As a freelancer, you must be careful and strategic during the transition from a regular 9-5 work to working for yourself at home. This article provides tricks and tips on how to make it work for you. It also gives you information on how to establish a healthy work-life balance as a result of going freelance.
Who are we to give advice, you might ask? We’ve worked with freelancers for years, creating a supportive and open community.
Mixing work and leisure. One of the most difficult tasks when working from home is to mentally separate your office from your home. This is something that old-fashioned employees don’t have to worry too much about - unless the get emails through their cell phone. Their routine might be something like this: They get up in time to be at work on time, get dressed up in their work clothes, commute, and head to their desk (in an office), where everybody is going to work for at least 8 hours. They are mentally prepared for work and the environment and surroundings (usually) supports that. You, on the other hand, are working from home with a ton of distractions and no colleagues to hold you accountable. It may be difficult to stay disciplined and mental switch mentally into ‘work-mode’ difficult to overcome. So, what do the best freelancers do?
The most effective freelancers plan when they work and when they don’t. The separation of work and leisure time is crucial to your home and work is now the same physical space. Failing to separate the two mentally might lead to too much leisure and too little work. They often schedule a minimum number of working hours in each week. Then they make detailed plans for which exact hours they work to meet the weekly goals. This requires discipline. It is very easy to fall into a vicious cycle of slacking when working as a freelancer. You wake up and don’t really feel like working even though you made an ambitious schedule the night before. You convince yourself that the time lost by sleeping for a couple of hours more can easily be made up later because ‘ you will just work late’. Many freelancers fall into this habit and fail to make up the lost time. In reality, PowerPoint presentation jobs from home are all about constructing healthy boundaries around your work life.
If you want to perform well at freelance work from home, then you need to schedule your breaks. Freelancers at KnowMore freelance platform claim that people, who use tools like pomodoro to manage when they work and when they have breaks, really outperform people who don't. Pomodoro is a well-known time management tool that allows you to micromanage your breaks. It forces you to work in sprints for anywhere between 20 to 90 minutes and then forces you to take a break. Most people freelancing work from home feel that their productivity is greatly enhanced when using pomodoro. Taking a longer break in between every five work/break pomodoro cycles also helps the productivity. Go outside for a walk or going to the gym after five cycles will help you getting re-energized so you are ready for another set of pomodoros.
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And how do you keep a strict schedule? One of the basis is to wake up early. As early, as you would wake up if you had to go to an office. So, when you wake up at 7 AM, nothing stops you from starting to work at 7.30 AM: you don’t have to commute, wait for the bus or drive. Be efficient and use this extra time. Of course, you could get up at 11 AM, but think about what that would do for your mental health and motivation - and also to your body.
Talking about good mental health and motivation. Get dressed – but not in pajamas or sweatpants. Get dressed in comfortable smart casual clothes that will put your mindset on the right track of work, being focused and efficient. It will trigger your work mode. Some might get surprised by the fact that our brain is wired to act according to situations. So, pajamas and a couch with a laptop will mean binge-watching Netflix and relaxation mode for our brains. But jeans, a clean ironed T-shirt, and laptop will mean working mode for our brains. Moreover, it also helps people around you (for example family) to understand that you are at work.
Mastering the art of freelancing and working from home is often easier for people, who have a designated place to work in their apartment. Often, they have a single bedroom as their workplace. Sometimes they have a desk which is only for doing their freelancing. Freelancers must be aware of the distractions that occur at their home. Everyone gets distracted by the non-work-related activities such as watching the TV or checking the phone. As a freelancer working from home, you must be aware of these potential pitfalls and take control of the situation.
Another essential element for freelancers to incorporate is hourly checks. When you are your own boss it is important that you constantly review your effort. You need to make sure that what you are doing actually provides the highest value possible. This is often a problem because determining value often requires sparing with the management or other people. Validation of added value happens with people who have a high-level view of your tasks and assess impacts of the company. One of the troubles of being a freelancer is that you have multiple employers. Having so many employers means that you collect your income from diverse sources each month. This can be a tiresome process if some of these do not pay you according to the agreement. When you freelance from home you should not spend your time on collecting your pay from employers, this should all work effortlessly.
