Working from home is empowering. It allows you to wake up on your own time, avoid a commute and escape social pressures that might exist in the office.
Working from home also provides challenges, though. You might not be accustomed to working productively in that space. You are on your own more often. And you may get distracted from your family or pets.
That being said, it is very feasible to be productive from home. You just have to be thoughtful about your approach.
Here are some actionable tips to maximize your efficiency working from home as a freelancer.
Work around your most productive hours.
One of the best parts of being at home is the ability to work the hours that you would like. Most people tend to work normal hours in the office. Plus, sometimes people signal commitment to bosses by coming in early or staying late.
At home, though, you can wake up at whatever time you want. Barring outside circumstances, you can also work until whenever you want. Therefore, work around the times that you will be most productive.
This also means giving yourself the necessary time in the morning to get your mind warmed up. Since work is so close to your bedroom, you may feel the pressure to work as soon as you wake up. Instead, give yourself the time you need to get into the right headspace. If that means doing some exercise and having a nice breakfast, then so be it.
Wear what you can be productive in.
If wearing pajamas makes you sleepy, no matter how comfortable they are, do not wear them! Some people cherish the opportunity to dress casually and doing so makes them comfortable while doing work. Others can feel unproductive doing so.
Find your spot.
It is tempting to lay back on your couch, grab a computer and get to work. It might be the most comfortable route, but it is most likely not the most productive. The first step is finding where in your house you will be in a good headspace to work. It is the physical space that will help you excel.
If you do not know what spot is going to be best for you, try a few different ones and see where you feel the best and most productive.
You are removed from the distraction of your coworkers at home. Yet, there are plenty of different distractions. Your pets or family might be around. Plus, with nobody around you that is also working, it is more tempting to spend time on Facebook or Netflix.
You need to find ways to mute these distractions while you are working at home. Different strategies work for everyone. For some, the most effective route is to block certain sites on your computer.
For others, it is working in 20-30 minute spurts with 5-minute breaks. When there are people home, it is valuable to let them know that you are working. No matter what you need to do to focus, put yourself in a situation where you can succeed and avoid distraction.
Set goals for the day.
Figure out what you want to accomplish when you first sit down (or the day before). Therefore, you will be working towards tangible goals throughout the day. This can put you back on track when you are not being as productive. It will also force you to work quicker and more efficiently.
Take advantage of what your home offers.
The office is a great space and offers things like food, social outlets and space. While you might not match those in your house in the same way, your home has other positive outlets. Take advantage of them.
You may feel most at ease when you are sitting on your couch, for example. If that is the case, then eat lunch on your couch and relax. We feel a level of comfortability in our home that does not exist in the office. We should take advantage of this comfort and do what makes us happy!
Create social interaction when you need it.
You are surrounded by others all day in the office. If that is something that keeps you energized, then find ways to stay social while at home. That does not mean going on Facebook, but it could be calling people during the breaks you take. Or videoing into the office to ask for help on different projects.
Remember how awesome it is that you can be working from home.
You did not have to make the commute to work. You also get to work within your own space and comfort levels. Be grateful for the fact that you are home. Remembering this can boost productivity and give you a greater appreciation for your company and the opportunity.