Image Source: Unsplash
Freelancing from home is tricky. You need to manage your time effectively and have a comfortable workspace with little distraction. Maybe the final challenge, though, is the fact that the company you are working for, as well as their clients, are located in a different city. If freelancing from home is something you’re considering, you’ll need to put some thought into making it work for you. Working from home isn’t for everyone—you need to be self-motivated and able to separate your personal life from your professional one. If this sounds like you, read on for tips on how to make freelancing from home work .
Plan your days ahead of time
When you’re working from home, it can be easy to lose track of time. You don’t have a commute, meetings to attend, or office hours to adhere to. It’s important to have a schedule of when you work so that you don’t find yourself squandering the hours in a day. You’re not accountable to anyone other than yourself, so keeping a schedule and sticking to it will help. Try scheduling in “meetings” for yourself. That way, you’re still holding yourself accountable and making sure you have time to work on your projects. Alternatively, you could think about scheduling blocks of time during which you can focus on your work.
Don’t eat at your desk
Working from home can often mean that you don’t have the option to leave for lunch. You might be tempted to eat at your desk, but this can be counter-productive. It can also be very distracting and not a good look for clients or employers to see. It’s recommended that you leave your desk for at least 30 minutes each day. Leave your work behind and focus on something else. You could head to the gym, go for a walk, or even just sit outside and read. This will help you to refocus and come back to your work with a clear head. It’s important to take breaks from your work each day, as well as to make sure you get out of the office once in a while. Your clients might not know that you don’t have a break room or a snack table full of treats, so make sure you’re not slaving away at your desk all day.
Organize your workspace
Having an organized workspace is a must if you’re freelancing. You need to be able to find the things you’re looking for when you’re in the flow of working. You also need to have a space that’s comfortable and relaxing. This can’t happen if your desk is buried under papers and folders. Make sure you have a filing system in place so that you can easily find what you’re looking for. You don’t want to be sorting through papers as you work. If you’re working on a computer, clean your desktop and make sure you’re not cluttering it up with unnecessary folders and files. Try to create a space that will inspire you to work. It can be as simple as setting up a small plant next to your desk, or having a few pictures of loved ones nearby.
Use video conferencing and online collaboration tools
If you’re freelancing in a creative field, you might be in touch with clients via online collaboration tools. This is becoming more common as freelancers and clients look for ways to connect that are less time-consuming and more efficient. If you’re working on a creative project, for example, you’ll likely want to look at examples of previous work and talk through ideas with your clients. Face-to-face meetings and conference calls are tricky to fit into a busy schedule, so online collaboration tools like Slack or Zoom are a great alternative. You might also want to look into video conferencing tools like Zoom so that you can have virtual meetings instead of having to travel. This is especially helpful if you’re managing a team of freelancers who are working remotely and need to meet regularly.
Make sure you have the right equipment
If you’re freelancing in a creative field, you’ll need to have the right equipment. You might need multiple laptops and screens, or you might need to invest in a good headset if you’re doing a lot of online work. If you need to make phone calls to clients, you’ll likely need to invest in a good headset or phone, as well as a reliable internet connection. If you’re working on something that requires lots of research and computer work, you’ll need a good laptop and a desk that can support the weight of multiple computers or screens. You might also want to look into ergonomic chairs if sitting at your desk for hours on end is an issue.
Don’t forget to treat yourself
Freelancing is hard. You’ll be responsible for your own workload, deadlines, and pay cheques. You’ll need to manage your clients and their expectations, as well as your own productivity. It’s important not to forget to take some time for yourself. Find a way to reward yourself for meeting your goals. It could be as simple as taking an hour to read a book at the end of the week when you finish a project. This can help you to relax and unwind, as well as to reflect on your work. A little self-care can make a big difference when you’re freelancing.