Whether you are a graphic designer, writer, photographer or event planner, you have worked hard and your dream has finally come true if you are working from home! You can choose your own hours and workload according to your preferences - you are your own boss! However, this type of work requires a high level of self-discipline to stay away from bad habits and keep your business moving!
As a freelance graphic designer, sometimes I have meetings outside in a cafe or at a clients office however, majority of the time I am alone at home - me, my laptop and I. This can be the biggest challenge, the fact that I am not surrounded by people everyday can be nice, but can also be a recipe for procrastination. Luckily, I am quite good at being alone and these tips are what help me stay motivated and focused in my work life:
1. Start the day as if you are going into the office.
Take a shower, get dressed, eat some breakfast and prepare yourself for your workday like you would normally do when you would go into an office. Otherwise, you might just find yourself back in bed!
2. Stay off of your computer on days off.
Working everyday behind a screen can be pretty tiring and it is important to see the world. Getting out of the house and staying away from work will give you more inspiration and energy for your future workdays. Try to spend your days off somewhere else other than behind your computer screen. It is still hard for me to actually do this! Being a start up business, next to working for my clients, in my spare time I am still working a lot on setting up my business. But once I have found a balance this is definitely something to keep in mind.
3. Don’t stay at home every day.
You can find a lot of places in your area to work, to add variety in your week. You can spend half of the day at your local coffee shop, or any other public place with Wi-Fi. Or, even if you know any other freelancers or people that work from home you can organise days to work all together.
4. Create an office space for yourself.
Make sure you have set up a nice desk for yourself to work and a clean working environment. Find a place that you can feel comfortable working, and that you can associate with work. You will be surprised how much more motivation and inspiration will come from this!
5. Give yourself time frames.
Your time frames revolve around whatever works best for you, that is the luxury of working at home. But having a time frame is very important to keep on track. In the beginning you will have to get used to what works best for you, so it’s necessary to establish a daily schedule to keep you organised and motivated.
6. Don’t forget to take breaks.
The idea of taking a break to stay on task when you work from home probably seems unusual but it does really help you to stay focused. Frequent breaks can increase productivity and creative thinking. Even if it is just for a short yoga session or a walk to the closest coffee shop to get yourself a coffee.
I am lucky that I live just around the corner from the beach and a big shopping centre, so that is where I go quite often for a walk, to be surrounded by some people or getting relaxation from the nature. Create a fixed time period, for example one hour, just like you would have at an office job and take your break, your mind and body will thank you for it.