Successfully Work From Home as a Freelancer

When telling someone you work as a freelancer, more often than not, they have an idealized image of how you spend your day. Yes, contract workers are thought to have a romanticized work life. To those in the industry, it is much more complicated and less glamorous than imagined. Being a freelancer means that you are your own boss, HR, accountant, coworker, etc. You wear different hats, which can get a little confusing if you do not have any direction. While working for yourself isn’t the posh Sex and the City life as many would like to believe, you can achieve a productive work schedule when you set your priorities.

Here’s a rundown on how to rule the freelance world by effectively working from home:

Organization is your new BFF

The first thing on the working from home agenda is to make sure you know how to prioritize. Due to the fact that there are many moving parts when working from home, it is a good rule of thumb to have a solid filing system and some to-do lists. This helps you focus in the long run, which will increase your productivity.

Keep a Schedule

Depending on what you hope to accomplish for the day, make sure you have a plan. For instance, Monday may be your billing/accounting day, or from 8am-10am is your marketing time. However you choose to run your business, it helps to have a schedule to keep you on track.

Keep Distractions to a Minimum

In the digital age world, it is incredibly difficult not to get distracted from your work. Like Little Red Riding Hood in the forest, today’s pretty flowers are in the form of a juicy article about a pop singer or the latest health trend. In addition to the Internet distractions, you may suddenly get the urge to vacuum or do some other arbitrary household chore. Plan ahead and have to prevent non-work items from grabbing your attention. The less distractions means the more you can focus on the task at hand.

Have an Office Space

Millennial Magazine - Gregory Han photography - freelancer

Having a place in your house to work is key to your success at working from home. It is not a good idea to work in your room, the kitchen, or living room because these areas are intended for functions that can steer you away from the work you are trying to accomplish. For instance, working in your room can cause you to take a nap, or you may start eating in the kitchen. Either way, you lose sight of your work. Have a desk that has all the necessary tools for you to do your job. By having an office space, it helps create the ability for you to leave your work in that spot. Work/life balance is a tough gig for those who work at home so having that workspace is beneficial.

Have Set Office Hours

As said before, work/life balance is a struggle for even the most efficient freelancer, so it is important that you have a set schedule as to when you are “open for business”. When you have set hours, make sure you and your clients stick to them. Most people who work from home opt for the 9-5 schedule, as it is the time when most businesses are open. Be clear on your boundaries, as it will help prevent you from experiencing burnout from working endlessly.

Leave the House

One of the most important things to remember is that cabin fever can and will happen if you do not take preventative measures. No man is an island, so you’re going to need to get some human interaction from time to time. Each day, have some time dedicated to you leaving your home, whether it is to go to the park, library, coffee shop, or wherever. Working from home tends to be a “lone ranger” endeavor, so you have to be vigilant in making sure you maintain your socialization skills.

Millennial Magazine - snap creative cafe royale

Some people see freelancers as bohemian artists who get the chance to stay in their PJs all day or whimsically sit at a coffee shop looking pensive and focused. Sure freelancing has some major perks. You are your own boss, you set your own schedule, and you are in complete control of your freelancer career. That said, it takes some major dedication and discipline to maintain a successful working setup. Though it may not seem like the easiest to maintain, working from home is very doable. Keep these 6 tips in mind to help create a positive and productive environment while working from home.

Freelancer is Not a Dirty Word

In the attached video, The Young Turks host Ana Kasparian and Karamo Brown discuss an AJ+ production that reveals how millennials are responding to the poor economic environment and the rise of the ‘gig-economy.’ The AJ+ video states, “More than 80% of [millennials] have enough money to lead the lives we want.” Millennials are working with what they’ve got, “[To] make lemonade out of lemons,” Kasparian says. Rather than pursuing full-time jobs, millennials more commonly rely on the gig-economy, where they freelance or find multiple jobs to make up the income. Millennnials are creatively tackling the situation, “I’m glad that this is coming out because it’s giving a lot of genuine millennials a push and saying, ‘hey not everyone is doubting you,’” Brown adds.

Watch the full AJ+ video here

What do you think?

Written by Taryn Barnes

Taryn Barnes is a freelance writer and blogger obsessed with HR, Millennial culture, work life balance, and all things tech.

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