Freelancing is often seen as ‘the dream’. It’s something many of us aspire to. And what could be better than working at home in your pajamas all day? You get to avoid the commute and those annoying work colleagues. And you get to be your own boss and plan your own workload. But anyone who’s done this for a while will tell you it’s not all plain sailing. It fact it can be quite stressful.
The following tips will help you to get the most out of your freelancing and enjoy your life.
Set Up An Office
We have already established that one of the great things about freelancing is that you get to work at home. You can save on bus fares and gas, and you don’t have to dress for the office. However, at some point, you will be faced with a situation where a client wants to send something through the post or come and meet you in person. This can be tricky. You won’t want to give out your home address. No-one wants to meet clients where their wet washing is drying on the radiator, and their dog is snoring on the sofa. So, a compromise is needed. You can still enjoy the working at home lifestyle but have a separate office address. Companies such as yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk will accept post on your behalf and forward it to you. They will even take phone messages if needed. Many virtual office companies have addresses in smart locations, which is another bonus. Most offer meeting rooms that can be booked on hourly basis, so you never need to meet clients at home.
We live in a connected world where social media and the Internet reign. We have email, telephone, Skype, and texting. We may never need to leave home again. But this isn’t healthy, and it won’t support you in your career. Try to get out a couple of times a week, even if it’s just to meet a client or colleague over coffee. Vary your working arrangements. Don’t spend all your time cooped up in the house. Work in the library or cafe on some days. Generate new business by attending local networking groups. Brush up on your skills in advance.
Establish A Routine
When there’s no-one breathing down your neck, you can set your own deadlines. This is great in many respects. However, it can also lead to complacency. You can walk straight from your bed to your office. There may be few incentives to be at your desk at 9:00 am. And you can come and go as you please. This is all well and good, but if you adopt a sloppy attitude, your freelance career is likely to be short-lived.
Establish a routine from the outset. Set out your working hours and keep to them. If you’re a late riser, start a little later but work longer in the evening. Whatever works best for you, as long as you’re available for your clients.
Set your alarm clock each night and shower and get dressed each morning. This is important. Having the right mindset will impact on your work and productivity.
Structure your day, dealing with the important tasks first. If work is thin on the ground, then use the additional time for marketing and generating leads. Catch up on your blog and social media activities. Don’t just clock off early.
You may think that these tips go against the idea of freelancing. You can still be flexible and enjoy the benefits. But being complacent is one of the pitfalls of small start-ups. Working in a professional manner will help create a healthy and happy professional life. It will also ensure you can freelance for years to come.