Do you want to work from home as a freelance writer?
Working remotely has become sort of the new craze. Thanks to the virus. Many businesses have urged or mandated that employees work from home.
As a freelance writer, working from home has been the norm for the majority of us. It has been our lifestyle and we are so accustomed to all or almost all that comes with this lifestyle.
However, since the crisis began, there have been so many cases of retrenchment. People have lost their jobs or have had their take-home pay slashed. Now, more than ever, there is a need to look elsewhere to supplement income. And because of this, there has been a surge in people beginning new careers, one of which is freelance writing.
Many of these new intakes will also work from home as a freelance writer just like the rest of us old folks. This means they’d figure out how to stay on task while at home. But there are ways to achieve results and avoid getting crazed, from setting up a good workspace to having clear-set boundaries with family member.
I’ve worked 100 percent remotely for more than three years, so, I thought to share a few tips to make this sudden change a smooth ride for you. This is especially for those who want to work from home as a freelance writer. However, whether you’re a newbie or work from home veteran, here’s what you should do to stay productive.
Tips to work from home as a freelance writer
1. Create your workspace
Your workspace doesn’t have to be a full-blown home office. Just a corner in your dining section or a small portion cleared out in your vanity will do the trick. When I started to work from home as a freelance writer, I used my vanity, my bed, the couch, in fact anywhere I could perch to type on my laptop.
Presently, I try to have a designated space to work from. I use a small makeshift table in the corner of my room, where I seat to work. It’s nothing fancy. Still, it simply does the job for now.
2. Design a comfortable environment
As long as you have chosen to work from home as a freelance writer, you should make your workspace comfortable. No matter what corner of your home you choose, there’s no doubt you should be comfy in that space. Get yourself the right tools that will make your space as comfortable, effective and productive as can be.
This includes things like an ergonomic chair, a desk, a computer and high-speed Internet connection that can support video conferencing. It could also include feel-good things such as soothing music, scented candle, photos of your loved one, or green plants.
3. Treat it like a real job
When you work from home as a freelance writer, you tend to forget that you are running a real business. If you want your business to pay you like a real one then you have to treat it as such.
Why not take a shower and get dressed instead of lying in bed with a laptop. Be more deliberate about how you act towards your business.
4. Time block
According to Todoist, one of the market leaders in productivity application development; Time blocking is a time management method that asks you to divide your day into blocks of time. Using this method while you work from home as a freelance writer, you’ll be able to block your work time and break time.
This simply means, dividing your day into chunks of work activities and breaks just like the time management technique, Pomodoro, describes it. The time management method helps you avoid distractions and work effectively.
The Pomodoro supports that you schedule 20 or 30 minutes of your time to work and then take 5 to 10 minutes break. Rinse and repeat. After 4 rounds (each of which is called a Pomodoro), you earn a 30 minutes break before beginning another Pomodoro.
5. Specify boundaries
To work from home as a freelance writer and to do this effectively, boundaries need to be set. Not only should they be set, but adherence to these boundaries is also key. Especially for one who has a spouse and kids, working from home could easily become crowded with the wrong people that is. One thing that could help is to replicate the schedule of a typical school day.
If possible, try to get some of your work done while the kids are taking naps. This is also the time to set ground rules with your housemates. Let them know that ones you are in front of your laptop, you are in work mode and you need not be disturbed.
6. Get rest and breaks
When you work from home as a freelance writer, there are no clear boundaries when it comes to work-life or personal-life. This can cause you to work longer hours than needed. You could easily encroach into your personal time with family and other aspects of your life.
It is, therefore, critical for you to take breaks because it helps you stay refreshed and energetic to continue with work. Getting breaks also allows you to find time to bond with family. You also get to oil other aspects of your life.
An online survey has shown that American workers who take a lunch break every day score higher on a wide range of engagement metrics, including job satisfaction, efficiency, and likelihood to recommend to others. The workers further said that they feel more engaged and productive when they take the time to take a lunch break every day. So why shouldn’t you?
7. Make time to exercise
Do not forget to make out time for physical activities. Working remotely entails that your lifestyle is mostly sedentary. An inactive lifestyle is not the best for your health. Therefore you should take out time to stretch those muscles, jog, take a stroll and take care of your body and mind.
Isolation, disconnect, and loneliness are common problems when you work from home as a freelance writer, even if you are highly introvert. As much as possible, try to join groups of like-minds on social media. Contribute in forums, discussions and WhatsApp groups that you belong in.
Be in groups where you can talk about common interests and meetups for those in the same region (once the coronavirus ends). As humans, we all need this interaction to feel connected and included.
Now you can work from home as a freelance writer
These tips have me and others lead a better and more productive remote-working life as a freelance writer. Unlike a traditional office where you can commute, or enter and leave a physical office, when you work from home as a freelance writer, you can easily lose track of time. You can easily get distracted. You can easily get sucked in.
Another thing to consider is to shake up your routine once in a while…else it gets too ‘routine-ish’.
Having said this, I, however fully understand that situations may differ for a lot of us. Therefore, make it personal. I’ll end this here by saying, ‘ though sometimes the answer is apparent, other times you need to figure out what works best for you and your situation’.