In the age of the internet, it’s not hard to find yourself in a position where you work from home. Be it an internship, a job or your side hustle, chances are that at one point or another, you’ll find yourself in the position to live that freelance life.
That being said, it can be super hard to stay focused, especially when you’re working from home. Sure, you could work in bed…but you could also nap, catch up on that Netflix show or just procrastinate.
However, even just doing the littlest things can keep you motivated and productive. Instead of trekking to the nearest cafe to force yourself to stay productive, give these tips a try.
1. Avoid working in bed
I know, I know: it’s cozy, you’re home anyway, what’s it going to hurt? Your productivity levels, for one thing. There’s a reason why we all want to work in bed: it’s the one place in our home that’s always comfy and awesome.
Avoid the temptation, though, and find a different place to work. When I’m trying to meet a deadline, I go out of my way to avoid my bedroom. Sure, sometimes I find myself sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor, typing away, but the point is that I’m being productive and not on the verge of an unnecessary nap.
Find a space that makes your productivity levels soar and stick to it!
2. Collaborate (Casually)
If you’re a freelancer, there’s a chance that you’re the only one running the show. You’re the boss, the employee and everything in between. That being said, you don’t have to work alone.
Whether it’s inviting a friend over to keep you motivated or sometimes texting your bestie to bounce ideas off of her for your next project, having someone involved in the process is a great way to keep yourself accountable on your work days.
3. Put on a Playlist
Unless you need absolute silence to get work done, music is a good way to stay motivated. It’s perfect background noise (unlike a Netflix show in the background because let’s be real, Gilmore Girls will always have your full attention) and depending on the playlist, you can easily work yourself into a groove.
Whether you make your own mix or queue up a pre-made one (I definitely recommend Spotify’s “mood” playlists — it’s a great way to find new music and establish the work day’s overarching theme), there’s no way to listen to music wrong. (Unless you take dance breaks more than you actually work.)
4. Take Breaks
All work and no play makes for a grumpy freelancer. While it is imperative to keep a tight schedule on yourself, it’s also not worth getting burned out over. Whenever you need to step away from your work, do so — just set yourself a timer so that you have a reminder to get back to it.
For instance, this morning, I set myself a timer for an hour so that I could get ready for the day and relax before I dove into article writing again. I ended up feeling more productive and refreshed since I wasn’t giving myself a chance to procrastinate.
Whether you use your break to catch up on reading or your laundry, just take a break.
5. Make Your Own Routine
Whether you make your schedule based on the hours of the day (from noon to 5 pm is writing time, etc) or the days of the week (Tuesdays are writing days and Wednesdays are for social media), you need to have a schedule.
For one thing, it makes it easier to tell your friends whic days you can focus on something beyond work, and for another, it keeps you accountable: you have a certain time/day to get a certain task done. Everyone needs limits, and a schedule is the easiest way to define yours.
What do you think?
How do you stay productive as a freelancer? What is your must-know tip? What are your common work problems–and how can CF help? Let us know in the comments!