Being a freelancer is amazing: you can control your professional and personal life, make sure they don’t overlap and also take the time to establish a successful business you’re the sole responsible. The vast majority of freelancers work from home and we know that keeping your sanity working from home isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Things can easily get out of hand if you let them but if you adopt the right strategies, your career as a freelancer working from home will be successful and you’ll be happy and relaxed.
Here are the 14 best tips to work from home efficiently, make working from home more productive and even become a better freelancer.
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14 Effective Work from Home Tips for Freelancers
No matter how long you’ve worked as a freelancer or just started, these tips are effective and helpful. I tried and tested personally over the past 20 years, working remotely.
1. Start the night before
For many of us, the race to get things done on time begins when we open our eyes. It’s not surprising to run into obstacles that slow us down and make us late. Even if we make up for a lost time, scrambling to get ahead is no way to start the day.
Do yourself a favor and take ten minutes each evening to prepare for the day ahead. Take out the trash, load up the washing machine and the dishwasher, so all you need to do is turn it on, make sure everything is in order in your home office, and your working things are easy to use straighten up the house.
It won’t feel like a massive sacrifice, but you’ll be grateful you got a few things out of the way when you can breathe a little easier the following day.
2. Always start your day with something you love
It might be tempting to pick up your phone and scroll through your “Chosen Social Network” feed the moment you open your eyes, but you shouldn’t start your day staring at a screen. Instead, you should spend the first few minutes of your morning doing something you love.
Put on your favorite playlist as you brush your teeth, or spend a few minutes stretching before climbing out of bed. You’ll find it’s easier to get out of bed when you have something to look forward to.
3. Find your focus
To work productively from home as a freelance, you always have to include a brief planning session for the day ahead. Grab your favorite morning beverage, sit down with your planner or your favorite scheduling app, and figure out what your day will look like. Make a list of all the things you need to do and pick three of them to prioritize for the day. You can’t do everything at once, but in most cases, three tasks are a tangible target to aim for.
4. Get your blood pumping
Make sure you exercise through the day to give your body and your mind a boost of energy to last well into the day. You can throw on some running shoes and take the dog for a jog or head to the gym to work out, or you can keep things easy and move a little at home. Find a short yoga video to watch or squeeze in a few squats and sit-up as you make your lunch or prepare for a call.
5. Set work hours
Define your ideal working time and try to stick to it every day, unless you have an urgency. Keep work and life separate, turn off the phone at the end of the day, and let clients know upfront when they can get ahold of you and when they can’t.
If you land a new client and begin your working relationship with them by answering emails at 10 pm, they’ll expect that for the duration of your work together, you’ll be available at 10 pm every day!
6. Be flexible
Allow yourself to decide when it’s the best time to work according to your needs and mind. You may be more productive very early in the morning or perhaps late at night: take advantage of this and work on things at your own pace. Make yourself available for calls and meetings during the day, but if you prefer to work at a different time, do it!
7. Find your best working space and be organised
Make sure you organize your workspace so that it doesn’t interfere with other activities and spaces in the house. If you have to work in the living room, for example, be sure to remove all the tools of your work at the end of the day so that the work does not take away space from your life and your personal effects.
Invest in comfortable and functional home office furniture, excellent ergonomic chairs: this is the space where you’re going to spend all your days, and it has to be as comfortable as possible.
8. Learn to do one thing at a time
Learn the art of doing one thing at a time and apply the tomato technique: choose one activity to do, set the timer to 25 minutes, work on the chosen activity without ever distracting yourself, then, as soon as the timer sounds, take 5 minutes break.
Crossing something off of your list will give you a sense of accomplishment, which offers a boost to your self-confidence. You will quickly discover that the less distracted you are, the better you work and the less stressed you get!
9. Dress for success
Working from home does not necessarily mean neglecting yourself and spending 24 hours in your pajamas! You don’t need to dress as if you were going to an office, and you can definitely keep things casual and cozy as long as you get the work done. Make sure you don’t neglect yourself, and even the small act of taking the pajamas off and switch to a jumpsuit will help you concentrate and give you a sense of responsibility.
10. Stop negative thoughts
Working at home as a freelancer can lead to loneliness and isolation. If you are one of those people feeling isolated, you can easily engage in negative thoughts throughout the day. We beat ourselves up without even noticing it, and it can deal a not-so-subtle blow to our self-confidence. The first step to squashing negative thoughts in their tracks is to learn how to catch yourself in the act.
Once you know how to recognize your bad habit, you can take those negative thoughts and turn them around into positive affirmations or visualize them evaporating into thin air. You’ll feel much better when you aren’t constantly knocking yourself down.
Even though you may not be convinced, learning how to let negative thoughts go is a process that can be learned. We recommend this useful and very interesting course on how to release negative beliefs & thought-patterns.
11. Stay Off Social Media and the Web
Social interactions can be significant when working from home. Still, you need to learn how to be selective and, most of all, how not to get distracted during normal working hours with news, social media, and conversations.
In fact, up to 80% of the time people spend online at work has nothing to do with their job: this results in decreased productivity and decreased performance and mistakes. Stay focused on what you’re doing, and your results reward you! Also, your mental health will benefit a lot from this.
12. Do not mix work and household chores
Working from home can transform everyone in Cinderella, at a high cost. Try not to let too much housework seep into working hours; otherwise, you will never catch a break, and you’ll end up hate working from home.
Chores are not meant to be done during working hours: do a quick straightening-up in the morning or even better the evening before and forget about the cleaning and tidying up. If you enjoy spending your breaks cleaning, hoovering, or rearranging the pantry, do it by any means but don’t consider it a duty, rather a pleasure if it really relaxes you.
13. Listen to music
Music can relax, energize, and boost our productivity. Choose the music you like the most, the one that makes you feel better and helps you while working: depending on the nature of your work, make sure it’s not too loud or distracting.
14. Avoid family and friends
I don’t want to sound mean, but we’ve all been there: friends call you because you’re at home and they want to tell you something, parents asking you to go to the post office “because you’re at home,” and so forth. The sooner you set boundaries with your family and friends while you work, the better it is: they need to understand you’re working and working from home for you is the equivalent of working in the office for other people.
Working From Home: Useful Courses
If you want to boost your productivity and learn how to effectively work from home, I’ve selected a few useful resources that will help you with this.
1. Working Remotely: How To Succeed In The New Workplace
In this highly rated course, you’ll learn the secret to adapt to remote working, how to use your time at its best, and how to communicate with your team.
2. Work From Home: Where to Start and How to Succeed
How to get started, become organized, increase efficiency, and maximize productivity while working in your home environment. These are the main topics of this course for new and seasoned freelancers.
3. Working from Home Effectively
A step by step practical guide to working effectively from home, overcoming stress and procrastination, creating a work environment that suits you.
4. How to be more productive working from home
Learn to plan your day strategically so that you can be more productive and have time left over. This course is perfect if you want to plan your schedule perfectly and without glitches.
5. Effective Time Management – Get 10X More Done in Less Time
Learn why Task Management is More Important than Time Management in this course. It will also help you identify the Most important 1% of Tasks in your Business That Bring The Most Revenue and Profit.
6. Productivity and Time Management for the Overwhelmed
A complete productivity and time management course designed to help you reduce your overwhelm and increase your results. A highly-rated course to learn the art of managing time even when you don’t have time.
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