Life as a freelancer may not be as easy as it seems. Read about how you can become more productive working outside of an office environment.
Ah yes, the wonderful world of being a freelancer. No boss to answer to, work when and where you want, eat potato chips while you’re working…it all sounds so nice. Working as a freelancer appeals to many because it eliminates a cliche office setting that is so often imagined as dreary and dull. Web developers, graphic designers, writers and many other professionals have the option to work from home.
As enjoyable as it may be to work from the comfort of your home, there is no doubt that working as a freelancer comes with certain challenges. For many, it can be tough to make enough money. Others struggle with staying focused, or having too much work and not enough time. These difficulties can surely cause anyone to run back to the safe office in a heartbeat.
Reselling web hosting and domains can be managed from home if done correctly (and if your business remains relatively small). Check out these 10 ways to become more productive as a freelancer.
- Start the day right. Working in your pajamas may be what is most appealing about working from home, but it is far from productive. Wake up at the same time each morning and have a routine. Exercising in the morning keeps you feeling rejuvenated throughout the day. Take a shower and get dressed (maybe not a suit and tie or a skirt, but don’t you dare put on those flannel pajamas again). A healthy breakfast is a must in order to have a productive morning (see why on WebMD.com). A cup of coffee may kickstart your day, but don’t forget the importance of adding fruits and grains to your morning diet.
- Keep your workspace clean. Don’t even try to begin working if your workspace is cluttered. Eliminate any messes, organize loose papers and straighten up your desk.
- Create a relaxed ambience. Find an environment that helps you feel focused and relaxed. Maintain good lighting and crack a window for fresh air. Consider investing in an ergonomic chair. Not only is it more comfortable, it also helps with back issues. Playing light music can also enhance performance and focus. A couple of my favorite playlists while I work are “Stress Relief” and “Your Favorite Coffeehouse” on Spotify.com. Keep in mind that if music begins to distract you, turn it off.
- Have a schedule. Before you dive into your work, go through exactly what you need to accomplish that day. Prioritize and write down what is most important. Sticking to a somewhat flexible schedule will eliminate wasted time.
- Don’t be distracted by the web. It can be especially easy to get distracted while working at home. You may only plan on checking Facebook for two minutes but before you know it, you’re reading articles about how to save your crumbling relationship. It’s crucial to stay informed on the tech world through blogs and news sites, but consider eliminating sites that don’t relate to your work. Using a news aggregator app such as Feedly or Flipboard helps you stay focused on learning beneficial information.
- Stay 100% focused for 45-minute increments. When you’re working on a project, give it your full attention for an uninterrupted 45 minutes. Don’t check your email, your Twitter, your phone, or anything else. Only focus on the task at hand. You’ll be amazed at the work you can accomplish by zoning in.
- Take productive breaks. After your well-accomplished 45-minute work fest, take a quick break. Studies show that when you take a break your brain becomes refreshed and allows you to focus later on. Go for a walk, run to the store, read a book; do anything that takes your mind off your work for at least a few minutes.
- Download useful apps. There is no shortage of apps that help you manage your work. Toggl is excellent for helping you manage your time while you’re working. Here at Resell.biz, we use Wrike to keep our teams working together. You can use Wrike to keep your work organized with partnerships and clients. Basecamp is another great project management software that works well with clients. Joist is an easy-to-use app that can help you manage and estimate invoices. And of course, Evernote is ideal for keeping all of your work together. All of these apps are optimized for mobile use, allowing you to take your work with you wherever you may be.
- When you’re done, you’re done. When you call it quits for the day, enjoy the rest of your evening. There may be circumstances where you have to work into the night, but try your best to keep your work within the allotted hours you set each day. It’s important to separate work from other aspects of your life. Remember, you can always get a fresh start the next morning.
- Expand if needed. Even if you prefer working by yourself, if your workload becomes too overwhelming it may be time to look for help. You may only need a part-time secretary to handle organization so that you can focus more heavily on designing, writing or whatever other work you’re doing at home. If you have too many clients, it may be worth teaming up and expanding.
As you can see, the life of a freelancer doesn’t consist of just hanging out at home all day. However, if you manage to stay focused, working as a freelancer definitely comes with benefits.
Tweet with us @resellbiz to let us know how your freelance work is going.