Choosing to start my own business after being downsized from the corporate world wasn’t easy. I thought now that I have hit the five-year mark that I would share some tips for working from home as a freelancer.
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Work from Home as a Freelancer or Blogger
Working from home is not for everyone; however, for fifteen years in the corporate world, I spent most of my days wishing I could be a freelancer and work from home.
Now that I’m living this dream, I realize it has its pros and cons, but I can’t imagine going back to work in an office. The freedom I have to work on my terms, when I want and how I want, is just too precious.
How is Working from Home as a Freelancer Different?
As a full-time graphic designer, I always told my bosses that I was much more productive than working from home. But to them, working remotely was a benefit and not something we were to do often.
When I started my business, I treated working from home as if I was going to the office every day. I recommend you do this too. Being a freelancer can be isolating. You are alone in your head and focussing on tasks can be hard for some.
What You Need to Work From Home as a Freelancer or Blogger?
Get The Right Equipment for Your Freelance Business
When I first started working from home as a graphic designer, I invested in an iMac desktop. After a year of working from home, I began to regret not having a laptop.
While the desktop computer allows me to work on huge files and has a huge screen where I can work more comfortably, having the ability to switch locations and take files with me has significant advantages.
When it comes to equipment and tools you will need in your freelance business, you have to consider their costs and where you are financially. Four years into my business, I was able to afford a MacBook Pro and expand how I was working from home as a freelancer.
The combination of the desktop and laptop has made me more productive and allows me to work on more projects when I’m at home and while travelling.
Create a Work Environment or Home Office
Even if you choose to run your business on a laptop or Surface Pro type device, I recommend you set up a space for your work. Depending on the size of your living space and if you have an entire room to dedicate to your office, you must create a comfortable place away from distractions where you will be committed to your work.
Productivity Tips for Working From Home
Start Your Day Like You Are Going to the Office
One thing I did when I started working from home as a freelance graphic designer after being downsized was continuing a morning routine like I was getting up and going to the office.
This schedule included getting up and getting ready for work. While I didn’t dress up business casual, I made sure to get out of my PJs and get dressed for work at home.
Add a Workout to Your Morning Routine
I also have to stress the importance of being healthy and taking care of yourself as a self-employed person. Many successful entrepreneurs will tell you how vital their workouts are as part of their success in business.
I am going to reiterate that sentiment. It is part of my routine to get up, hit the gym, shower and get dressed before sitting at my desk. Since I don’t have a boss to yell at me if I start after 9:00 AM, it is not a firm commitment to make to myself.
Structure Your Freelance Day at Home Like You are Going to the Office
Set Office Hours for Yourself
Even if you don’t have a full day of client work in front of you, it is essential to set hours when you will be working. It is also vital to stop working when these hours are over so that you are not overworking and taking precious hours away from your leisure time.
Set Goals and Tasks for Each Day
One of the things that help me be accountable for tasks, especially when my client load is light, is to create a to-do list. Every day I sit down with my coffee and figure out a list of things to do that day.
The make money or client tasks go at the top of the list. Then the administrative tasks like phone calls, emails and research that I need to be doing.
Practice Time Management and Take Breaks
Be sure to keep track of the time you are sitting. As a graphic designer, some of the projects I work on can take hours, and I find myself getting up after several hours.
I use my Alexa Echo Dot in my office a lot now to set timers and reminders to move every hour. Alexa can be a great time manager with alarms and even playlists that are set to run for a specific amount of time.
Getting up to stretch and walk around, is very important when freelancing, as is taking breaks. Take a lunch break where you step away from the computer and sit and eat a meal in another space.
Go for a walk outside when you can and don’t feel guilty about walking away from your desk. Remember, you are the boss, and your mental health is essential.
Consider a New Work Environment
Being alone in your home office can take a toll. Consider taking your laptop to a coffee shop or shared workspace location for a change of scenery. This new space can help when you feel unproductive or unmotivated at home.