Being freelance is tough ain’t it? Working in the comfort of your own home in your pj’s with the television on and taking a break whenever you want… sounds nice doesn’t it? Surprisingly, working from home is tough! If any of you are like me then you know that working in the comfort of your own home is nothing short of a horrible distraction!
I think freelancing is a beautiful thing. I love being my own boss and not having to be anyone’s boss. Freelancing is a test of self-motivation and it is not an easy thing. It is important to know how to freelance successfully and these are just a few things I do to keep myself motivated to stay on task when working from home.
- Set an alarm. Monday-Friday I have an alarm set to wake me up roughly around 8:00am. I find that waking up early as if I am going to an office job helps me stay focused and allows me to start working on any projects I may have by a decent hour.
- Morning routine. After I am up and awake I like to shower, enjoy a nice breakfast, get dressed, and make sure that I am sitting in front of my computer promptly by 9:00am.
- You need a desk. Many freelancers have laptops, and working from the couch with their laptop on the coffee table is effective for them. I find it much easier to sit down at my desk with my computer and papers in front of me. Sitting at a desk opposed to the couch or the kitchen table makes me feel like I am actually at work and because of that it motivates me to work!
- Contact your clients. By staying in touch with your clients day to day it lets them know that you are thinking of them and you are currently working on their project. This really helps me because I want to give my clients 100% satisfaction. Contacting my clients gives them hope that their project is in the works and that pushes me to work harder and finish up projects to keep them happy.
- Allow yourself short breaks. Designing for long periods of time can damage your creative flow and strain your eyes, so allow yourself a short 15min break every couple of hours. I like to take a break from my work by doing little mindless hobbies such as reading some of the blogs I subscribe to, looking through inspirational and funny images on flickr, and checking my social networking profiles. By the time I am through with my break I feel reenergized.
- Limit your phone and television intake. Those day time talk shows can really suck you in! I find it distracting to work with the TV on because that is not where my focus should be. I try to cut phone conversations short during my work hours. It really messes with my work flow to find myself yapping away for 10min and then when it is time to continue working I can’t remember where I left off.
- Make a production sheet. Around 5 or 6 when it is quitting time for me, I like to type up a quick list of where my stopping point for the day was and where to begin when I wake up in the morning. This gives me a sense of accomplishment and helps me start my following day off quickly.
These are just some things that I do day-to-day to keep myself on task. Not all designers are all over the place like I am. I am definitely a designer who needs a set schedule in order to be and feel productive. What do you do to keep yourself motivated and on task when you are freelancing?