Whether you’re new to remote working or you’ve been working from home for a while, you may find these tips useful for when you have little motivation or feel overwhelmed.
When it comes to working from home, one of my biggest tips for you is to take breaks. I sometimes find that I will get up and work for hours at a time without taking a bathroom break or even grabbing a glass of water. I used to do this when I worked 9-5 as well. However, it’s not healthy. Take regular breaks. Don’t do what I have done and work from 8am-2pm without a single break.
I know you want to get that work done and it may be important, but so is your health. Go out for a walk on your lunch break, watch an episode of Riverdale on Netflix. Anything to take a short break and then you can continue with your work. Remember to drink!
Work When It Suits You
Just because you used to work 9-5 doesn’t mean you have to do the same from home. Some people are more motivated in the morning, some have more energy in the evenings or at night.
Some freelancers will tell you it’s not healthy to work at night but if that’s when it suits you and you feel ready to work at that time, go for it! Everyone has different preferences. Anyway, you’re freelance, you can work whenever you want!
Just remember to set aside time for friends, family or to do your own thing. It could be during the week, weekends or any time that suits around your schedule.
Some clients can be very demanding and they can ring you up at 9pm on a Wednesday and ask you to do something. Make sure you set boundaries from the beginning of your contract.
The likelihood is you don’t need to do that task right away, it can wait until the next day. However, when I’m asked to do something immediately, I can’t stop thinking about it until it’s done.
Setting boundaries can be difficult if you work from home because clients can contact you any time. I have a few tips on how to set boundaries with clients when it comes to working from home:
- Get a work phone that you can turn off (this can be used as one of your expenses)
- Uninstall Gmail, Zoom, Skype etc from your phone when you’re not working
- Send a polite email stating your working hours if asked to do something “out of hours”
- Have an out of office email for the days/hours you don’t work
This is one I still struggle with myself. But another tip I have if you’re working from home is to cook meals and make packed lunches as you would if you were commuting to work. You need to make sure you eat properly and don’t go without. BBC Good Food has a few easy recipes you can use!
Have A To Do List
I find that having a to do list of all the tasks I have to complete that day super helpful. I have a long term to do list of things I need to continue doing every week/month and a to do list for the day ahead. This could just be in your notes on your phone but it may be helpful to write it down on paper!
Don’t Cut Yourself Off
It can be so easy to stay in the house and get completely isolated when working from home, so make sure you take regular walks, even if it’s just twenty minutes. Schedule in dates to see friends, go out for dinner, spend time with family. I find that if I have no travel plans or plans to meet up with people, I can fall into a pit of depression and so I need to make sure I do something once a week to get out of my head – and the house.
Take Up A Hobby
Taking up a hobby, whether it’s drawing, writing, knitting or dancing is good for you, whether you work from home or not. However, I find that because I work from home during the day there’s a lot of classes and groups on. You could go to your local library for a reading group, start pole fitness, learn street dancing or take up an activity at home.
By exercise, I don’t mean having to go to the gym and working out on a treadmill for an hour. You could do some yoga at home or go for a run or just a long walk. Staying at home all the time can be negative not only for your mental but also your physical health so you need to make sure you’re regularly moving about.
And don’t forget to have fun! Working from home can have its downsides but I wouldn’t change what I do for the world.