The paradoxical task of freelancers is to be ubiquitous while staying at home and doing their jobs. They need to keep current with professional developments and anything else that might be useful in their work. Therefore, no matter what their occupation, whether it is copywriting, proofreading, translating, graphic design, or programming, freelancers must stay cognizant of all the recent innovations in the sphere of technology. Nowadays, we have access to so many electronic devices with such powerful mobile capabilities that a freelancer can practically push buttons and find themselves earning money.
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Unfortunately, not all out-of-office workers realize how indispensable these gadgets are to their profession. Sadly, the freelancers who eschew this beneficial technology, and the science behind it, can be left as outsiders in the competition. Moreover, they can find themselves missing this fast train!
If you wish to be a twenty-first freelancer, your work will not be optimally efficient if you do not consider the following high-tech innovations:
- First, you will use e-book readers to obtain information vital to your work. You can read books any time you want, unchained from your computer monitor, free to be outdoors, or in any comfortable spot. Fear not; reading will be just as it was in the Middle Ages, but with one considerable benefit.
- Second, virtual reality will be the main element of an advanced freelancer’s success. This will become the natural environment in which they will hunt and bring down any work ‘prey’ on which they set their sights.
- Finally, some workers may view the Internet as a bottomless black hole, a whirlpool drawing them down into a fake world where truth is indistinguishable from delusion. Indeed, when surfing and bobbing on the unending waves of information, it is easy to choke on too much data. However, the apparent unlimited virtual reality of the web is never greater than the breadth of the human mind.
Thus, if you, the average freelancer still unfamiliar with all those tricky e-tools that allow faster work, you really will have to master them soon. To give yourself a sense of the advantages of these technologies, imagine yourself back in the eighteenth century, with no laptop, no email, and no computers at all. In this scenario, your email has roughly approximated the function of a carrier pigeon.
Your computer is the equivalent of a quill and ink composed of lamp blacking, grease, and heaven knows what else. Your graphics software would be replaced with a palette of oil or tempera paints, filled with toxic heavy metals and infinitely messy brushes! On the next wave of technology are the handheld devices – these seem like biros or ballpoint pens in comparison to the quill or the stylus. E-book readers function like libraries with cracker-jack librarians to help you find resources and help you locate the specific sections you need.
Quite a technological gulf exists between ‘olden time’ and where most of us are now, is it not? You should keep in mind that the gap between the technologies you feel comfortable with right now and what is just on the horizon is just as dramatic. There are inventions in the pipeline for widespread personal use that you may not be familiar with unless you are the serious computer ‘geek.’ What about an electronic ink display, or personal digital assistants (next generation), and complete voice control? How cool (and laborsaving) would it be to control your computer and compose using your voice alone? Creative and exciting? Absolutely!
While deliberating the benefits and shortcomings of such high-tech conveniences, freelancers may well ask, what about creativity? Can it be suppressed by using all those automatic devices? If all the information you need is in the palm of your hand, does it not take but the slightest effort to achieve an impressive result? Those who hang up on this question are misguided because nothing replaces the power of the mind.
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What high-tech innovations endow freelancers with is the most valuable resource for all of us; time. Finding ways to use that time productively is the next challenge. Which shall it be: professional-development, self-actualization, or greater volume of work, diversification of jobs?
Of course, you can continue your traditional work-at-home methods. However, once having tried one of the new devices or conveniences, you will be loath to go back to 20th Century technology.
Just look over the following data gathered by ResearchWritingCenter.com (from internal reports and Google Analytics):
The proportion of users reporting ‘bugs’ or malfunctions with the site was 3%. Of that 3% of users, the proportion that was using outdated browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer 6) was 95%.
This single statistic demonstrates how critical it is to keep abreast with updates to even your current technologies. Regular monitoring of your tools and resources for ‘patches,’ updates, ‘fixes,’ and newer versions (especially when offered for free) will help you keep up with the unending and rapid changes in the computing world. Remember the admonition of the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass.” She said, “It takes all the running you can do to keep in place!” and some thinkers feel this applies to real life as well (blog.creativethink.com/2007/03/the_red_queen_e.html).
So, don’t be afraid of facing the future squarely, because the technological future is merely an advanced version of your technological past, and you have been productive thus far, have you not? With the help of the most modern tools, you can preserve your current mode of life and income, or even improve it. What is important is that you can economize on time and earn more money for your skills and abilities.