Anyone who is freelance or works from home like me will understand how difficult it is to self motivate. If you are in the creative industry you may find it harder as distractions and procrastination are far easier to indulge in when you aren’t jumping up to rush to the office. I have some handy tips to get you up and at ‘em, so read on.
You need to start with the basics. Routine. Whilst it is easy to put things off until an hour before deadline you are not doing yourself any favours at all. You are just allowing yourself to deepen bad habits. The best thing about working for someone else is that you have a boss breathing down your neck a little. You have a solid routine of getting up, breakfast, the commute and then a clear day dedicated to only one thing. Sitting in your office!
As a freelancer it is very easy to fall into the trap of the lazy morning / late night set up. You have 24 hours in a day right? So why does it matter if you work through the night and sleep through the day? It matters because the upset of routine can seriously affect the quality of both your productivity and mental health.
Get up at a reasonable hour (pre 9 am) and don’t be tempted to sit in your pyjamas or work under the duvet. Get washed, get dressed and start work at the same time every single day. You don’t have to work from home. A change of scenery can help you get your mind working and there is Wifi available in most public places. Just invest in a little extra juice by purchasing a battery pack like one of these from ithingum.com and ensure your devices don’t let you down.
Break for Lunch
It may sound silly, but the opposite of the lazy morning trap is the overworking trap. It is vital you take plenty of short breaks to help recover.
Some freelancers seem to work every day and this is also a mistake. The problem is if the office is there it’s easy to just pop in and square some stuff away. Don’t. Have dedicated days where you don’t even look at your work. Get out of the house if you have to.
Get Another Phone
It is also worth investing in a second phone so you have a dedicated work number and a personal number. You can get one free from Google.
Don’t be afraid to switch it off.
Just set up an ‘Out of office’ message on your emails and then face the onslaught at 9am on Monday. The world isn’t going to stop because you weren’t sitting at your desk.
Get a Pet
Finally, get a cat or a dog. If you can’t ditch the procrastination habit you might as well have a friendly face to chat your thoughts over with! I’m joking, of course… although it is beneficial to have a little company throughout your day. Humans weren’t meant to lock themselves in an office and shut out the world. So be social!
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