Self-employment, including working from home, is a dream for many. Salaried workers can turn green with envy at the thought of the freedom and flexibility which self-employed freelancers enjoy. Not to mention going about your working day without a boss breathing down your neck. Yet, that very freedom that salaried workers crave can be a double edged sword. Without the structure and routine of the workplace, it can be hard for even the most diligent self-employed person to remain motivated. Given the plethora of distractions both of the home and the digital realm freelancers need to exercise enormous discipline to stay productive.
Time is money when you’re self-employed and taking steps to ensure your own productivity can make all the difference between surviving and thriving. Here are some ways in which you can stay motivated, boost your productivity and optimise your income…
Have a dedicated working space
Nobody gets their best work done from the sofa or the bed. We’ve all tried it. We’ve all failed. Some self-employed people may wish to rent out an office or hot-desk in a co-working facility, but even if you are working from home it behoves you to set up a dedicated working space. Ideally this will be a room you can convert into an office but even if you can only cordon off a section of your studio flat this can also be a great work space. This space is for work and work only and should be as far away as possible from distractions like the TV or that pile of laundry that isn’t going to fold itself.
Make sure your working environment has as many of the following productivity-boosting amenities as possible:
- Natural light and a view
- A powerpoint
- A data point or strong Wifi
- A sitting area for downtime
Establish set working hours… And stick to them!
We can develop a tendency to defer our deadlines if we let ourselves. As such we find ourselves working less intensively throughout the day and if we’re not careful can find ourselves working long into the evening.
Keep yourself on task by establishing set working hours (9 to 5 or 8 to 4) and sticking to them.
Instigate an achievement / reward system
While it’s important to keep to set hours, it can also be extremely counter-productive working for long periods without a break. For some it can be helpful to instigate a system of achievements and rewards. Break your daily workload into chunks and plan short breaks as a reward for achieving them. In these breaks make yourself a cup of coffee or tea, listen to some music, a podcast or a chapter of an audiobook. Put your brain on ice for a few minutes. When you return to your desk you’ll be rested and raring to go!
Install software that eliminates distractions
Even the most diligent self-employed person or freelancer can fall prone to the distraction of social media, news or gossip sites or online shopping. A good way to eliminate this distraction is keeping your smartphone in your desk drawer and leaving it there until it’s time for your break.
Another way to keep yourself on-task is to install software, like stayfocusd, that will prevent you from accessing social media or other non-work related websites within working hours.
With a little knowhow and discipline staying motivated while self-employed can be easier than you may think!
For more information, tips and ideas read this guide from Lending Expert.