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Freelancing from Home

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 23 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Freelance Flexible Work Home Work From

Many people view the ability to work from home as one of the greatest benefits of undertaking freelance work. While work that is done at home can be highly flexible, and thus a great advantage of freelance work in many people’s eyes, it is not without its own headaches and hurdles.

If you are considering going freelance so that you can work from home, don’t waste weeks enjoying your new found freedom. Instead, set up a dedicated workspace, work out a daily routine, ignore your chores while you are working and do your best to resist the many temptations that suck time away from your work. By establishing a firm commitment to your freelance work from the start, you can become more flexible with less guilt when you work at home in the future.

Set Up A Dedicated Workspace

While a well equipped home office is the ideal for many freelance workers, the reality is that a dedicated workspace is all that you really need. For some people this workspace is a corner of the kitchen table, a laptop in the living room or even a phone line and Internet connection installed in the attic. Wherever you decide to work, make sure that you have enough room to spread out your materials, power outlets for your computer and lights, and preferably both phone and Internet connections on hand as well. You may also find that you need an “online office” such as a website and ‘blog with professional email address.

No matter what you undertake from the start, be sure that you have a system for organising your files, staying on deadline and communicating with your clients. Without these, your business may close before it’s even opened!

Work Out A Daily Routine

When you work from home you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. That’s the beauty of being your own boss, right? Sort of. While it is true that you could probably work through the night and sleep through the day if you really wanted to, it’s not recommended. Normal working hours are the times that you will most likely stay in touch with your clients, do your research and otherwise interact with the rest of the world. This means that between 9 and 5, or even 8 and 6, you need to find some time to be available for your work.

If you can work out a good daily routine early, including when you are working, when you are exercising, when you are socialising and when you are sleeping, you’ll probably find that this routine develops into good working habits that help you grow your freelance business.

Ignore The Chores While Working

Working from home means that there is no escape from your household chores. You’ll have to see the laundry pile every time you look up from your desk, smell the rubbish bin whenever you get near it and every meal you eat is just another opportunity for the dish pile in the sink to climb ever higher. But you must remain strong. Household chores are, unfortunately, best taken care of during your free time. Interrupting your working day to tackle these tasks is not productive and it does not help your bottom line.

If you find that you are tempted to take on chores when you should be working, find a better place for your workspace so that you don’t have to confront your chores whenever you take a break.

Resist Temptation

As well as the temptation to do household chores, working from home also presents several other temptations as well. Tuning in to a favourite television programme, popping out to the shops and welcoming friends round for a quick chat are all temptations best resisted when you commit to freelancing from home.

While the odd indulgence every now and then certainly won’t hurt you, allowing these temptations to take over your daily routine means less and less time for your freelance work, and less and less energy to make the work you do your best. Start out by saying no to temptations and when you feel you can be more flexible you will enjoy indulging in them all the more.

Freelancing from home requires commitment. Setting up a dedicated workspace, working out a daily routine, ignoring the chores while working and resisting temptations in the home are all important factors in successful work from home arrangements.

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