Freelancing is a popular career track for many Americans these days. The old 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. jobs are great, but contracting gives workers a lot of freedom. For people who love to travel, getting degrees in higher education like masters in school counseling, criminal justice, or something else, picking when you want to work is really important. Sometimes, you just won’t be able to sit in an office all day, five days a week.
On the other hand, freelancing from home can be a little difficult. Corporate offices are designed to maximize productivity and profitability. Chances are, your house just isn’t. That makes it a little bit harder to concentrate. Freelance writers often complain about falling into meme or YouTube holes while they are researching. The struggle is real.
If you are a freelancer who’s been experiencing this problem, don’t fret. There are steps you can take to create an environment that’ll help you concentrate on what you are doing.
Create a Dedicated Workspace.
First things first: do you have a dedicated workspace? No, your sofa in front of the television does not count. You need a space where you can go so that your brain has an easier time switching to work mode.
You don’t need an extra room in your home to create an office. Although, if you have one, use it. All you really need is a corner or about a 4-foot space against the wall. This area works better if it’s away from the rest of the house, especially if you live with other people. If that isn’t possible, ask the people you live with to avoid speaking to you while you’re at your desk.
This workspace will allow you to go “to the office” in your house. It really helps get your mind in the right place.
Turn Social Media Off.
When you work in the gig economy, you might have to use social media sometimes. In fact, some companies you contract with may use something like Facebook Messenger to keep in contact with team members. That can be a little distracting especially if you are a social person.
To keep yourself from getting lost in the news feeds of your various social media sites, only keep the app you need open. Make sure you turn off notifications for posts and comments. Also, making yourself unavailable, if possible, on the apps makes it easier for your friends to determine when you are working. Setting boundaries is helpful. If you don’t, there will be people who forget that working from home is still work.
Figure Out Your Best Hours of Productivity.
Not everyone is at their most productive during the day. If you are one of those people, don’t be afraid to work in the evening. As long as you are available for your clients when they need you and you are meeting your deadlines, it shouldn’t matter.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Breaks.
Finally, just like in an office, you can take a break while you’re at home. Get up, stretch, look at those social media sites, and get a bite to eat. We recommend limiting the minutes you spend doing this like you would at a job outside of your home.
Learning to minimize your distractions at home takes some discipline at first, but practice makes perfect. Don’t forget to set boundaries with the people around you so that know they should not disturb you while you’re working. After a few weeks, you will be just as productive as you were in a traditional office!
Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.