I write papers for nurses. I’ve been doing it for seven years, and it helped me achieve my fitness goals! Let me explain.
In 2011, I got hired to write someone’s nursing capstone paper as a requirement to complete her degree. I enjoyed it so much, I started to advertise and write nursing papers for other nursing students. Apparently, a lot of nurses need help with their capstone papers and online classes. Soon, I quit my boring, go-nowhere job and started working as a self-employed freelancer.
But I didn’t like the idea of sitting at a desk all day, typing. I wanted to stay active. At least when I had been working 9-5 it kept me moving, and sometimes my pedometer would show that I had walked five miles during my workday. But when I started writing nursing papers it kept me sitting in a chair for much of the day. The worst is writing a dissertation proposal or a nursing capstone paper, because it caused me to stay sitting in that chair almost all night.
I loved working for nursing students and writing papers, but I did not love this sedentary lifestyle. So, I decided to combine my workout with my paper-writing. I realized that no one was forcing me to stay in that chair. In fact, I am more productive if I take breaks throughout the day to work out.
- Each day begins with yoga. I stretch everything out and open up to the world. Just 20 minutes of Yoga is enough to make my breathing is deeper all day, and my brain gets more oxygen when I sit down to write a paper.
- I start typing while I drink my first coffee of the day around 8am. I listen to upbeat music, and I set a timer for 2.5 hours. The fact that I have a time limit makes me work hard to be productive during that time.
- Around 10:30am, I go to the gym. And I bring my laptop. My gym workout is constantly changing, but it always involves some free weights and some plyometrics.
- Around noon, after an hour of working out, my laptop and I get lunch somewhere. I set another timer for 2.5 hours and do another work session.
- In late afternoon, I do errands or whatever I want to do. I have already completed 5 hours of work, and that’s a lot of writing. If I have a big paper to write (thesis paper, dissertation proposal, nursing capstone paper), I might do a third work session.
- Around 7:30pm I go running. It’s summer time right now, so during this season the last part of my workout is to run three miles at dusk. It sounds like a big deal to run three miles, but actually it takes less than a half hour.
If I use this kind of structure for my workday, it’s easy to write a great nursing capstone paper or dissertation proposal (20-30 pages) in less than a week. Or I can write a few shorter nursing papers and still average that same number of pages. It always works out to at least $20 per hour, even on the days when I’m not so productive. On other days, it’s a lot more than that.
Now, compare this lifestyle with the kind where you drive to work each morning and stop at a drive-through window on the way. That’s what I used to do. Now that I’m a professional nursing paper writer, I can design my workday in a way that includes a workout. This is seriously the best job I’ve ever had, and that should be no surprise, because I made this job up! I made it up to fit my interests.
Now I’ll tell you the trick and the tricky part. The trick is a trick for success combining your freelance writing work with your workout goals, and the tricky part is what will stop you from doing it.
The trick is to do your writing immediately after your workout. It’s okay if you want to take a shower first or whatever, but try to start writing within 30 minutes after you finish one of your workouts. That way, the mind and body will be functioning optimally, and you will be twice as productive. I bet you ten bucks you’ll be twice as prolific and productive if you sit down at the computer within 30 minutes after a workout. If you think you don’t have time to work out, you’re totally wrong because a quick workout in the morning will make you twice as productive for the rest of the day.
The tricky part is self-regulation. It’s the damnedest thing. Why do you need someone to order you to work? You can have better income and a better life if you work as a self-employed person instead of someone’s employee (i.e. because if you’re in business for yourself you get 100% of the profit from the value you create, instead of getting exploited as someone’s employee), but you probably will always be someone else’s employee because you don’t have the ability to self-regulate. Freelancers get to make their own schedules and work from home, etc., but the tricky part is that this freedom gives them enough rope to hang themselves with, as the saying goes. This freedom gives them the option to fail. Freelancers need to wake up every day and jump into the fight. They need to arrive at work on time, even though they have no boss to require it. They need to self-regulate and self-motivate, because if they don’t they’ll fail.
I hope those observations help you if you’re trying to work as a freelancer. The ability to self-motivate is important not only for being your own boss but also for being consistent in your exercise routine! Do what you decide to do, every day. Throw yourself back into the fight.
In my example, it’s all about writing nursing papers and nursing capstone projects, but regardless of your writer-for-hire specialization you can use this technique. No one is preventing you from being self-employed. No one is preventing you from including exercise in your day. You can do it if you focus your mind.