Editing Resources Volume 7
When passion meets work, work has a tendency for taking over. Even though we love what we do as editors, it’s important not to let it bleed into our entire life and overwork ourselves.
Keep a schedule
Set a schedule for your editing work like you would any job. Plan to meet deadlines, prioritize and keep it within your schedule as often as is possible. Include regular breaks into that time as well. Make time for other important things in your life. Make sure you’re giving yourself one to two full days off of work a week and make relaxation a priority. Include a routine of nutritious meals and exercise to keep your body healthy, too. A fun way to do this are bullet journals or positive productivity planners like Panda Planner.
Without enough fun in our lives, our creativity, focus, and energy deplete quickly. I’m not talking about the fun you have editing, either. Give yourself permission to not work. Seek out opportunities for new experiences. Try to get in an hour of fun a day, either worked into breaks and small chunks or all at once. Have a five-minute dance party! Get away from the computer and books and make your way out into the world.
Put the phone down
Reducing distractions manages the energy we put out and improves our quality of work. Put your phone in another room, disconnect the internet if you have to (leave notes on what information to follow up on later, of course), close that room door, and put on a white noise machine or headphones; do whatever you have to to ensure your time editing is only editing.
Choose jobs carefully
In an earlier issue, I discussed finding your niche. It’s important to take on jobs that interest and challenge you. Ensure you have clear guidelines on what you will and will not edit and stick to them. One way is to request a sample of each project to assess. Don’t be afraid to say no to a job.
Change your work location
Being stuck in the same environment day in and day out can be draining, a lesson many of us know well from either our freelance work or thanks to 2020’s pandemic. Switch your work location when possible. Move around the house, the yard, go to a park, a café, a restaurant, a library, or a friend’s house who also works from home. Many cities now have co-workspaces you can visit or rent out to help combat the loneliness of working at home.
If you’re working in a space for hours a day, it needs to be comfortable and ergonomically set up. Put your keyboard and screen at the right heights, use blue light blocking settings or devices, and ensure your space is well lit with no glare on your screen. Invest in a chair that fits you properly. Taking these steps will prevent strain and injury. If you have the means, occupational health and safety assessors can come out to make recommendations on how to improve your ergonomics in your workspace.
Creativity, Inc. is a manual for anyone who strives for originality and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation–into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about creativity–but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”
Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep Work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there’s a better way.
This post was originally sent as an email to my Editing Services Newsletter email list in January 2021. If you’d like to receive emails like this, please sign up using the form in the sidebar.