This is a guest post written by Diane from Nomad Seeks Home.
As of 2016 I’m self-employed and now work from home.
I don’t think there’s anything that will prepare you for the shift in work environment – especially if you used to work in an office like I did! So here are my five top tips for new freelancers working from home.
#1 | Dedicate an area to work
Preferably somewhere you can shut the door, but any dedicated corner will do. I’m lucky enough to have a spare room, so I’ve set up a desk and made the space pretty with colourful office supplies and inspiring prints on the wall.
However, this rule is made to be broken at times. Sunny outside? Go work in your garden or the park. Winter is here and it’s freezing? Work in bed wearing as many layers as you can.
#2 | Get dressed
Though I know a lot of freelancers enjoy working in their pyjamas, I find myself feeling blue if I stay in them all day. That, and it gets slightly embarrassing when I have to open the door to the postman! Maybe I’ll change my mind in the winter when it gets chillier, but for now, as soon as I’ve had my breakfast I put on clothes I wouldn’t mind popping to the shop in if I needed to.
#3 | Be mindful of how you spend your time
Though there are no longer chatty co-workers around to distract you, you are now faced with a new problem. Focus. There’s nothing worse than sitting down to a task and then ending up spending two hours on Buzzfeed (seriously avoid Buzzfeed when you’re working!). You have to be strict with yourself and not get distracted, though that’s easier said than done.
Time yourself doing different tasks so you know realistically how long things take in your business. Then this will avoid you taking on too much work at once and planning your day becomes a lot easier.
I like to make a to-do list and only when it’s done can I do anything I want to do guilt free. Whether that be reading blogs, painting or binge watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. It’s nice to have a reward at the end of the day.
#4 | Get out of the house
Even if it’s just for a walk, getting some fresh air can really boost your mood and be an important form of exercise. Though the word exercise in itself makes me shudder, enjoying the sunshine is an entirely different thing, right?
It’s also important to have some contact with the outside world, whether that be sitting with your laptop in a café or doing what I do and attending a co-working group. Once a week, I go to Ziferblat in Manchester for Freelance Friday. It’s a great way to network with other freelancers, get some work done and have some cake. Plus the Wi-Fi is definitely handy!
#5 | Carve out time to spend with friends and family
You’ve got to get that work/life balance right. The problem with being a freelancer is that it’s harder to switch off. I find it useful to schedule meet ups ahead of time when it comes to socialising. Since I have a mix of friends who work all different hours, this has become essential to me so I can spend time with my favourite people.
As for leisure activities, my fiancé and I have just purchased Cineworld passes so we have a great excuse to get out of the house, even when it’s raining. It’s now given me that guarantee that we have to use them at least twice a month, so it’s something nice to do when I’m not working.
Overall, the best thing about freelancing is making your own rules. So whatever works for you, do it. Happy freelancing!
What's your best tip about working from home? What's your favourite in this list?