If there is one thing that the majority of freelancers can do well, it is work from home. As home working becomes a new reality for many, we thought we might ask some experts. So we decided to ask our Freelancer Friends what their best tips were for working from home.
ELIZABETH LICHTEN: DIRECTOR AT PINK MINGO
Don’t ‘go to work’ until you are ready…. That means no checking emails from bed (especially hard for me at the moment as working with a New York client so I know they’ll be busy sending emails overnight). Consciously decide when you want to start work, and what you want to do first – run, meditate, shower, breakfast, yoga, read the paper – whatever you want.And decide when to stop, and do! Clear up your desk/ dining table/ sofa/ wherever you’ve been working and enjoy your evening. Whether you work 9 to 5, or 8 to 10 … just make sure you consciously start and stop.
AMY GOLDBERG: FOUNDER OF THE TRUSTRISE
It’s very easy to find yourself a little discombobulated and less structured when you’re not used to working from home. If that’s you, then it’s important to pause and give yourself some time to get organized. There is no one way to get yourself set-up, however there are tips and suggestions that could prove helpful. Here are a few: Decide on your start and end time for working. Once you do that start, writing down what you want to accomplish during that time. Make sure that you take standing (stretch) breaks every 30 to 90 minutes as our bodies tend to fatigue and our minds will follow. Hence the need to recharge, often. Recharging also includes hydration and healthy snacks. If you’re not alone, make sure you communicate with others your working hours so that you set expectations and avoid any undue distractions. It’s easy to get caught up with work when you’re at home, so make sure you stick to your start and stop time so that you can include social conversation with family and/or friends. This social time also should incorporate some form of exercise. Moving your body is a must for helping to reduce anxiety and stress-related concerns. Give yourself permission to ease into how you want to work. It’ll start to flow once you settle into it.
LIAM O’DOWD : FOUNDER OF RIPE
I’ve been remote working for about 8-9 years now, across multiple countries. There’s a ton of tips out there about how to best arrange your workspace, keep your focus etc. However, the one thing that I’ve learnt is to start your day by getting ready for work. Having your laptop or computer in the house means it’s easy to just quickly check your emails during breakfast, then you check Facebook, send a couple of replies, look in on a project. The next thing you know, its 11:30 and you’re still in your pyjamas. While that might sound like a luxury, I’ve found that it can really have a knock on my productivity. Sometimes I feel like I’ve started the day late (even if I have already ticked off a few boxes) and it leads to the temptation of staying in my PJs all day. Attractive as that sounds at first, it leads to a feeling of laziness after a while, which then has an impact on focus. Even though it’s my top tip, I’m guilty of it from time to time, even now, but I know I have a better day if I start off by getting ‘ready’ for work first.
JONATHAN COATES: FOUNDER OF OBELISK CREATIVE
Separate your working area from your chill out area! Obvious to most people! But having a separate working area within your household will go a long way towards keeping your mental health as healthy as possible! Come 5 pm you should be able to shut the door and be done with work, much like an office.
Stick to office hours if you can. e.g. 9 start, 12 lunch, 5 finish. It’s easy to fall into the trap of working odd hours, getting up later and working later, this becomes unhealthy. Keep to the same hours you were working before so you can keep on top of that work-life/life-work balance.
Split your day up and go for a walk or something to clear your head. This is important, you should be doing this even if you’re working full time in an office, it’s always good to clear your head, avoid distractions e.g fridge, kids, TV! try to do 30 minutes walking or some form of exercise! *
NIM: FOUNDER OF OUR VERY OWN MARKETING ESSENTIALS LAB
1. Balance your Yin & Yang Energy: It essentially means balance work and other curricular activities. This means that take time out to spend time with your family, partner, friends or even on a hobby. This way, you don’t get to the burnout stage and go through fewer peaks and troughs.
2. Calendar Blocking & Systems Make an appointment in your calendar to do the critical tasks for the day. I use a mixture of tools, and when a task comes to mind I put it in a relevant system – Asana (For all my client work) -Things 3 (For all my other work) -Calendar (For my day to day)
3. Snooze Your Emails I use the Spark App; I typically snooze emails to a different time/date and get back to the person accordingly. If it is a task-related email, I add it to one of my relevant systems straight from Spark and free up headspace/inbox space.
4. Morning Routine: Stay away from tech as much as possible in the morning. Create a morning routine that works for you, include mindfulness or journalling.