When freelancers work from home, the temptation is great. Social media dings, doors open and slam, the freezer beckons, reminding you how easy it would be to grab a tub of ice cream and watch Chopped for the next six hours. However, the best freelancers are the ones who learn to combat their urges and consistently create great work. Here are some tips to help you work from home to the best of your ability.
1) Take Care of Your Health NOW
This is one of the most important points, but it’s also one of the easiest! Take care of yourself. That includes getting a full night of sleep before a writing day, drinking water and avoiding computer neck. Find a support to keep your laptop eye level and get up from the writing desk every 30 minutes to stretch. It’s impossible to write your best when you’re low on energy or feeling sore!
2) Create Your Very Own Plan of Action
The process of creating a daily writing plan is something that is very individual, but there are a few tips that can still be helpful. A daily writing plan is a list of everything you need to get done before the end of your shift. This can be created at the beginning of the week or the night before each writing day. This list should include: articles due, topics you have to brainstorm, reminders, meetings, etc. It’s especially helpful with long term assignments to begin the daily plan months in advance, mapping out the work process and creating each step as you go along. An additional tip: save the old plans you wrote to remember when you completed and turned in assigned work. This can help you and your clients remember dates and times of completed work.
3) Build a Writing Space You Love
Not everyone has the luxury of creating a room that’s used solely for their writing. Many of us have temporary writing spaces that are used for many different purposes. But, don’t worry! Consistency is still a possibility. One way to create consistency is to always keep a few items with you when you write, no matter where the space is. When I write, I always have my laptop, my work binder and my daily calendar nearby to remind me of my duties. Another way is to surround yourself with people and things you love, such as family photos and favorite knick knacks- these are things that can keep your writing inspired and personal.
4) Create and Enforce Boundaries With Roommates
You’ve done your morning ritual, recited your goals, and now it’s writing time! But, what is that? Someone is knocking on your door asking you for a favor. Although you should maintain strong relationships with your friends and family, it’s important that you create boundaries. Speak to them early on about the pressures of working from home and remind them how important it is that you receive enough space to get your writing done. Creating this boundary at the beginning of your career is vital to your success.
5) Remember Your Goals
Visualization and Recitation isn’t just for athletes. Write down and recite your goals every morning. Stay focused! It’s easy to lose motivation, so keep messages of positivity around you. In times of stress, these messages will help you stay calm.
Utilize these tips to write from home with style and discipline! If you’re interested in reading more freelance writing tips, make sure to read my last two articles in the series. The first gives some tips for beginning your freelance writing career, and the second chronicles my very first day of freelance writing. Happy writing and have a good day!