There are so many benefits to working from home as a freelance writer. You can set your own hours, work from where ever you want, and be selective about who you work with. Still, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows all the time. While being your own boss is amazing, it also means you’re 100% responsible for everything including:
- Motivating yourself to actually work
- Making sure projects get completed on time
- Communicating with clients
- Marketing your business and finding new clients
- Administrative tasks like onboarding clients, sending invoices and paying bills
Seems like a lot, right? You’re not wrong!
If you’re used to office life, the transition to working from home can be tricky, not to mention overwhelming. Use these five tips to make the transition easier and help you stay productive.
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Stick to a Schedule
A huge benefit of quitting your job to freelance full-time is the freedom to set your own work hours. But, you have to be careful! It can be really easy to fall down the rabbit hole of procrastination. With that in mind, it’s important to set office hours for yourself. A schedule puts you in a work mindset, helps you stay productive, and lets clients know when they can reach you.
Keep in mind though, having office hours doesn’t mean you need to adhere to a traditional 9-5 schedule. Instead, create a schedule around the time of day you feel the most productive. Early birds may prefer to stick to a 10-3 schedule while night owls prefer to schedule their work hours between 1 and 7. It all comes down to preference.
While working from home, it’s incredibly easy to become distracted. The best way to stay on task is to eliminate as many distractions as possible. For a lot of people, those distractions tend to deal with surfing the web or scrolling through social media. There are two easy ways to ensure you don’t end up wasting time online shopping or watching Instagram stories.
1. Keep your cell phone in another room. Okay, so this won’t work if you’re expecting important calls throughout the day. The other option is to put your phone out of reach in the same room. You’ll be less tempted to reach for your phone if it’s not right next to you.
2. Add a productivity app to your browser. Recently, I discovered a Chrome extension called StayFocused and not to be dramatic, but it’s changed my work life. It’s free to download and easy to add to your browser buttons. To use it, you just set up a list of approved websites and set the timer. While it’s in progress, you can only access the preapproved websites. Learn more about StayFocused here.
Keep Your Computer Tidy
On that same note, keep your computer free of clutter. It may be tempting to bookmark your favorite sites but it is also a good way to end up distracted. Instead, keep your computer free of unnecessary things and leave room for the tools that help you run your freelance business efficiently. Whether that’s smartdrive or DropBox to manage and share files with clients or Skype for conducting client meetings, you’ll find it easier to stay focused and organized.
Meal Prep Your Lunches Each Week
While your workload may fluctuate from time to time, you’ll undoubtedly have some busy periods. When that happens, the last thing you want to do is waste time grocery shopping or making meals. The solution? Meal prepping! Plan your lunches, shop for ingredients, and meal prep ahead of time. Then, when it’s time for lunch you can just grab your lunch from the fridge. It not only makes easier to eat healthy meals, but you also spend less time cooking and cleaning up afterward!
If you tend to work well into the evening, another option is a meal delivery service like HelloFresh. Signing up for HelloFresh takes planning dinners and grocery shopping off your plate. All you have to do is pick your meals from the week’s menu and HelloFresh will deliver all the ingredients right to your door. The meals come with a cute recipe card and typically take 25-40 minutes to prep and cook. Sound like a lifesaver? Use this link to get $40 off your first box of meals!
Invest in Your Home Office Set Up
Working remotely means working from anywhere with WiFi. While that’s great, it’s also important to have a dedicated, quiet workspace at home. A home office will help you stay organized because your essentials are in the same place. In addition, it makes it easier to transition from work to nonwork hours.
Here a few tips to optimize your workspace:
1. Ensure your desk is the right height for you to sit comfortably. Typically, the average height of a desk is 29 inches. If your desk is too high for you, it causes your shoulders to scrunch up. In addition to resulting in some pretty awful posture issues, it can cause neck, shoulder, and back pain. Try this desk from Target, or any of the following options from Amazon.
2. Invest in a chair that properly supports your spine. Working from home as a full-time freelancer means spending a lot of time sitting at your desk. Investing in a comfortable and supportive chair will do wonders for your back and make it easier to focus.
3. Use a computer riser to raise your screen to eye level. Constantly looking down can strain your neck muscles, which is not only painful but can cost a fortune in chiropractor bills.
4. Reduce eye strain with blue light blocking glasses. Staring at your computer screen for hours on end is very hard on your eyes. It can lead to dry, tired eyes and headaches. Purchasing a quality pair of blue light blocking glasses can prevent both symptoms.
Working from home can be a difficult transition after working a traditional office job. Implementing these tips will help you stay productive and organized.
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Katie Jenison is a freelance writer offering copywriting, blogging, and ghostwriting services. She works closely with home builders, remodelers, interior designers, real estate and property management professionals to help them create content marketing strategies, improve their digital presence, generate leads, and engage with their target audience. Katie also helps freelance writers and creative entrepreneurs pursue their dreams of working from home by providing tips and advice, business strategies, and writing tips on her blog, The Quiet Type. Download her free workbook, A Freelancer’s Guide to Setting Rates, here.