••• The International Writers Magazine - 23 Years on-line - Writer's Lives
Improve Your Freelance Efficiency and Productivity With These 5 Work-From-Home Tips
Making Progress as a Freelance Writer
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Freelancing has been on the rise for years, but it became even more popular throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as people began working more from home, and others had to find ways to make money after losing their jobs.
While freelancing gives you the opportunity to be your own boss and have more freedom, it can come with a few challenges. When you’re working for yourself, you have to be as efficient and productive as possible. That isn’t always easy when you’re in the comfort of your own home and you can stay in your pajamas during the workday.
If you want to make the most of your freelance career, implementing some efficiency and productivity tips into your workday can make a big difference. Let’s take a look at five work-from-home tips you can start using right away to improve your freelancing experience and continue to grow your success.
1. Have a Dedicated Office Space
When you’re working from home, it can be tempting to sit down on the living room couch to get things done. While that can work for some people, it’s not ideal. Instead, consider creating your own office space. You don’t have to have a large home or a lot of space to make it happen. Use a corner of a bedroom, a large closet, or even a dedicated area in your dining room. Having an office space makes it easier to stay focused and productive. You’ll be in the right mindset to work, rather than getting distracted by the things around you.
When your home becomes your office, however, you’re going to have to manage your bills more effectively. Being home all day will undoubtedly raise your utilities, so take the time to go over them each month and create a “remote work” budget that helps you save money. It can include things like:
- Making eco-friendly upgrades to your office space (like using natural lighting)
- Prepping your food for the week instead of going out
- Investing in ergonomic items
- Installing a security system
Feeling safe, content, and focused in your office space can make a big difference in your productivity, and with a few simple changes, working from home and having a dedicated space won’t break the bank.
2. Stick to a Routine
If you had to go into an office to work each day, you would be expected to get there at a certain time. You would work for several hours, then go home.
Before work, you’d likely have a morning routine, and when you got home, you would take care of a few things before bed, too.
Things shouldn’t be any different when you’re working from home. When it comes to work-from-home tips and tricks, sticking to a routine is of the utmost importance. Sticking to a routine makes it much easier to stay focused and productive. If you decide to sleep in each day and start working whenever you feel like it, you’ll end up falling behind, stressing yourself out, and procrastinating. You might even find that your work gets so built up that you hardly have time for family and friends.
Try starting work at the same time each day and cutting yourself off from it at a certain point each afternoon/evening. Not only will a routine give you more energy and focus, but it will make it easier to strike a healthy work-life balance.
3. Develop a Work-Life Balance
Speaking of striking a healthy balance between work and your personal life, it’s something that’s often easy to ignore when you work from home. That’s why it’s so important to actively separate your time working from your time enjoying your home and your life.
It’s so easy for freelancers to get caught up in what they’re doing. Maybe you’re working on a big project or trying to meet a deadline, so you decide to work late into the night. Maybe your favorite show just released a new season on Netflix and you spend your typical workday binge-watching it.
These are both extremes, of course, but if you let yourself get too caught up in work or too caught up in the comforts of home, you’ll put yourself at risk of things like burnout, strained relationships, and an unsuccessful career.
4. Take Breaks and Stay Connected
It’s easy to think that taking breaks throughout the day might make you lose your productivity. However, it’s usually just the opposite.
If you keep your nose to the grindstone all day and don’t take breaks, you’ll quickly start to feel drained, burnt out, and overwhelmed. You can lose focus quickly, especially if you’re working on more than one project. Obviously, that’s not going to help your efficiency or productivity.
Choosing to take breaks, on the other hand, can make your job more enjoyable and provide several benefits, including:
- Boosted energy
- Improved performance
- Better focus
- More creativity
Try taking a 10-minute break every hour or so, and get outside as often as you can to move your body. You might be surprised by just how much better you feel after a short time away from your desk.
5. Find a New Hobby
Even if you cut yourself off from work at a certain time each day, it can be difficult to “let it go” when you have a lot of projects on your plate or an important client you’re working with.
One of the best ways to give yourself something else to focus on is to take up a new hobby. Finding something you enjoy doing outside of work can make it easier to manage stress and anxiety – two things that can severely damage your performance and productivity!
Consider a hobby that gets you out of the home, like cycling, hiking, or camping. Or, take a cooking or dance class somewhere. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Doing so can boost your creativity and help you feel more inspired as you head back to your home office and start working again.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to stay productive when you work from home. If you’re willing to stick to a routine, take time for yourself, and dedicate a space to your business, you might surprise yourself with how much you can accomplish each day.
© Indiana Lee 11.08.22
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