Too challenging to get up in the morning? Too hard to overcome noon energy drop? Work out during your working day. It will pump up your blood and energize you to overcome motivation issues. It has also impact in a different area: your health. When you work in an office, you will naturally walk every day, use stairs, sometimes run to catch a bus or carry groceries. However, while working at home, your daily workout bases on taking walks from bedroom to your office area and few times to kitchen and bathroom. Doesn't sound healthy, does it? This is why forcing yourself to 20-minutes up to 1-hour workouts on regular basis will make your body healthier. Meanwhile, it will also make your working routine more efficient.
When working from home it is easy to end up not leaving your place for few days. It’s far from a healthy routine. A human body needs sunlight and fresh air – it’ s important that you remember to provide your body what it needs. So, go outside, run some errands, go for a walk. It helps keep your brain in a healthy state of mind and gives you a break from work – equivalent to the break at the water cooler in an office. For some people, it is also motivating to work from a coffee shop from time to time. There are also options for renting a co-working space for a day or two.
No one is going to get surprised by the statement that one of the worst parts of working at home is distractions. Why not just watch half an episode of Netflix’s Stranger Things while having lunch? Well, because Stranger Things is addictive and you end up watching six episodes until 8 PM. And why not scroll through your Facebook feed… every 10 minutes… for 20 minutes? You see the point. To overcome this enormous obstacle and temptation, find a system of earning productivity rewards. For example, schedule the work to be completed by 8 PM and reward yourself afterward with watching Stranger Things. Or maybe micro-rewards would work better for you? After every 3 hours of work, you can have one episode of a series, or a computer game, or book reading, or whatever motivates you. But remember to keep the balance, so one hour of work does not end up in 3 hours of reward.
We already explained to you how important it is to take a mental break and go outside. What is equally important is to remember to socialize. When you work at an office you have small talk with colleagues. On Monday morning everybody asks about your weekend, there will be a company party on Friday and so on. When you work at home you don’t naturally socialize. Prioritize to meet real people outside of your regular social circle. Have real-life conversations on daily/weekly basis. Maybe you can also take up a language class? Maybe join a sports team? It doesn’t really matter, as long as you interact with people.
There is also a pro-tip from a stay-home mom, that you might be interested in applying to your freelance life. Do groceries online – it is a huge time saver and it’s easy. It might also be a way of dealing with one of the distractions: instead of spending hours on groceries, you just spend 20 minutes ordering online.
KnowMore recognizes all the problems of freelancing and working from home. KnowMore is built to solve these issues. The platform makes it easy for you to handle this transition as KnowMore focuses on making being a freelancer as easy as possible.
The KnowMore platform really helps freelancers to control their PowerPoint presentation jobs from home. One of the amazing things about projects on KnowMore is that all of them have prescribed hours that a project takes. So, when freelancing work from home on the KnowMore platform, you will not need to worry about not working on the most value-adding task of a range of tasks. Since each project has already been prioritized by KnowMore, you can simply execute it without worrying. Doing PowerPoint presentation jobs from home on the KnowMore platform will always maximize the value that you provide to the client. Also, The KnowMore platform gives freelancers the opportunity to work with only one client.
Since most of the projects on the platform are only a couple of hours, they can be treated as individual pomodoro cycles. You simply finish one project in a sprint of e.g. 90 minutes, take a small break and then start working on another project. The top-performing freelancers at our platform all state that they enjoy the intensity of a project. This helps them to stay focused on the task at hand without interruptions and keeps their attention during the project. Many of the freelancers who do PowerPoint presentation jobs from home have pointed out, that it helps them in other aspects of their life where they are now more productive.
With KnowMore, payment is a smooth process. You can easily get an overview of all the hours you have spent on each project. Thus, you do not have to spend any time managing these overviews in Excel or other tools. Furthermore, by conducting the transfers through PayPal, payments are streamlined at the end of the month. The money is transferred to you automatically.
We provide a fixed rate of 8 USD per every hour spent on projects for KnowMore. When claiming a project, you know how much you will be paid for it. Very straightforward and fair.
We created an algorithm that selects the projects that fit your skill set. It is providing you suggestions of projects you might be interested in, based on your up-to-date choices.
KnowMore has the policy of providing the freelancers the opportunity of doing what they are the best in. We take care of all the marketing, sales and discussions with the clients. We provide you guidelines for projects, so you don’t have to guess what is it exactly that the client expects. Moreover, the KnowMore’s team in Copenhagen is available to answer any questions you might have through a live chat. If you want to read more, click the link below::