by Eva Martinez
(San Antonio, Texas, USA)
While working from home as a freelancer has many distinct advantages such as doing what you like to do, not having to commute, and saving on the cost of work attire, it has disadvantages as well.
One of those disadvantages is difficulty in focusing on your work. The human mind tends to associate home with rest and relaxation and it is sometimes difficult for it to switch to work mode. Here are some ways to overcome the problems with focusing on work while freelancing from your home.
Have a Daily Task List
Most agree that if you don’t know where you are going that you will never get there. Each day, take a few moments to plan what you must get done. It is only a matter of making a simple list but it is a list that you can reference throughout the day to make sure that you stay on track.
Set the Rules about Interruptions
Quite often, when working from home, there will be others in the house. You must make it clear to others in the house that when you are work that you are at work. While interruptions are not always unavoidable, setting rules will make others divert your attention only when there is good reason.
Screen Your Phone Calls
The telephone can be a terrible time waster and can easily eat up an otherwise productive day. However, it is important that people be able to communicate with you. Screening phone calls while working at home is a simple matter of priorities. Oftentimes, family and friends think that just because you are at home that you have plenty of time to chat but this can quickly eat up your day. While you are at work, your clients get the priority and everyone else should be handled on an emergency basis. Family and friends get second priority.
Listen to Music
Around your home there can be all sorts of annoying sounds. There could be the dog barking next door or the construction taking place two houses down. If you live in an apartment, there could be the noisy neighbor who works a night shift and likes to play his stereo loudly during the day. The best way to handle this is to listen to the music you like while at your desk.
Keep Your Computer Uncluttered
Freelancing and working from home involves many important computer documents. Just as it is important to set up an effective paper filing system, it is also the case with your computer files. The inability to find important documents has the potential to waste more time than unwanted calls from friends during the day.
Do One Thing at a Time
While the ability to multitask is necessary for a freelancer working from home, it should be minimized. This is why it is important to schedule your day and take care of one task at a time and preferably to its completion.
Find an Escape Venue
Working from home is not always at the same place. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, the interruptions just will not stop. It is in times like this that you have to find another place to “hide” and get your work done.
The most popular venue to do this is at a coffee shop that provides wifi internet access so that you can work from your notebook computer. It may be that your work requires no computer at all so the possibilities for an escape venue are endless, working from homehas huge long term benefits for anyone who takes the gamble, you just need to ensure quality clear thinking time!