ones I have tried.

As for less interesting orders, it is not the place and time that matters, but the very moment of starting - open the document, start working and do not give up in the first 10 minutes. If I manage to work for 10 minutes without getting up to make tea, grab a snack or go to Facebook to check how many people have reached the newly launched message or the effectiveness of the last advertisement - that means I can expect at least an hour or two of effective work.

With a more interesting, more creative task, I can tinker anywhere, anytime. Again, I once typed the entire article into a notepad on my phone while waiting in line to see a doctor - and at that time I didn't think about whether it was convenient or inconvenient, I didn't care what time it was, the least I was thinking about the appropriateness of the space... Only the doctor got a little annoyed when she was invited to the office in the middle of a sentence - none at all respect for the work of others!

And do you have any rituals leading to work? Incense, yoga, music or something? Also - rituals that end work, day, week, month...?

I like people who have rituals - it makes them a little mystified, a little distant from the rest of us mere mortals.

At the same time, rituals are just routine stuck in deep ruts, and I can't stand routine. Routine is boring, routine dulls the brain and makes you climb walls. For this reason, I constantly come up with new projects, new activities. And that's probably why no work-related rituals have ever taken hold - although I would like to have them, because then I could tell some super amazing awesome daily routine and mystify myself!

And tell me, Jurgita, do you have any unique techniques for productive work at that time?

Well, let's start with the fact that I'm always very skeptical of any universal truths or advice that those sharing it really, really know that it really, really works for the whole 100% .

In this case, I can share what works for me—probably the most disorganized, distracted, order-hating creature out there—but that doesn't mean these tips will work for Anthony, Maryte, or your turtle if he ever decides it's time to earn his own lettuce leaf. .

First of all, don't take on too much work. I really want to be active, to promise a million things, to do this, that, and I will find time for this in between and... STOP! I won't find anything - I'll be lazy, sit down on Netflix and eventually feel overwhelmed by the abundance of work. I know myself, I know the limits of my working time and how much I can do in it - so the amount of commitments I take on must fit within those limits. It might sound lazy, but like I said, I love my free time, being spontaneous, and even my laziness, and when I take on too many tasks, I end up doing nothing until stress wraps its arms around me and the multi-day pajama day begins.

Second of all - every time I start a work program on my computer - whether it's a word document, or a wordpress website that I upload content to, or a Facebook page that I need to analyze and prepare a report - it takes about 10 minutes to drive to work. To remember where the work was finished the day before and what I was going to do next, line up the information in my head and write the first sentences. During these 10 minutes - strictly no interruptions, this is the time for entering work. When the work has already started and I have a clear plan for the next hour or two, what exactly I will write, what information will be needed, etc., then I can already make tea or go get a cookie or write an email to someone, because such small distractions no longer derail me and, whatever strange as it may sound, small interruptions, deviations from work and the like help me to complete the task more efficiently and stay productive, focused for a longer time.

It is very important to be comfortable when working - whether I choose to work lying down on the carpet, at a table, or with my feet up above my head - I have to be comfortable.

And the most important thing is that there is no such thing as "I will now watch only one episode of the series and continue working". NO! after that one there will be a second, a third and then the evening will come and I will have watched the whole season and not worked on anything, so no, no series. It's better to look at Facebook or read the news for a while - it eats up less time and it's easy for me to return to work after such a break.

Another problem I often face - in the middle of a boring task, I come up with a more interesting one, when I'm bored, I go to do more interesting ones, arguing to myself that this is also work, I need to work with the audience of my Facebook page, because like here - I teach others about effective content, like use it and so on, but I can't manage my page... Bullshit! First work for the client, then work for yourself. But sometimes the work for the client is a little boring, so the work takes over and if anyone has any advice on how to effectively fight this, be nice, write, what? I will give candy to the best advisor!

Authors like Austin Kleon argue that a developer needs to consume a lot of information, and a variety of it. How are you - do you use it? Which one usually?

I totally agree with this statement!

I try to consume a lot of information related to marketing and communication, and I am also interested in SEO. I really like social marketing and comatose bad - a lot of information that is adapted specifically to the Lithuanian market and our consumption habits.

I also really like to follow advertising - a separate album has been created on Pėlėdus Facebook, where I put up advertising posters and various communication pearls that have caught my attention, and I share them on my Instagram account. Advertising really fascinates me. When everyone runs as far away from advertising as possible, I look around wide-eyed and look for the standouts - exceptionally good, exceptionally bad or simply different, bolder, more original, more unique than the general flow.

Could you be more specific about what you follow and what you recommend? As I understand, you don't read many books?

I used to read a lot more books, now I read less, but mostly fiction, not really related to work. However, I work with texts, so everything written can be a lesson in how (not) to write. Let's say my favorite book at the moment, Welcome to Night Wale (by Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink), has a really wonderful sentence structure that makes great use of short sentences - I hate short sentences because they break up the text, but they're just fantastically good in that book composed and combined with each other do not chop, but create a rhythm!

I follow Arijas Žakas from social marketing and the already mentioned Komatininkas, as well as - Social media, Ink agency bad. A lot of information can be found in various Facebook groups, and I often just google the questions I'm interested in and I'm surprised where the answers can be found. For example who would have thought that a blog called "Ten, kur namai" has a great text on how to prepare quality content for an Instagram account?

Is there anything else you would like to add, say, promote?

Finally, I would like to add that the only baubles are the ones we create in our heads. There they live with all their fears, failures, anxiety, uncertainty, and that voice that constantly repeats "hey, it's good, how is it!" Why do you need to change something, take a risk, try something? You'll only waste time, get disappointed, and get burned!"

But when you think about it, what's the worst that can happen if you just try? It is not necessary to immediately quit work and dive headlong - this way you can really hit the back of your head on the rocks of the bottom. However, everyone who has any wishes, ambitions and hopes to try - at first with small steps, to check if they like it or if it fits. Back off if you see something is wrong. Think everything over again. Then go again - now it's bolder, knowing better what you're doing. To develop determination, courage, curiosity and the desire to do things. And when you try many times - look, it will take more and you will succeed more than you could have hoped or dreamed!

Thank you, Jurgita! I recommend following Jurgita's project:
"Owls" - tips for freelancers

Leave a Reply

Leave a comment. Anonymously.