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Why the Micro-Gig Economy is Great for Creative Freelancers

Why the Micro-Gig Economy is Great for Creative Freelancers

For those fresh out of college, finding a job may seem like an uphill battle. With so much work being shipped overseas and minimum wage at a shockingly low rate, many folks become discouraged in their quest to find work.

At the same time, having a proper 9-5 job isn’t for everyone. Some people were not designed to work set hours on someone else’s watch. Today, you don’t have to go out and apply for jobs or work shifts that you hate just to get by. Instead, technology has made it possible for you to do exactly what you enjoy doing, during the hours you set. The best part? This can be done from the freedom of your own home or wherever else an Internet connection can connect you to the world.

If you are wondering if freelancing is for you, check out this list of ways that freelancing can set you free.

Take Advantage of the Micro-Gig Economy

The micro-gig economy allows freelancers to fulfill small projects outsourced by companies big and small. Individually, these jobs aren’t going to make you rich, but they do allow you to try out new skills and pick and choose the tasks you want to do. Think of this economy as a piece rate economy with the freedom to choose the pieces you want to complete. Some of these tasks are so simple that they are perfect for the days when your head just isn’t in the game, but you know you need to earn some cash. If you want to give freelancing a try, get involved with the micro-gig economy to test the waters. It doesn’t involve a serious commitment, and it allows you to make a bit of extra cash while you make the transition from working outside the home to the freelance lifestyle. This economy is also something that isn’t going away, so you can turn to it whenever you need a few extra bucks because you have too much month left at the end of your paycheck.

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Utilize Multiple Platform Options

Maybe you don’t want to be locked into just one platform. Not only is that okay, but it’s also actually for the best. Just like any other business, those who hire freelancers have the potential to have times when work is slow. By combining platforms so that you always have options to choose from, you also have a means by which to maintain your weekly financial goals because you can always turn to another site when your main one isn’t as busy as usual. And, maybe it’s time to face the fact that creative freelancers tend to be the kind of people who are easily bored, which is one reason they have little or no interest in a typical job outside the home. By using multiple platforms, it’s easy to change things up when the work starts to feel a little too routine for your creative spirit.

Avoid the Office by Working Remotely

Every freelancer has their own favorite perk about freelancing. For those who feel less than comfortable in a cubicle or surrounded by other people – and the drama that tends to come with them – the ability to work at home is the ultimate perk. You’ll enjoy the wardrobe change as well. Not only do you never have to try and find the perfect power-tie/subtle-tone combination again, but you also may not even have to change out of your pajamas for the day, ever.

Being able to put on a nice top for a Skype meeting while wearing nothing else but your underwear is a truly liberating feeling. You’ll wonder how you ever got by dressing up to go to the office.

Choose Your Location

Maybe you don’t want to work at home. Maybe you don’t even want to be at home. That’s fine too because no one gets to tell you where you have to work. If you have a laptop, there is no limit to where you can work. In fact, you can even do freelance work that is specific to travel, so your office location changes every week or month. Conversely, you can choose to enjoy the same corner in your favorite restaurant every day if you like. Just make sure they have free Wi-Fi, so you don’t have to pay an added fee to get online to do your work.

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Make Your Own Schedule

How bad do you hate Mondays? Does a sunny day make you angry as you walk into the office knowing it will be dark when you leave in the evening? No problem, because you don’t have to work on Mondays if you don’t want to. Call Mondays the extra day to recuperate from the weekend and start your work week on Tuesday if you want. Set your alarm for noon if you love to sleep late, because as long as you meet your deadlines, your clients won’t care if you are working long into the wee hours of the morning, or starting when the sun comes up.

Leaving the 9-5 routine and working to fulfill objectives is a breath of fresh air and will leave you feeling free as a bird. The 9-5 can be filled with small pauses and indecisive moments where you don’t know what you should be doing. Running your own business as a freelancer keeps you on your toes because you are in charge of time management because everything comes down to meeting deadlines.

Increase Your Salary

This element of freelance work is probably the one that freelancers struggle with the most. It follows a predetermined path that creative people seem to follow. The path is pretty simple to understand, and once you get over some of the humps in the beginning it will get easier to navigate.

Creative freelancers decide on the specific skill they want to use. Then, they lovingly craft that idea or skill and send it off to a potential client. Then, the doubt sets in. “Is it good enough? No, it’s garbage. Why did I send that?” Then the payment and praise arrive and the freelancer eventually starts to wonder why they didn’t set a higher rate. The good news is that you can set whatever rates you want as long as they are realistic. You might hesitate to raise your rates because you fear the risk of losing the client, but the worst thing they can do is refuse to comply and offer to maintain the existing rate. Chances are, if you have been reliable and offer quality work, they are simply going to accept the new rate and move forward.

