Many people dream of working for themselves but fear taking the risk of leaving behind a traditional working environment. For the individuals who do take the plunge, becoming a freelancer does present some challenges that can be tricky to overcome.
However, it is entirely feasible to make a success of freelance career if you are prepared to establish the correct lifestyle conditions.
With that in mind, we look at some of the key ways you can become a productive freelancer and reap the rewards of your career choice.
1. Establish Clear Work Boundaries
Whether you are freelancing at home or while traveling, it is imperative to establish clearly defined lines between work and pleasure. If the family are present while you are working at home, make sure they are aware not to disturb you unless it is an emergency.
Basing yourself at home brings other temptations into play that are not present in a traditional work environment, and the adjustment can be difficult to make. Converting a spare bedroom or garage space into an office is a great way to ensure you establish clear work boundaries at home.
2. Create a sleep routine
Getting enough quality sleep plays a crucial role in supporting our health and well-being, and provides a platform for us to function effectively each day. A recent study by Betway Insider suggested that creating a relaxing bedtime routine is the best way to ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
Meditation, listening to music, and watching a comedy movie was among the best activities for inducing good quality sleep. Sleep is vital to daily performance and psychological function – getting the requisite amount will undoubtedly boost your productivity as a freelancer.
3. Get dressed for work
You have had a good night’s sleep – now it’s time to get up. If you want to maximize your productivity, you need to get ready for work.
It may seem tempting to pitch up at your home workstation in your pajamas, but this is unlikely to put you in a productive frame of mind. While no one is suggesting you should dress formally, it is imperative to make the effort and maintain the routine of dressing for work.
Motivation plays a key role in productivity – by differentiating between your sleep and work clothes, your mindset will be more positive.
4. Invest in your work environment
As mentioned earlier, if you are freelancing from home it makes sense to convert a separate area into a suitable workspace. Given that you will probably be spending a significant portion of each week working, do not skimp on the environment you create.
Purchase a good quality desk and chair, and make sure that all the digital devices you use can support working remotely. Investing in a top-quality broadband service is also important to ensure you remain connected with your clients and suppliers.
5. Don’t be afraid to be a nomad
One of the biggest benefits of becoming a freelancer is you can work wherever you want – the world is unquestionably your oyster in this regard. If you are finding motivation hard to come by at home, you could consider relocating to a coffee shop, internet cafe or other suitable location.
Working remotely is also feasible if you are traveling, as hotels generally have Wi-Fi you can use to stay connected to your freelance activities. Being a freelancer is an excellent lifestyle choice as it allows you to decide when and where you work. The traditional 9-5 lifestyle becomes a thing of the past!
6. Exercise regularly
Employment laws state that workers should be able to take regular breaks and have a clearly defined lunchtime. The same ethos should be applied when you work as a freelancer. Use these periods to refuel and take advantage of your freedom by exercising regularly.
If you have the time, head to the local gym each morning and undertake a workout. You will be energized to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.
Failing that, you could work out at home, go on a bike ride or take the dog for a walk. Whatever you choose, exercising regularly will boost your productivity.
7. Choose the hours that suit you
Many people deplore the traditional 9-5 existence and this is often one of the main reasons why the choice to become a freelancer. Working remotely gives you the freedom to set your own working hours. For instance, if you are an early bird, get out of bed and throw yourself into your work.
Alternatively, if you are more productive in the evening, do not be afraid to change the structure of your day to support this way of working. Whatever route you decide to head down, make sure that you set aside enough hours to complete your tasks.
8. Don’t overdo things
One of the biggest mistakes many freelancers make is overdoing things as they feel pressured to make a success of their career choice. However, working long hours can be counter-productive as it can drain your mind and leave your body feeling physically shattered.
Being the richest man or woman in the cemetery is of no benefit to anyone, so establish sustainable working hours and stick to them. Generally speaking, anything more than a nine-hour working day means you are overstretching yourself.
9. Focus on your work
You have taken the plunge to become a freelancer and no longer have to worry about being answerable to your office manager. In theory, this sounds like heaven, but it also is fraught with danger for anyone who lacks the discipline to focus properly on their work.
Avoiding procrastinating on elements such as scrolling through social media or playing mobile games is essential if you want to be a successful freelancer.
By focusing on the job at hand, you will maximize your productivity and give yourself the best chance of benefiting from the freelance life.