Productivity Tips for Home-based Freelancers
If you are interested in career development and growth as a remote employee, you should take a look at these home-based freelancer tips to increase your work productivity:
Have a designated workspace
One of the best home-based freelancer tips is having a designated workspace. It gives you some much needed physical boundaries that help establish healthy work habits. If you have room to spare as your designated home-office, that would be ideal since a closed-off area will shield you from other distractions that are endemic in the home, such as the presence of other people, chores, television, and the permanent presence of food.
However, if you do not have a spare room for an office, or if you cannot afford to be sealed in a closed room for some other reasons such as having to look after small children, a designated working desk situated in a common area such as the living room will do just fine. While this arrangement could not protect you from the distractions in the home, it will give you a proper and comfortable working space that will set the mood for some hustle.
Set a working schedule
While many remote jobs still have fixed working hours, a lot of them tend to be flexible in terms of schedule. You can choose the right working hours that suit your situation or seem most convenient for you. However, this arrangement can backfire as it leaves a lot of open ground for procrastination. Add to that the freedom to binge-watch your favorite series, and you have the perfect recipe for unproductivity.
To avoid such situations, one of our home-based freelancer tips is to set a fixed schedule that you can dedicate to work. While it may not need to be a strict 9-to-5 like a regular office job, it should be a schedule that you can stick to no matter what, unless you’re sick or have an emergency. Find which hours work best for you. Set the alarm for when to start and stop—if needed. Don’t get tempted to veer off schedule to do something you’ll later regret, like playing four hours of video games.
Mornings are a special time for human beings. It is the time where everyone is usually well-rested from a good night’s sleep (not counting those who are working night shifts). Something about waking up with the sunrise gives people an instant energy boost to kick-start their day.
Give yourself a good head-start by mastering the art of morning rituals. It does not have to be too fancy or complex. Simple activities like light stretching, a cup of tea, and a cool shower can do wonders to perk you up enough to face the tasks lined up for the day.
Take a shower and get dressed
Taking a shower in the morning helps to energize the body, and an energized body will be the kind of body you would want to take to work instead of a sluggish one. Once you’re done with that shower, don’t waste all that effort by slipping back into PJs. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should look the part.
Another one of our home-based freelancer tips is actually to dress up for work. You don’t need a power suit to do this—a pair of comfy pants or leggings, plus a decent-looking shirt will do the trick. Looking like you’re about to go do something might actually trick your brain into doing something for you.
Identify your “MIT”
One popular tip for freelance workers to master productivity is identifying your “MIT” or your most important task. Knowing your MIT keeps you in check with what you truly need to accomplish instead of wasting your time scrambling for things that aren’t really too urgent or necessary, like emails, favor, and side-tasks. Your MIT should be your primary focus, and you should aim to finish it first above everything else that could be eating away at your precious time.
Even though you are working within the comforts of your own home, you still need to take your work seriously, especially if you are interested in career development in the field that you are in. One of the ways you can do this is by limiting as many distractions as you can. Once you find your MIT, limit the number of non-essential tasks that you undertake and completely push out the games for after working hours.
Put your notifications on mute, set a limited schedule for checking emails, and place your phone out of reach. Focus on the task at hand, and get your head in the game.
Take a breather
Unlike a digital nomad who travels the world, home-based freelancers do not have easy access to variety, stimulation, and breath-taking beach views. Oftentimes, you will be cooped up at home while working, and this could leave you feeling like a zombie if you don’t get out at all for a long time.
Give yourself a break and take a breather every now and then. You can take planned vacations a few times a year, or do something as simple as going out for a walk at a park, or take a stroll down your local grocery.
Not having a boss around to breathe down your neck is one of the perks of being a freelancer. However, it does put you at serious risk of procrastinating and lagging behind. One of the most important tips for home-based freelancers is to constantly look for motivation for the short and long term. You can try rewarding yourself every day after a hard day’s work with an episode of your favorite TV series or set a beach trip, a hike, or a shopping spree at the end of every quarter.
At the end of the day, as with most other jobs, things can get a bit dreary and repetitive for a home-based freelancer. You can try to avoid this by sneaking in a different kind of project or two every now and then. You can even try undertaking a project of your own to boost your career development. The trick is to jazz it up a bit by introducing some variety to your work.