In this video I’m going to show you 7 ways you can keep yourself productive while freelancing from home.
Hey guys! My name is Scott and on this blog I make posts like this one on Freelancing tips, as well as tutorials on Premiere Pro and Photoshop. So please do consider hitting the follow button (at the top right of this page). Ok, let’s get into my top 7 ways to stay productive while freelancing from home…
- Create a workspace
If you’re fortunate enough like me, to work from home then you’ll want to find a comfortable spot where you can work from everyday. I’m lucky enough to have a room that’s my dedicated home office, but I know a lot of people may not have one. So try and find the most quiet place you can to set up your workstation.
Last year, my wife who also works from home got really creative and turned one of our home closets into a workspace for herself. If you can, try to avoid working from a couch, or a bed every day. There’s nothing wrong with occasionally sitting down on the couch to work on a quick project, but I would try to avoid working from places where you can get easily distracted. Couches in particular tend to be placed in living rooms, which are high traffic family areas throughout the day.
- Make a to do list
Some people recommend making a list at the end of your day, so you can start the next day fresh and get right to work. If that works for you, then by all means keep on doing it! For me, I like to start my day by listing out everything that I need to accomplish that day, and I mark them off as I go.
I use just simple post it notes to write on, but I know others who use daily planners or google doc spreadsheets to keep track of their lists. I like to start with the smaller, easier tasks first and work my way towards the larger, more time intensive jobs last. That way I can cross off more tasks faster, which creates momentum and motivation to keep knocking off items from my to do list.
- Keep A Schedule
I think this may be the most important tip from this list, which is keeping a schedule. The great thing about working from home is you get to make up what hours you work from. However, this can also be a bad thing, as it can be very tempting to put off tasks until later in the day and then things don’t get done. Some people tend to be morning people, and others love working late into the night. As long as you’re getting the right amount of sleep and getting things done, then your schedule can really be whatever works best for you. But the key is to stick to the schedule, and have a routine.
I’m much more of a morning person, so I get up at 5:30 every morning to start my day. I make sure that I have multiple breaks throughout the day, so that I have time for exercising, and breakfast and lunch breaks. Also it can be tempting to let your work schedule creep into your off time. I always set a definitive start and end to my day, so that unless it’s an absolute emergency and I need to get a project done, I can spend my time relaxing and not let work get in the way.
- Set boundaries with others
If you share a home with others, like family or roommates make it very clear to them what your schedule is and where you’ll be working from. The last thing you want is for your roommate to come bursting into your work area while you’re in the middle of a conference call. That’s why it’s so important to have a routine, once everyone knows your schedule they’ll hopefully be respectful of your time and space.
- Cancel out the noise
I live in a very noisy neighborhood, especially during the summer when kids are out of school. All of that background noise can make it next to impossible to concentrate. So it’s very important for me to be able to block out noise whenever possible, so to solve that issue I started using noise cancelling headphones. The brand that I use is from Cowin, and they’re relatively inexpensive compared to other larger brand names. Honestly, sometimes I don’t even listen to music or anything, the noise cancelling itself just helps me focus more on the task at hand. Plus, they’re really good quality for the price, so if you’re interested I’ll link you guys to them in the description below.
- Designate different tasks for different days
Depending on the work that you do for a living, you may be able to organize your days into different categories. For example, I know a photographer who spends every Monday planning out her social media posts for the week, which helps her market her business.
Another day could be spent learning new skills, or doing media management by reorganizing old files. Try to think about what tasks you do repeatedly throughout the week, and see if it would make sense to devote a day to knocking out all of those tasks rather than having them spread out through the week.
- Dress the part
One of the best benefits of working from home is not having to get up early everyday and get dressed to go outside. There’s no suit or business attire required to work from a home office. However, I still think it’s important to get out of the pajamas and to at least put on some casual wear. For me it’s part of the daily switching of gears, from relaxing mode to working mode.
There’s a popular saying with people who work from home, which is you should try and dress for the door. Meaning, that if someone stopped by the house unexpectedly you could answer the door and not feel embarrassed that you’re still in your pajamas or a bath towel or something like that.
So those are my top 7 ways to stay productive while freelancing at home, which tip will you guys try or maybe you’re already doing some of these? Let me know in the comments below. If you’ve enjoyed this post, please do hit the like button and feel free to share with anyone who might also enjoy it.
For more tips please check out my YouTube channel and follow me on twitter @scottEfowler. I’ve also posted my other videos on freelancing tips at the top of this page, so check those out as well! Alright that’s it from me guys, see you in the next post!