Working from home has its advantages. But sometimes this boon becomes a bane. Working alone 365 days a year can get extremely boring and tricky. And then comes the time where you have to work in a place different from your usual corner. Whether it’s a hotel room, a relative’s place, or your new home, concentrating on work from a new environment is even more challenging than usual.
Fortunately, there are some tried and tested ways that seasoned freelancers recommend to help you overcome this challenge. Take a look below and thank me later!
1. Create a schedule and stick to it
The #1 productivity tip for a freelancer is to create an ironclad routine for yourself. Divide all your duties into categories and schedule a time for each of them to be done. There should be different time slots for getting your writing (or designing, or whatever your primary job is) done, for checking and posting on LinkedIn, for attending calls and replying to emails, for accounting, etc. Make the routine and stick to it.
2. Start early
Studies show that our brains function the best in early mornings. Adapt to the habit of waking up early and gearing up for a fruitful day. Don’t procrastinate until the evenings or late at night. Of course, the definition of “early” varies from person to person, and one person’s 5 am is another person’s 7 am. Find out the best possible work-time for yourself and maintain it.
3. Dress up
Pajamas are comforting. And sometimes they are too comforting for your own good. Do yourself a favor and get rid of them before starting with your daily work. You don’t need to “suit up!” like Barney (HIMYM). Just change into something more presentable like smart casuals. It will make a difference in your attitude.
4. Set up your desk
Resist the urge to work from your bed and couch and set up your desk, just like you would in an office. It will also help you get into the mood and that, in turn, will help in concentrating.
5. Take breaks
In order to be more productive, give yourself enough breaks and rests. The best practice is to work on small slots. I personally prefer 30-40 minutes of intense writing followed by a 10 minutes break. However, some people prefer working for an hour or more and then taking a 15 minutes break.
6. Put your phone away
Do not attend calls. Do not check email. Do not visit LinkedIn. Just keep that distraction device away. I put my phone in another room while working. Even while taking breaks, try avoiding the phone. You’ll never know when the 15 minutes break will turn into an hour.
7. Restrict social media on your home network
Another trick that I do with myself is that I use the “Kids protection” feature of my Kaspersky Internet Security and restrict all social media URLs while working. Even if I accidentally click on the Facebook button, I won’t be able to access it. It works well for me since I have such low willpower. Phew!
8. Enjoy your free time
It is important to not engage in distractions while working. It’s even more important to not engage in work-thought while relaxing. Have time for yourself. Enjoy your free time as you wish. Try not to worry about work once you are done for the day. Reserve the pending work for the next day and let it go!
So, what changes are you making in your work schedule today?