Every freelancer who works from home knows it is a slippery slope to the sofa.
Sure, we love the fact we can roll out of bed – take a few steps – and start making money.
But when your workplace is also your home, it can make it hard to ‘clock on’ and equally challenging to make yourself turn-off.
What are the musts – and must nots – when creating space for work at home?
Top 4 Dos
Create a dedicated office
This is a must. Perching on the couch with your laptop in your lap is OK for chatting to friends on Skype; not OK for interviews with CEOs. Decide where your office will be and own it.
If space is tight, it doesn’t mean you need a whole room. But a retractable office desk under a staircase can successfully become your office if you incorporate some clever storage solutions, lighting and hard wiring to enable easy connectivity.
Invest in the right kit
Laptops and smart phones are genius, true. But to get optimum return from a home office freelancers say the cost of buying a desktop PC, printer/scanner and possibly a whiteboard for easy-referencing deadlines and meetings are worth the outlay as they really help you feel ‘at work’ and boost productivity levels.
Add something inspirational
A wall hanging outlining your life/work goals, candles, plants, or posters with motivational sayings or art that inspires all get big raps from established and successful freelancers.
Have business-grade technology
Make sure any computers you rely on have next-day warranty support. You don’t want to be waiting a week to have your PC returned after a repair.
Read more: Apps Every Freelancer Should Have
4 Do Nots
No TVs or radios within earshot
They will distract you from your serious creative freelancing endeavours. Sorry, Dr Phil.
Use office as extra storage room
Regular Huffington Post contributor Sarah Cannata says allowing your home office to “resemble a junkyard” is a big no-no. “As a new business owner, I often find I am so bogged down in work I don’t have the time to clear the clutter,” Cannata laments.
Stay in your PJs
This is not a fashion judgement but an anecdotal fact that if you are still wearing sleepwear at 3pm you have not been as productive working from home than if you’d worn a three-piece suit. There’s just something about the ritual of putting on a ‘work wardrobe’ – yes, smart casual garb with sneakers is fine – that puts you in the mood for a solid home-working day.
Work from bed
See above. Bed time and work time are incompatible, like water and oil. Mixing them kills your (motivation) motor, so don’t put them together and expect it to work. It won’t. Ever.
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Featured Image: Space for work by bialasiewicz