Working from home means a lot more freedom in your day. The perks can be many; no rush hour traffic to maneuver or distracting coworkers to deal with. It’s much easier to manage personal obligations while working from home as well. The kids, urgent appointments or other matters that come up can be dealt with much easier without the constraints of being at the office. It’s the reason you’re freelancing in the first place, right?
Well, be careful. Because pitfalls await those who think working from home is a piece of cake. Distraction and procrastination can take hold, making work pile up and time at home counterproductive in the long run. Here are a few tips to make your home office the enjoyable, well-oiled machine it needs to be!
- Set Some Location Ground Rules – Make sure your home office is in a well-defined space, and use that space only for work. Stock the area with any supplies you need (office equipment, pens, etc.), but keep the personal stuff at a minimum. Keep the space organized and neat, so everything is easily located when needed. Remember to let others in the house know that this is your working area, and to keep the distractions elsewhere. Kids need to run and play in another room!
- Keep A Schedule – Part of the perks of working from home is the flexibility of schedule, but it’s a good idea to have specific times to work. Take stock of what time is most productive for you, and keep to it as much as possible. Try setting work-related appointments and meetings for this time, and personal engagements and encounters for other times of day.
- Manage Your Time – Distractions can come easy when sitting at home in front of your computer. Resist the temptation by shutting out Twitter, Facebook, personal emails or any other distraction that keep you from buckling down. Don’t forget that freelancing means working on your own schedule. Projects that take extra hours unnecessarily will hurt your ability to use that time for yourself.
- Don’t Be A Slob – Sure, we know the adage – freelancers work in their pajamas (or less. yikes). Well, stop it. Keeping up a proper home office should include being dressed and ready for the day. Formal office wear isn’t necessary, but being showered and dressed lends an air of productivity to the day. Besides, you don’t want to be diving under the seat when those unexpected Skype calls come through!