Living the freelance life and working in your pajamas might sound like the best case scenario, but it’s not easy to stay focused while you’re comfortable at home base. Whether you’re new to the WFH crew or are testing out the freelance life in between jobs, a few simple hacks will ensure your eye is always on the ball.
With office cultures changing, work patterns evolving and creative minds starting to dread the 9 to 5 routine, the last few years have seen a large chunk of the workforce move to a freelance or consultant role.Dedicated research points towards this trend becoming a constant in the future, so there is a need to understand that working from home doesn’t mean taking things lightly. While some of us have been living this life for a while, for newly converted freelancers or those re-joining the corporate world as part-timers after a maternity break, here’s how you can make the transition smoothly.
Wake Up With Purpose
This might sound like the most obvious part, but when you don’t have to worry about a rush hour commute, packing lunch or getting ready at an ungodly hour, the laziness sets in on its own. Working in night-clothes from your bed with the comforter around you, a cup of coffee on the bedside table and the TV on in the background is tempting, but the routine will get old quickly and you’ll realize you’re taking longer than ever to get any work done. Instead, use the extra time to chart out your day, take a shower and dress casually, eat breakfast, make a schedule like you would in office and don’t waste time to saunter around the house doing menial chores just because you can!
Find Your Space
You can’t make PPTs or write out a mission statement while sinking back into the sofa. Not only is this bad for your posture and hell for your neck and back, it will also undo years off your brain associating productivity with the right settings. The key, after all, is location, location, location. A desk that is peaceful doesn’t face a wall, is close to plug points (for your laptop, smartphone, and other devices) and ideally has some natural light streaming in is where you should be making your base. If you don’t have space or budget to get a desk, a corner of the dinner table works fine too, as long as the positioning isn’t too low.Add a personal touch by keeping things you would on an office desk as well as including practical tools like markers, staplers, papers etc based on your needs, so you're not getting up constantly to look for them.
Don’t Treat Every Day Like A Weekend
Sure the biggest advantage of being a freelancer is that you can make impromptu plans when a friend comes to town, have that girls only luncheon or turn an hour into a happy one, but setting some boundaries will ensure you’re not constantly missing deadlines. By all means, step out for a weekday lunch, but compartmentalize and reserve certain days when you only finish work-related tasks. This will also ensure you don’t end up feeling like you’re out of the weekend mode loop.
Go Out And Be Social
Of course, it doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Co-working spaces are a great idea when you start missing the buzz of people milling around and crave face-to-face interactions or need to host that all-important pitch and/or client meeting. All metros, and even some Tier II cities, now have snazzy co-working hubs – with strong WIFI and stronger coffee – where you can reserve a desk, book a private conference room and even grab a beer post-sundown. A lot of entrepreneurs and startups also use larger co-working spots as their offices, so you end up interacting with a vast spectrum of professionals and many collaborations as well as new projects have emerged from such chance encounters. After all, when you put a content writer in the same vicinity as a graphic designer and a brand consultant, brainstorming sessions are bound to ensue.