As any freelancer will know, remaining self-motivated is essential for productivity and it is easy to fall into the trap of becoming distracted.
Working from home is the ultimate dream. Being your own boss and beating to the sound of your own drum all sounds great on paper but, unless you are self-disciplined and reliable, you run the risk of no one wanting to hire you.
When you go freelance and work for yourself, you take away the safety net of a guaranteed pay-check at the end of each month. For many, this is a daunting prospect, for others, this is all that they require to remain self-motivated.
Looking at Your Home Office
When you feel that a change is needed in order to regain motivation and increase productivity, look at your work space and carefully consider everything that you need and, most important, everything that you don’t.
A seasoned freelancer might have accumulated many items that are simply taking up shelf space. This will have to go as, in any home office; storage space is precious and must not be wasted. Once you have moved everything that does not have a place, your working space will feel a lot more spacious and less cluttered, which is good for creativity.
If you do find that you are lacking in space, get inventive with your layout and furniture, especially if you do not have the luxury of a dedicated room for your work area. A corner computer desk is good for minimising distractions and can double up as storage space with plenty of room either side of the monitor.
Scheduling Your Days
If setting a schedule is something that you don’t do, make this the very first thing that you do after reading this article. Working through a to-do list is not only good for motivation, as you can see your outstanding tasks decreasing, but works wonders for organisation.
Many new freelancers fall into the trap of starting late, feeling as though they can lie in bed all morning due to the fact of having no concrete start time. While you *can* do this, keep in mind that the later you start the later you will finish your tasks. Morning is when you are fresh and a peak time for creativity – always start at a set time in the morning and stick to a schedule.
Remember to Have Fun
Working from home means spending a lot of hours on your own and, sooner or later, this will begin to take its toll. Everyone needs some form of socialisation in their lives and, without it, reaching out to new potential clients becomes more and more difficult.
It is surprisingly easy to forget how to speak to people. Make time to get out of the house, especially if you rarely take on work that requires travel, and mix with other people even if it is just to go to the shops.
Going to the gym is something that many freelancers do as, not only does this cover their exercise needs, it is a welcome break from the house, which doubles up as the workplace. Switching off from your work from time to time is good for you as this will keep your mind fresh for when you next sit at your desk.
Also, let’s not forget, you are your own boss and you can set your day up how you please. If you feel like finishing early or taking a long lunch to see friends, you can do so. Regular breaks are beneficial so as you do not begin to view your home office as a prison.
If you feel that you are beginning to stagnate as a freelancer, incorporating any of these changes will be a step in the right direction. It is important to take action to boost productivity before clients begin to notice a downfall in quality.
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