The best thing about being a contractor is the flexibility to work from home. You are the boss. You keep a schedule that’s most convenient to you. But such an arrangement often disrupts work-life balance. Like it or not – personal and professional things tend to get merged.
Sleep hours get erratic. Leisure time with family reduces. Suddenly, you are working 16 hours a day without taking any proper breaks or offs; and that is not good. If you are freelancer hassled with pesky clients and maintaining a work and life balance, these tips will guide you towards the right direction:
1) Set up a dedicated workstation
Most people often forget the importance of having a home office – especially when their home is their office. Dedicate a corner in your bedroom or set up your workstation in another room. Make sure you have a space designed specifically for you to work. This will also give a vibe of professionalism and help you concentrate better at work.
2) Stick to a routine
It is easy to get distracted when you are working from home. A friend may pop over. Your client calls may go on for hours. You may get too many emails. The reasons are many. Therefore, make a proper schedule to help you better get through the day.
Fix a time to start work, meet with friends, take client calls, and more. If something not-so urgent happens during the day, don’t jump on it immediately. Instead, look it up later. Your working hours are even more valuable when you work from home.
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3) Fix a time to talk to clients
Clients can be demanding but they are the source of your paychecks. However, it doesn’t mean you have to be at their beck and call 24/7. If possible, try to fix up a call for a daily or weekly catch-up. Random calls can disturb the workflow and reduce productivity. By pre-planning such tasks, you can ensure a smooth working day.
4) Take a proper break
You are a human being. You have to sleep on time, take off over the weekends and go on a vacation from time to time. You can’t work around the clock and expect yourself to be productive all the time. You have to unplug and rejuvenate. Taking caffeine in excess just to keep yourself agile will sooner than later affect your health. It is better to give your mind a break on a frequent basis.
5) Make a task sheet
The best way to prioritize in a day is to make a listicle. It may sound tedious but thanks to tools like Wunderlist, Trello and Evernote, you can not only make a task sheet but also put deadlines for yourself. Friday is a good day to do this activity as the weekend is around the corner, and most of the time there are no deadlines to meet on that day.
Planning your week ahead on a Friday will give you a better sense of time. You can accordingly schedule your home-related tasks as well. What do you think?
Over to you
So you see – working from home is not as glamorous as it may sound. It involves hard work, dedication and discipline. But once you get into the zone, the rewards are fantastic. Tell us about your experience as a freelancer?
Still figuring out a way to work efficiently as a freelancer but without the hassle of all the paperwork, look no further. Drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 3507 0022.