Now that I’m settling in and getting used to working from home, I thought it would a great time to share some of my work from home tips as a freelancer.
While I’m a blogger and business owner, these helpful tips are great for employees that telecommute or are temporarily working from home.
Freelancing full time has really changed my work style and I’m constantly working on becoming more efficient.
The hardest part of working from home is creating a schedule.
It’s really important for me to have structure each day, as this helps me accomplish work goals and deadlines.
I wrote this blog post shortly after I quit my day job to blog full time, so I was brand new to working from home and not in an office.
Here are ten Work From Home tips
Plan your day, week and month ahead of time
While this might seem difficult at first, it’s really helpful to plan out your blogging schedule. You can do this online a few different ways:
- Use an editorial calendar via WordPress
- Google has a great calendar
- Physical planner
I love a good planner, and will typically go between my Google calendar and a physical planner. One planner I really like is Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner.
Create a Business or blogging to-do list
Whether it’s first thing in the morning or the day before, write out what you need to accomplish before starting the work day.
This helps you get through your to do list, prioritize what’s most important and have a plan of attack.
Stick to a routine
While it doesn’t have to be chiseled in stone (we freelance or work from home for a reason!), it’s a smart idea to stick to a semi-regular routine.
Do you like to work out before starting your work day?
Go for it.
Need to take lunch and get some personal work done?
Great idea, but try to keep it around the same time every day.
This will help you fall into a semi-regular pattern of working and staying focused.
Keep business hours
If you want to have set times for availability, include your hours in your email’s signature line or in an online chat box, such as Skype or Google Hangouts.
This lets clients know when you are available for emails and chatting, as well as reminds them when you are out of the office.
Take work breaks
While this sounds counter-productive, stand up and walk around multiple times during the day.
Sitting all day isn’t healthy and it’s nice to get up and stretch.
Take the dog for a short walk, go grab the mail or put away a quick load of laundry. Moving around is great after sitting down for so long.
Find a work spot
It’s easy to get distracted working from home. Find a spot in your home where you can focus and get to work. This might take you some time to figure out where you work best.
You also might need to be flexible. While I now have a dedicated office in our house, that wasn’t always the case.
For the first couple of years, I worked at the kitchen table. From there, I upgraded to a desk in the living room in my small apartment.
As a blogger and business owner, it only took me four years to have my own dedicated space, ha!
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It can be tempting to sit on the couch all day, but only do so if you can still work efficiently.
Having a work spot helps create a separation between working and living at home.
I enjoy doing the majority of my work from my cute workspace area, but I enjoy shutting it down at the end of the day and walking away.
Sometimes there’s just too much work to finish in a day. This is a good thing because it means you are busy!
Prioritize what’s important on your list of things to do, and get these things done first.
Focusing on the higher priority items first things will allow you to work more efficiently without any distractions.
Ask for help
Sometimes there’s just too much to do.
If it’s in your budget, outsource your task to a virtual assistant. Places like Upwork and Fiverr are great ways to get immediate help.
Consider outsourcing small but time-consuming tasks, like checking social media and scheduling posts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
If you need help with Pinterest or fine-tuning your images in your latest post, you can hire a Pinterest virtual assistant to help you with these services.
Checking and responding to emails all day can be distracting from getting work done. Limit how many times a day you check your inbox.
If you check emails on your phone, consider removing your work email. It can become a bad habit to constantly check your emails, especially when you aren’t actually working.
I like to check my email once in the morning to make sure there isn’t anything urgent, but then I don’t check it again until end of the day.
Know when to shut it down
It can be easy to spend the entire day on the computer. Sometimes I find myself online so much that I’m ignoring what’s happening in real life.
At a certain point, it’s time to shutdown the computer and enjoy life.
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Freelancing has been such a learning process so far. At the time of writing this post, I had only been freelancing full time for nearly a month.
Over time, I am still fine tuning my daily schedule, which changes as I grow.