Being a freelancer and setting your own hours while working from home sounds awesome in theory. In fact, making money from your own couch is the dream of many. What people who aren’t freelancers don’t realize is how much self-control and motivation it takes to resist all the distractions that come with working at home. A freelancer needs to stay productive throughout the whole day if they have a lot of work all the while taking care of their family and maybe even running some errands. Let’s not forget taking care of yourself and exercising and eating healthy, either.
If you’re a freelancer and you’re having trouble staying productive, don’t worry- you’re not the only one. There are certain tips for those working from home that will surely help you stay on top of your work and nail every deadline. The truth is, there are definitely enough hours in a day to everything. You just have to organize yourself well and keep yourself moving.
Without further ado, here are some tips on how you can nail your daily routine and come out a winner every time.
1. Cut distractions
When you’ve got a lot of work to do, your home suddenly turns into a candy store and you’re the child who wants it all. Everything is more interesting inside when you need to put your head in the game, which is why cutting out distractions is imperative.
The TV should be shut off, you should block your social media and your phone, and your pet needs to be in the other room. This is the only true way you’ll actually be able to get anything done.
2. Separate work and life communication
To put it simply, if you’re at work- you’re at work. Talking to your family on the phone or texting your friends while you’re working is a sure way to stop yourself from being productive. Your family may call you all the time and want to talk to you, your friends may send you funny memes and want to text, but you have work. Setting your work hours can help you stay on track greatly.
Tell the people in your life when your working hours are and make it clear that you won’t be answering personal calls and texts during those hours.
3. Take a break
Even though it may sound counterproductive to take a break during a busy day, maybe it’s exactly what you need. When you force yourself to keep working even if you really need a break, you won’t actually be productive. No amount of coffee and telling yourself you need to make it through this will help you work faster when your brain has already handed in its resignation letter.
Taking a half-hour break in a busy day will help you avoid procrastination, reset your brain, and put you right back on track as soon as you start working again. During this break, you can do whatever the hell you want. It’s smart to take a nap to let your brain rest, but there are a few other options that can help, too.
One of them is to exercise. A home workout may be just what you need to reset your body and mind. After sitting in one position for so long, your body will appreciate the exercise you decide to give it. You’ll get rid of the tension you didn’t even realize you were holding and you’ll prompt the production of happy chemicals. All of this also lowers stress and makes your brain happy to keep working.
4. Design your workplace
Not every corner of your home is designed for work, and this is perfectly fine. It just means that you have to make an effort to design your own workspace which will help keep you productive throughout the entire day. If you don’t have a whole room you can transform into an office, you should at least invest in a quality desk that you’ll put in the living room or bedroom.
Your work station should be a little bit isolated from the rest of the room just to set it aside as a place of work. You can do this with décor. You can add a carpet or mat to section off the area and cement your “office” with work-related wall art.
As well as that, you need to make sure that the work area doesn’t face the rest of the room. It would be ideal if it could face a wall or a window. This way, you’ll get fewer distractions in your field of vision during the day which will allow you to focus on work and not on your surroundings.
You can also add some nature to your workspace and fill it with houseplants. This will keep the area full of fresh oxygen which will, in turn, keep you functioning better and working faster. Oxygen is essential for proper cognitive function and getting enough oxygen will definitely help you stay as productive as possible. As well as that, make sure there’s plenty of natural light. This keeps you alert and awake, as artificial lights and darkness naturally make humans sleepy.
5. Get dressed!
Working in your PJs and home clothes may sound like a fun and awesome idea, but it’s rarely practical. There are very few people who can pull off the casual look and stay productive throughout the whole day. Working in your PJs puts you in a sleepy and lazy mindset where all you want to do is lay down and relax. This isn’t the mindset you want if you want to stay productive all day and do all of your work on time.
The same goes for your comfy clothes for home. These clothes simply weren’t built for work, and that’s okay. All this means is that you should actually put on a pair of pants and a nice shirt while working at home. The clothes will help you feel like you’re actually at work and remind you that there’s a lot to be done. As well as that, less comfortable clothes like jeans help your body stay awake and don’t make you want to lie down on the couch and snuggle up with your favourite TV show on the screen in front of you.
If it does make you feel better, you can wear your comfy clothes as a reward for doing all your work. If anything, this will make you appreciate the soft materials even more and make them more comfortable than ever before. After a long workday in jeans, you deserve an evening without pants or in your softest hoodie.
6. Drink quality coffee
We all know this magical drink that wakes our brain up and makes us feel like we can do anything. Coffee may just be the freelancer’s best friend. Drinking a cup or two a day could be just what you need to kickstart your day and to keep yourself going. The trouble is that most freelancers don’t have the time or the will to make a fresh pot of coffee every time they want a nice drink. In this case, most miss out on the quality coffee they actually need to stay awake and boost their energy.
This is why it’s recommended to add a high-quality coffee machine which brands like Lavazza Bluepod and similar companies offer to your kitchen arsenal. With a press of a button, you’ll have the high-quality cup you need to start or continue with your day effortlessly. There won’t be any more lows in your day and any more reason or opportunity to slow down and fall into the trap of procrastination.
Most people aren’t even aware of how healthy coffee can be for them during the day. Along with the caffeine, you’ll be ingesting other nutritious things that will help your body stay active and even burn fat. As well as that, drinking coffee can also make you smarter, which is exactly the benefit a hard-working freelancer needs. Physical performance is improved drastically, meaning that you won’t be so tired in the morning and will definitely be able to skip that afternoon nap.
7. Set a schedule
Though most become freelancers to avoid the burden of schedules, they aren’t all bad. Schedules help keep you on track and give you an idea of how your day is going to look. This helps you see where you should be at any part of the day and gives you a chance to track your work. As well as that, making a schedule allows you to reach your daily goal more easily.
You should sit down each evening and write down what you want to do the next day. No matter how big and small the task is and if it has to do something with work or not, write it down. Then, take a look at your schedule and make the necessary amends to make the day more realistic. Prioritize your wants and set realistic goals according to the time you have and your capabilities.
This will give you a boost and actually keep you going throughout the day. Putting too many things on your to-do list and then not being able to do half of the things on it is very demotivating and doesn’t put you in the right headspace for work. Prioritizing what you have to do and working your way through your schedule like that is the only way to actually stay productive and keep giving yourself little bursts of motivation throughout the day. After all, we all know how satisfying crossing out things from our to-do list is.
As you can see, being a freelancer takes a lot of work. Your home is your office and you’re free to do with your hours what you please. As we all know, with great power comes great responsibility. This is exactly why it’s your job to be as responsible as you can and push yourself throughout the day to reach new heights. There’s nothing you can’t do with these tips. If you don’t believe us, try them yourself and you’ll be convinced of the results. We’re confident you’ll be at the top of your day every day.