The Freelance Issue No. 3 // Working from Home
Working from home is a topic for itself! For some of us it is a dream while for others it is a nightmare. I belong to the first category. I always wanted to be able to work from home as long as I can think of. But working from home is not for everyone. It is very easy to get distracted and that is why it is not for everyone. I remember when I was still in school and university, working from home was not possible for me - so instead when I had to study, I often went to cafés because I felt less distracted there.
Project work when I was studying media design, was another thing though, there I spent many nights at my desk designing, editing film or writing essays. Night shifts were a regular thing before the end of the semester when all the projects were due - so doing the work in a café was not an option because usually I stayed up so late that most cafés were closed already anyways. Nothing I ever want to repeat because I am not a night owl and sleep is so important for feeling well and creative.
Ok, back to working from home! I treat it now like a regular office job. I set my alarm from Monday until Friday. I get up at 7 am, I eat breakfast and have coffee, take a shower, get dressed and then I get to my desk and start working. For me the main difference from working in the corporate world, is that I take more breaks than I did in every job I had. In my last job I often did not get any breaks at all so no wonder that I felt completely burnt out whenever I got home in the evening and Friday nights I fell asleep around 9 pm because I was so exhausted. Another thing I don't want to repeat either.
Especially because I think you need to be relaxed in order to produce good work. Whenever you are overworked and stressed, your concentration and therefore the quality of your work will suffer. Like I said, when I was still in university, I would easily get distracted when I actually had work to do and I think that is a major problem for many people and therefore a reason why they can't imagine working from home but now it is not the case for me anymore. What really helps is having a super clean and organised place without any clutter to distract you (when I procrastinated I fancied grocery shopping or cleaning or things like that) but since my place is an oasis without any clutter or dirt, I can totally focus on working.
From my experience simplifying life really helps to focus on what is important and not to get distracted. Simplifying in every aspect in life, not just in one. I try keeping everything as simple as possible, so I am not overwhelmed by organising physical belongings in order not to get distracted. Same goes for friendships, if it is too complicated and leaves you with more frustration than joy, better step away from it.
So back to my point of working from home, it only got possible for me since I greatly simplified my whole life though owning less and focusing on the things that have the biggest importance for me. My place is without any clutter and super clean and therefore I can focus on working from home - because I don't get distracted through clutter or dirt.
Stepping back from social media while working from home is also another important step. When I am working, I am solely focusing on my current task and once I am done, I allow myself a break where I can also check what is going on on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or communicate with friends via WhatsApp but when I am deep in a project, I don't want to get distracted by social media either. Social media is a topic of itself that I will touch in another blog post soon.
So if you consider working from home, I'd suggest you make sure your home is in a condition that it won't distract you (no clutter or a state that gives you the spontaneous urge to rather clean your place instead of doing your project work) and that you step away from social media while focusing on your project work. And I would also recommend that you simplify your life as much as possible in order to be able to focus on your projects and not get distracted by things that won't bring you further to your goals.
Self-discipline is also very important when working from home and being your own boss. I know there are people who need the pressure in form of a boss in the background in order to work because they cannot get themselves to do the work - they procrastinate until their boss comes into their office making lots of pressure. I was working with people like this, home-office is not an option for them I assume. So if you start your freelance journey, make sure you have a good sense of being organised and self-disciplined - if you don't have these character traits you will fall flat on your face. So you better double-check if you got this before quitting your 8 - 5 job.
I feel best when I got a lot of work done during a day and whenever I see the results of my working day in form of designs, writing, photography. Having a visual result in front of me of the work I got done gives me a deep sense of satisfaction - so it also motivates me to get to my desk asap after getting up and really to stick around there working until I have visible results. If you are a very visual person like me, that should motivate you as well to get started and to work until you have created something you are proud of and that you want to share with the world.
What are your thoughts about working from home? Please let me know in the comments or shoot me an email.