Now that COVID-19 has created worldwide lockdowns, many jobs, including website designers, marketing specialists, and e-commerce professionals are operating from home. While this might have seemed like a dream for some, maintaining high levels of productivity can seem nearly impossible. After all, you’re now surrounded by your kids, your pets, and countless other distractions that can pull you away from your job. Luckily, there are a few freelancing tips and tricks that can keep you focused.
Even if you’re not a freelancer, there are many freelancing tips and tricks that can be used by folks working from home today. It doesn’t matter if you work in website design or telehealth: the same distractions plague just about anyone who works from home.
Are you ready to embrace working from home and streamlining your routine? Here are some of the best freelancing tips and tricks to consider when you want to boost your productivity.
Take care of any projects you’ve been putting off
Working from home can be hard because you’re constantly reminded of the countless things you need to do. While performing their job from home may be a paradise for some, type-A personalities might struggle to ignore the pile of dishes stacking up, the laundry on the floor, and the cold draft that keeps coming through the crack in your window. While you won’t be able to solve all of these problems in a single day, planning to get these tasks done can help eliminate distractions.
For example, there’s no shame in throwing in a load of laundry at the start of the workday and changing it over to the dryer on your break. You might not be able to do this in conjunction with a load of dishes (after all, you do have to work at some point), performing a few small tasks throughout the day can help eliminate these tasks weighing over your head.
If that draft is still bothering you, you don’t need to fix it yourself. There are many hardware shops and home repair services that are operating as essential businesses. Contact a window hardware manufacturer to ask about the advantages of vinyl frames. When they come to visit your home, wear a mask and get back on the computer to do your job while they make your home a more comfortable place. For some people, the quarantine might actually be a blessing by allowing you to notice these issues in the first place.
On the same note, investing in the help of quality roofers can also help you craft a more comfortable home environment. Most of our home’s heat is lost through poor insulation in our attics and roofs. If you’re stuck shivering at your desk, hiring the right roofers can prep your home for turbulent spring weather and make for a more comfortable home environment.
Make it comfortable
Not every home is equipped to handle a full day’s work. Freelancers know this and have accumulated helpful goods over time. If you’re still struggling to feel comfortable working from home, rely on these freelancing tips and tricks:
- Get a good chair: Working on the couch might seem like a dream, but it’s actually bad for your back and worse for your productivity. You’re better off investing in a decent computer chair that you can sit upright in for long periods of time.
- Don’t neglect temperature: When was the last time you checked on your home’s AC units? Even though spring just seemed to begin, summer is already on its way. If you’re not prepared for warmer weather, this will become a huge distraction when you work from home. Check out your HVAC systems to ensure they’re working properly. Most studies claim that a slightly cool temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect for working in. Any hotter and you’ll get sleepy while any colder might increase the number of distractions around you.
- Get noise-canceling headphones: If you can’t have a room of your own, noise-canceling headphones can work miracles. No longer will you be distracted by the sound of your neighbor weed whacking: now, you can put on some quiet tunes or just bask in the beauty of a little silence to focus.
Establish an office environment
Not every home has the room for an additional office. Luckily, most freelancers are able to perform their work just fine so long as they have a designated workspace.
You won’t be able to read a single article about freelancing tips and tricks without this idea. Establishing an office-like environment is key to separating your work life from your home life. Without this boundary, freelancers find it harder to “switch off” when their workday is finally done. If you have fallen into a similar trap while working from home, you likely need a new office space.
This could be as simple as setting up shop in a different spot at the dining room table. Bring over your laptop and set up a pseudo desk wherever you have space. Sometimes, decorating the space to feel more like an office can also help you get into the mood for working. Have your regular office decor nearby and bring along a pad of paper to take important notes throughout your workday. You might even want to hang up a new work-oriented wall calendar and other visual reminders of your job. Decorating your home for an office can be more fun than you think.
Some people might want to take creating an office environment a step further. This might be the perfect excuse for a busy professional to modify their home for the sake of productivity. Basement family room installations are on the rise and many people are able to utilize this space for more than one purpose. A basement family room can be the perfect location for a small office in the corner of the room, complete with welcoming lights and a door to the rest of the home. It might not be the most ideal situation, but separating yourself from the rest of your home while you’re working is vital for a good work/life balance.
Upgrade your internet
Unless you have a large family, many people working from home have discovered that they might not have the internet capacity necessary to perform long stretches of work. This problem becomes even worse if other members of the family are home and using your Wi-Fi. This has been an issue for home workers and freelancers alike. The key? Checking out your data connectivity and capacity.
The shelter-in-place orders will likely be in effect for the next couple of months. If you have struggled with your internet over the last few weeks, consider this the excuse you need to upgrade. In some cases, you can simply contact your wireless data provider to increase your technology’s capacity to run more data. But in other cases, you might have to get a new package entirely.
In some cases, it might not be your internet at all: laptops don’t have as long of a life expectancy as people might think. If you’re working from a laptop, connectivity issues, slow processing speeds, and outdated parts might make your computer run more slowly. If your computer is experiencing problems, but no one else’s technology is struggling, it might be time to look up websites for a new computer.
Take care of yourself
Are you taking care of yourself during quarantine?
Everyone is struggling right now, but those who are working may be struggling the most. After all, many companies are talking about lay-offs and furloughs. On top of that, we’re still stuck indoors, unable to see our friends and family. Worse yet, many of our plans had to get canceled in the wake of COVID-19. There are countless issues piling on top of the shoulders of countless Americans at this time.
Taking care of yourself should be your top priority. That includes taking mental health breaks for your sanity, but more importantly, it means seeking medical attention when you need it. Feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression are increasingly common right now. Even though most hospitals are only accepting emergency cases and people threatened with COVID-19, there are still resources that you can rely on for help.
Each day, you should assess your mental health and engage in a routine to help keep your days organized. It can be easy to forget which day it is when you aren’t leaving the house. One of the most important freelancing tips and tricks to consider is a regular routine.
Try getting up at the same time each day and brushing your teeth (otherwise you’ll be in for a visit to an affordable dentist). You should enjoy your breakfast and take time in the morning for yourself in order to ease into the day. Since we’re not able to drive into the office anymore, these small amounts of time before the workday can help us get into “work mode” than if we just rolled out of bed and logged onto our computers. Bathe each day, brush your teeth each day, and engage in some activities that make you feel like you, including stretching. If you don’t take care of your health, you won’t be able to do your job properly.
Keep in mind that freelancing tips and tricks will vary from person to person since they’re meant for the individual to use. If you prefer to shower in the evening, it’s all up to you. Just do it at a regular cadence to reap the benefits of routine.
Freelancing tips and tricks: What you should know
There’s no magic formula to prevent distractions from happening. At the end of the day, you will still want to pick up your phone and scroll on social media for hours. You’ll also still hate the thought of a sink full of dishes each day. Regardless, these freelancing tips and tricks are some of the best ways to make lemonade out of lemons.
Many of us will still have to work from home for the foreseeable future. Even if our states and counties begin to open back up, countless industries that have been working well online will likely be closed for a while yet. Staying safe should be your top priority, but it can definitely be a struggle if you’re used to going into the office each day. This is made even worse if you hate the thought of working from home.
Luckily, we can learn from the countless people who do it each day. If you’re struggling to be productive during quarantine, consider these freelancing tips and tricks to help make it through this crisis.