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Enjoy Time with Family

If your children are young enough to be in daycare, you know what a significant portion of your salary you might have to shell out just to be able to get to work. If they are in school, you’ve probably gotten “the look” from the boss on more than one occasion when you had to run to the school or stay home to tend to a sick child. None of these factors have to be dealt with when you freelance. You can choose to have your children there with you while you work, and in some cases, their antics might even help you come up with creative ideas.

In any case, you will never have to smile through yet another riveting story about how your boss’s perfect child did yet another amazing thing or every single step of their potty training experience. Instead, you can enjoy spending time with your own children and parenting them the way you always wanted to.

Choose Your Social Situations

When you work at a specific location, there aren’t just requirements concerning how you perform, dress, and act at work. Usually, there are also social requirements. Maybe your boss thinks you can’t be an accountant without joining the corporate bowling team. Maybe you just hate the fact that once a year you have to act like you really want to celebrate Christmas with the people you have to spend five days a week with already. When it comes to freelancing, limiting your social interactions is as easy as clicking the little X at the top right corner of your tab. That’s it. You can interact with colleagues through social networking platforms, and you can even exchange valuable advice, but when you are ready to enjoy a complete lack of interaction, you just close the tab.

Follow Your Dreams

Maybe you are looking to write articles for a living. Perhaps you want to be a professional voice over actor. There are plenty of sites out there that cater to specific areas, while sites like Upwork, Bunny Inc., and Fiverr cover multiple platforms that allow creative freelancers to pursue their passions.

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Being a freelancer means that you have the freedom to do the work you want to do and when you want to do it. This kind of freedom can become addictive so that you soon start to look at other areas of your life where you need to break free. You start to remember all those dreams you had, dreams that had to be put aside so you could adhere to the demands of your job outside the home. Pretty soon, you start to question why those dreams are still sitting to the side when they should be part of your overall plan and experience.

Freelancing isn’t for everyone. It requires self-discipline and the ability to hold yourself to a higher standard when it comes to your work performance. Even so, those who choose to take a trip down this road usually don’t look back. Instead, they tend to wonder why they wasted so much time doing anything else. This is when you find out what it really means to “be anything you want to be when you grow up.”

Being what you want to be is a fantastic feeling. The only thing that will stop you from achieving this wonderful lifestyle is fear. If you have a creative mind and the desire to break free from the ordinary, give part-time freelancing a shot and see where it goes. The worst case scenario is that it doesn’t work out and you make a few extra bucks learning this lesson. The best case? You become your own boss and your life changes forever. Those are some wonderful odds.

Featured photo credit: Writer in the park via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on October 5, 2020

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

Intermittent fasting weight loss is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Scientists and nutrition experts like it, too. New books and articles on the topic are being published daily. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, limit carbohydrates, or eat 6 to 7 meals a day.

This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is one of the best weight loss diet hacks around. Once you finish, you will be able to implement into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting weight loss is a diet plan where you set fasting periods during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours, but it can be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24 hours (or even 36 hours).

While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better[1].

Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours.

The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about calorie restriction or measuring carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 PM to 4 PM the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

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My experience with intermittent fasting is that it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8PM one evening to 12PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2 or 3 days per week, or trying alternate day fasting. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

1. Drink Plenty of Water

Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon

The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks

One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite[2] like a drink that contains sugar and cause you to overeat.

4. Don’t Gorge at Your First Meal

The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.

5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars

While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

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You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.

How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight

Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying.

This means that you won’t just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way[3].

Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your body’s fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH[4].

The influence intermittent fasting weight loss has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off.

Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type II diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

One study found that men who participated in intermittent fasting had “dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity”[5].

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This happens because you’re not giving your body food, so it will not produce insulin, allowing insulin levels to balance out until you eat again. This helps your body stay in a calorie and fa-burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn, help correct other hormonal imbalances.

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.

How Much Weight Will I Lose?

The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors. Fasting for 16-20 hours a day can help you safely lose 2-3 pounds of fat every week.

While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it makes it happen that’s really cool. Losing weight with intermittent fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day.

Can I Work out While Fasting?

Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are 3-4 intense strength training workouts weekly. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts.

Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll also build muscle, which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

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Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen. Studies actually show that even after fasting for 3 days, no muscle is lost.

Is Fasting Safe?

As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets, you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting style of dieting.

I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when your ability to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

Are There Any Supplements I Can Take to Make Fasting Easier?

As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to ensure that your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branch chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps, too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

For supplements to specifically help with digestion, check out this article.

Conclusion

Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and pretty much effortlessly.

If you want to give it a try, find a fasting schedule that fits with you lifestyle and give it a go.

More About Intermittent Fasting

Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

Reference

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