One of the main reasons as to why people choose to go down the Freelancer career route is due to the amount of flexibility it brings to your everyday lifestyle. Being able to choose your work hours, set your own schedule and work from home is very appealing. However, whilst it sounds very appealing to work in your own home with your own comforts, bringing your professional life so close to your personal life may cause the balance between both to be disrupted, and could potentially damage your work and personal relationships. To help you ensure that your home office environment works well, we’ve put together a list of tips to help keep you productive, organised and motivated so you can be the best freelancer you can be.
Create Your Own Space
Once you decide you are going to work from home the first and arguably most important thing you need to do is create a workspace. Yes, whilst you can move around and work in several different places in your home, it’s highly recommended to create a dedicated workspace. Being a freelancer you’re going to have to think creatively on a regular basis, you need to be able to work without any distractions – so the sofa or kitchen will not suffice. We recommend you buy a desk and place it in a suitable location in your home and make it your day to day working location. It’s fine to move about from this location but you should make it your mainstay day-to-day location only move when you feel you need a change of scenery. By having your own dedicated working space it will help keep your work life and personal life separate – especially if there are other people in your home.
Get Connected with Wifi and a Mobile
Whilst it might seem obvious, but it’s crucial to have a fast internet speed when working from home. Once you have your own working space sorted out, we highly recommend getting connected to the fastest internet speed available in your local area, as not only will this enhance your work environment but will also enable you to deliver to clients regularly and on time. If you are already connected to the fastest network available, you can skip this. It’s also highly recommended that you get yourself a work phone on a separate mobile contract from your personal phone, again this will help keep your personal life and work life separate – when your working hours are over, you can turn your work phone off or place on silent.
Get Your Time Management Planned
One of the joys of working from home is that you don’t have to be up early and worry about the morning commute to work. However, whilst freelancing gives you great freedoms that working conventionally doesn’t it’s still vital to have some kind of regime. We recommend creating a work hours schedule that will work around your personal life so you can enjoy the benefits but also a schedule that works well for all of your clients. You need to ensure that you are available for clients to contact you during the majority of their working hours. Also, every morning it’s crucial to plan a couple of breaks throughout the day to get food, have a read of the news and go for a walk. If you are planning some time off, be sure to notify your clients in a few weeks in advance, similar to how you would notify your boss if you were working for a business.
Try to Avoid Distractions
Working at home can be very distracting with all the comforts it can contain. During your work hours make sure you turn off all distractions, log out and get off your social media accounts. It’s also worth turning your personal phone on silent and block and websites on the Internet that distracts you. Only respond to notifications from clients rather than personal contacts as it will eat into your working day. As a freelancer, you’re reputation if pivotal to success so you’ll need to make sure you’re getting as much work done as possible at home – being in a distracting environment will only have a negative impact on your work.
Get Out The Home
One thing that working in an office offers is human contact. Whil social media is great for the latest news and friendly content and can sometimes keep the feeling of loneliness at bay, do try to make a couple of days every few weeks to meet with clients, have lunch with some of your friends and sometimes work outside the house, perhaps in a coffee shop that has Wifi, even if it’s just for a few hours. Getting out of the home will help keep you motivated.
Structure Your Workloads
As a freelancer, workloads and projects can sometimes pile up and if your projects require lots of creative input it can be easy to burn out and run out of ideas. To ensure this doesn’t happen it’s important to structure your workloads using a time management tool. There are loads of digital tools available which will help you do this such as Asana, Trello and Basecamp – we recommend using one of these tools when planning out your weekly and monthly workloads.
No Weekend Working Unless Essential
It can be very easy for weekend life to simply slip into other work days but try to protect your weekends and keep them as ‘you’ time. Keeping the weekends free allows you to live a normal social life and get out the house. On weekends, wake up, stay away from your workspace and go out. The only time you should ever consider working during the weekend is if there is essential work that needs completing urgently.
At 3 Wise Bears we support Freelancers with our accounting services to help them get on with their day job. For more information on our Freelancer accounting service, get in touch with one of the team today.