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Moving More, Fixing Your Posture and Working Better
Getting regular exercise will help to improve some of these negative effects. Studies show that although you can’t completely reverse the issues that sitting for long periods causes, you can nevertheless at least improve your overall health just a little by moving more regularly.
Being self-employed and working online means that you have the freedom to go to the gym in the morning when no one else is around. I also highly recommend going for walks on your lunch break – if you need to make any calls, this is a perfect time to do that.
Another tip is to consider investing in some extra gadgets to help you out. One such gadget is a standing desk. This will elevate your computer while you work, allowing you to work in an upright position instead of sitting down. This will make it tough to focus as well as you do when sitting but you can get around that issue by focussing on work that you can do with a little less concentration – for instance, you could use this time to answer your morning emails.
Likewise, you should also look into investing in a cushion for your chair that will provide lumbar support and also take the pressure off your coccyx, which can otherwise cause pain as well as various health problems. You could alternatively look into sitting on a medicine ball, which will have the added benefit of training your core as you’re working.
Breathing for Internet Marketers
Another problem that can come from working on a laptop or computer all day, is that it can ruin your breathing.
This might sound strange but the problem comes from sitting. The irony is that the human body was actually never designed for sitting – in the wild we would have squatted. One bad consequence of this switch is that our stomachs are compressed and this prevents us from using the correct ‘abdominal breathing’.
To breathe properly, we are supposed to start by relaxing our stomach and allowing it to distend. This creates space in our abdominal cavity, which in turn allows the diaphragm to drop down into it, expanding the lungs from the bottom first. You then follow this motion by breathing in actively and expanding the rib cage in order to let in even more air.
When you sit, you can’t do this because the stomach is squashed, which means that you are force to breathe with your lungs and chest alone. This forces you to take shorter, faster and shallower breaths, which in turn means you’ll not take in as much oxygen and you’ll increase your own heartrate.
This in turn triggers a stress response: because our stress levels are closely tied to our breathing through our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. When you are stressed, you take shorter, shallower breaths. And when you take shorter, shallower breaths, you become more stressed!
If you are going to be working on the computer and facing the stress of being self-employed, then you better learn to start breathing correctly! Start by sitting up straighter in order to give your gut more room to expand. To encourage this, you can try tying a loose piece of string around your abs. This will force you to gently contract your transverse abdominis – the muscle that wraps around your midriff – and that in turn will keep you more upright and stable.
From here, it is a matter of focussing on your breathing. Do this especially when you’re stressed and hopefully it will start to become a habit!
More Health Issues Surrounding Computer Work
There are other potential health issues related to working on computers all day though. One of these is the fact that you will be typing for such long stretches, which can cause RSI in your hands (repetitive strain injury).
One good way to combat this, is to make sure that you use a good keyboard that will help to cushion the impacts you make on the keys and that will allow you to type quickly and comfortably. The best type of keyboard to this end is a mechanical keyboard, which will have ‘clicky’ switches to allow for a more satisfying key travel.
Many people say that the Cherry MX Blue switch is the ideal switch for people who work on the computer.
Another consideration is your monitor but there’s good news here: looking at computer screens is actually not bad for your eyes. This is a myth that was created by one incorrect study that found a correlation between people who sat near the computer/TV and people who wore glasses. The reality that the study missed is that these people were sitting near the screen because they had glasses (not the other way around!).
That said, it is important to avoid glare and I would also recommend getting a wide monitor to give you plenty of real estate for working.
Managing Clients and Avoiding Stress
While all these tips will help you to look after your health in many ways, the biggest danger is still by far the stress that is caused by working to constant deadlines, dealing with difficult clients or having things go wrong.
So how do you combat this and make sure you remain happy as you work?
One key thing to consider, is that you should take pains to try and separate your work and play as much as possible. In other words, draw a line under your day when you clock off and then don’t answer any further emails about work until the next day. Don’t think about work and don’t even check the emails!
This is harder for an internet marketer, as we will constantly have our computers and phones on us for checking. If you struggle with your discipline here then, you should strongly consider getting a separate work account.
One problem you’ll face as an internet marketer, is that you’ll always have the option to take on more work for more money. The problem is that you’ll be sacrificing your free time and thereby giving yourself no actual time to enjoy that success!
So instead, you need to find a limit and stop there. A good way to do this is to assess your current outgoings and the things you want to spend money on and then to see how much money you actually need. With this in mind, you can then determine how long you need to work, how many clients you need to juggle and when to stop so that you can enjoy the rest of your evening.
You’ll of course still get emails from people asking you to do just a little more work, or to rewrite something, or to fix an error with a website design – but don’t do it. Keep these times separate because once you do it once, you’ll find that you are constantly doing it.
How to Get Paid More and Work Less
Ultimately of course, the objective is that you’ll be able to get paid more and do less work. This isn’t easy though and it requires a certain amount of courage in order to negotiate higher pay with your clients. This is something that can be scary if you have been dealing with the same clients for a long time: you probably rely on them for business and if you stop offering the same work at the same price, they might decide to drop you. In turn, this could leave you without the amount of work you need in order to live your current lifestyle!Other Details
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- Year Released/Circulated: 2020
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