First Week As A Front-End Developer in Manchester

If you didn't already see, I've now gone freelance: Freelance Front-End Developer Manchester

Here's a quick run down of my first week.

s10wen studio

First off, thanks to everyone that's reached out to me to help kick start the year, you know who you are and I'm extremely grateful. Thank you.

Loneliness. I've heard many freelancers mention this, but man, I didn't realise how big or quick I'd feel this. The first few days I opted to work from my home studio and I felt it. The realisation that I'm now on my own. If something goes wrong, or there's an issue, I have to sort it really kicked in on the first day.

However, that said, I run the 'Manchester Tech' Slack channel (come join us if you'd like). Shout out to anyone reading this who was active last week. Thank you! Regarding the last paragraph regarding loneliness, you've all helped me overcome this quite quickly. Thanks for your support.

Focus. I've recently listened to Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. I was aware that going freelance, there's going to be many distractions. At the end of last year I submitted proposals to a well known web magazine and blog. Both proposals were accepted so I knew I'd need to crack on with these.

To help combat this I went into what I call 'Deep concentration lock down mode'. All social media off. Phone out of the room. Anything that could distract me gets switched off and out of view. I set aside a few hours and crack on. This worked very well for me and within two days I got first drafts together for the article and blog post, each around 2500 words.

On the Thursday I had client meetings in Manchester and found that I can work pretty well with noise canceling headphones on whilst on a train. There was an author (Peter Shankman) that had a pressing deadline. In order to get the book finished he booked a return flight to Tokyo from the States.

Peter Shankman talks of a similar story here: https://www.shankman.com/wrote-28482-words-one-flight-yesterday/

I was surprised at how well this actually worked for me on the train. At home, even with my 'Deep concentration lock down mode' activated there's still the temptation to deviate to go and get a drink or check something. If you're struggling to concentrate, or find there's too many distractions, maybe give it a go!

Food prep, health and self learning. One of the reasons for going freelance was to have more control over my own time. Within this time I wanted to eat well, go to the gym and up skill in certain areas. For this first week I had other commitments that hindered my progress with this, but I did manage to get to the gym, go for a run and do some food prep.

My fiancée is vegetarian and last year I ate a lot more vegan / veggie food. I feel great and wasn't ill once last year. I'm not saying that going veggie is a miracle cure to prevent illness, but for me at least last year it seems to have had a positive affect. I still eat meat (I do love a good steak!), but I like this TEDx talk by Brian Kateman Ending the battle between vegans, vegetarians, and everyone else | Brian Kateman where he talks about the idea of being a 'reducetarian'. Yes, I still eat meat, but I frequently choose to reduce the amount I eat.

Also, this week, I'm continue to plann and sort out things around UpFrontConf and McrFRED for 2018. Again, thanks to everyone who is helping here. We've announced some of the speakers for UpFrontConf now and tickets are also available https://upfrontconf.com/ and I'm looking forward to announcing the first McrFRED talk of the year soon, keep an eye on https://twitter.com/mcr_fred/

Thanks for reading folks, let me know if you enjoyed me writing about my adventures going freelance, or if there is anything else that you'd be interested in and I'll continue.


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