Thursday, September 15, 2011

Working from Home (and Actually Working) as a Freelance Writer

Sure working from home is just about anyone's dream. You wake up, get dressed (or not), sit down and start typing away. Perhaps even enjoy a hot cup of coffee. No traffic, no fancy suits, no's a workers dream! The only problem is you are at home and not at work -- that means no "work mode".

Whether you have children, a spouse or just live alone, there are going to be distractions that prevent you from getting the job done. You tell yourself you can go shopping all day and you will work later. You can watch a few movies and you will work later. You can sleep in and you will work later. All of these are excuses I have used myself. The problem is, the further out of "work mode" you get, the less gets done as time goes on. Eventually you struggle to even work for an hour. So how do you actually work? Well, everyone is different, but after two years of working from home straight (and still making a living), I have come up with a few tips to get the job done (no pun intended):

GET READY: Sure you want to work in your favorite pajamas, but would you show up to the office like that? Though you dont have to put on a suit and tie to work from home, getting ready with a shower, brushing your teeth and hair and putting on clothes for the day will make a difference.

CREATE A WORKSPACE: Not everyone who works from home has the luxury of a spare room for an office, but if you do, I suggest making an office where you actually work. Set up a desk with your computer and all the fixings just like you would if you worked away from home. If you dont have the space for an office, still set up a desk/work area. Even if that means taking away a corner of the living room and dedicating it to a workspace.

CREATE A SCHEDULE: You may work from home, but you still have to work. Only this time you have the luxury of making your won schedule. Look at what is going on around you -- what time the kids get out of school, wake up/go to bed, what time your spouse gets home.

Basically, if it happens in your house or in your life, then it needs to factor into your schedule. If you have to, schedule blocks of time to work, even if they are chunked throughout the day. I, myself, have a  two year old who I plan around. I wake up at 6:00am Tuesday through Saturday to do an hour of work just before he gets up.

Unfortunately, working from home isn't for everyone. Some people need that schedule, need that boss and need that structure. Give it a solid effort for a month and see how you do. It takes time to adjusting to being your own boss, but in the end, you have to weigh the pros and cons of working for yourself and actually making money. Working for yourself means you supply insurance, you supply the work, you make sure you get paid, you set the schedule and YOU make sure YOU work.

Bottom line.

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