As a freelancer, the likelihood is that you work from home at least some of the time, if not all of it. While working from home has some amazing benefits, it can also be notoriously difficult in terms of distractions and your work life slipping into your personal life. While some freelancers have no problems with this, others find it troublesome. So today, we’ll look at ways to work from home effectively as a freelancer and keep your home and work life separate.
#1 Plan your hours
To keep your personal and work life separate, one possible method is to plan your time. You can either set specific working hours every day, choose a certain number of hours that you’re comfortable working each day, or have random hours but demarcate them as work or home. Knowing what time is “work time” and what time is “home time” helps you keep the two separate, rather than them blending into each other.
#2 Have a home office
One of the easiest ways to work from home effectively is to set up a dedicated home office and treat it as your place of work. When you get up in the morning, get dressed and get ready for “work”. Then work from your office as if you would in an employed job. Close the door on the office on the end of your work day so you don’t feel tempted to work.
#3 Switch off
If you don’t have space for a home office—or if you use the same laptop and phone for your personal life, then you can still separate your home and work life. Simply switch off your work email notifications in non-work time and make it clear to your clients which hours and days you’re not available. When you’re not working, switch off from work.
#4 Set up your perfect working environment
To work effectively, you need to be comfortable, and the great thing about freelancing is you control your environment. Make sure you have comfortable seating, ambient temperature, good lighting, and so on. Your perfect working environment is specific to you, so try out a few things to see what works for you.
#5 Block distractions
When working from home, it’s easy to get distracted, whether it’s personal calls, the TV, or chores. To work effectively, you need to focus, and if these distractions affect your focus, then you need to block or minimise them.
If it’s calls or texts, then tell your loved ones when your “working hours” are and ask them not to contact you during those times unless it’s an emergency. If the TV distracts you, then turn it off while you’re working and try background music instead. If the pile of washing bothers you, then schedule time for chores or get them out of the way first. You can even use software that blocks websites such as social media.
#6 Take breaks
You also need regular breaks to work effectively, so set a timer to get up and walk around every hour. This not only is good for your physical health, but it refreshes your mind too. Make sure you have a lunch break every day, and try not work excessively long hours, as this is damaging for your health. Even though your laptop is right there, plan days off and don’t work on your non-work days.
What methods do you use to work from home effectively? What problems have you faced? Comment below or get in touch…
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