I have been a freelancer for over three years now. I’ve decided to do it just when I finished my University studies, mostly because there wasn’t any “real” job for me. At least, not the one where I could put my best creative feet forward. So, I made it my mission to create the job – to become a freelancer. And I’ve never looked back.
While being a freelancer certainly has its advantages, it also can be really difficult. The hardest thing, for me at least, was learning how to create a working environment in my apartment, and to keep myself in check while being as productive as I know I can be. Without being a procrastinator, as I know I can be.
In these three years, I have learned how it’s possible to successfully work from home, and I’d like to share some of my best tips with you. Ready? Let’s do this.
Have “Office Corner”
You have to have a special part of your home that is entirely dedicated to work. I know this doesn’t sound like a trip to Disneyland, but if you make your office desk (corner) look really lovely, with bright colors, couple of inspirational posts (and/or posters), it surely can be of great help to motivate you to jump right in all that work. Honestly, nothing beats a clean, organized desk, completely ready for you to nail that busy schedule.
Have “Office Hours”
Next most important thing about successfully working from home is definitely setting your office hours. While the biggest advantage of working from home is not having to work strictly from 9 till 5pm, you still have to have your office hours defined. If you simply work whenever you feel like it, your mindset will have a problem to adjust and it will be impossible for you to create a routine of it. And remember, we talked about how routines are important for us (Ways To Build Great Morning Routine). So, analyze your flow of productivity – when do you feel the most motivated and productive? Is it in the morning? Afternoon? In the evening maybe? Choose that time of the day and define the hours dedicated ONLY for work.
Have “Smart Breaks”
When you’re working from home, it’s always a special kind of joggling between taking too many breaks and none at all. While it’s really good for you to take breaks, you should make sure that you have them at certain time, either scheduled one, or when you feel like your productivity is at its lowest. If you feel tired or overworked, step away from your computer, turn everything off for a little while, and stretch a bit. Step outside of your house, take a deep breath of fresh air and you’ll be ready in no time to continue with your work. Just make sure that you don’t over indulge yourself and take too many breaks or make them way too long than you should.
Have “Human Interaction”
Oh, this one is a challenge for me. If you’re working from home (and especially if you’re living alone), it’s incredibly easy to stay inside of your four walls and forget to interact with other people. You can always call your friends for a cup of coffee while you’re on a break or after your long, hard working day. Another great way to stay in touch with humanity is to work in creative hubs, where you can get free WiFi and enjoy in sharing work place with other freelancers. If you ask me, my favorite places to get the work done are actually coffee shops. I always pick the nice quiet ones, the ones I know aren’t too crowded. It’s kinda difficult to browse your social media networks when you know someone might be watching what you’re doing.
Have “Daily Plan” and “Weekly Plan”
I wrote before about how crucial it is to have an excellent TO-DO list (7 Daily Tricks of Highly Organized People), and I have to stress it again – have a plan. Have a plan always. Whether you like to make your plans in the evening or in the morning, while sipping your first coffee, take some clean paper and write down the most important things that have to be done. That way, you are making sure that nothing gets forgotten, since we all know how our brain likes to play memory games with us. Don’t relay on your memory, creatives aren’t so famous for it, but relay on the good old piece of paper and a pen. These guys just never fail us. The Daily Plan is your #1 asset in being able to successfully work from home, since it makes sure you’re right on the tracks, and your Weekly Plan ensures that you have the bigger picture also included.