For new freelancers who have had a 9-5 working day structure drilled into them, working on your own time can be a shock to the system.
Particularly for the first few weeks it can be difficult to buckle down and get to work done in such a different environment. During this adjustment period, procrastination is part and parcel of trying to get used to a new work schedule.
These are some of the tips we find most useful when trying to concentrate in what can be a very disruptive space.
Make a new schedule
When working in an office, you’re expected to sit for a set amount of hours a day. However, when you’re freelancing, you can spend as little or as much time as you like at your desk – provided you get the job done.
By enforcing a new schedule to work to, it can mean you make more of an effort in the first few weeks to ensure you get your work completed on time, and continue this for your entire time as a freelancer.
Create a workspace
Some may argue that one of the downsides to going freelance is that work and home life become merged, making it more difficult to create a separate, and productive, work environment.
One of the ways you can improve your productivity while working at home is by shutting away your workspace in a separate room.
Rather than slumping on the sofa with a laptop on your knee while you catch up on your daily dose of daytime TV, use a space filled with natural light that you can comfortably work in and that can be tucked away while you’re not working.
Once you’ve created your own workspace, one thing you should not do is fill it with the distractions. It can be tempting to try and turn your home office into homely space by putting the TV on and leaving a pile of magazines on the side to flick through on your breaks.
Instead you should keep these additions to the living room and stick to an office-like interior for your working space. It may seem counter-intuitive considering this is the environment you just left, but it will be worth it if you’re finding it difficult to focus in a new workspace.
Train the brain
If you’re still finding it difficult to complete work, then why not give meditation a go? The act of taking time each day to focus on your breathing, body and self-awareness isn’t just a good way to begin the day – there are benefits for your mind too.
Meditation has been proven to help people hold concentration and maintain it – even when you’re completing the most boring admin tasks that come along with freelancing.
Do you hold your hands up to the crime of procrastination? Or are you a firmly focused freelancer? Leave your comments in the section below!