Whether you’re a full-time freelancer or a nine-to-fiver with an after-hours side hustle, it takes serious commitment and discipline to be productive when you have full control over your schedule. It can be easy to slip into unhealthy routines with freelancing, whether it’s not waking up until 10 am because you don’t have an office to go to, or not switching the computer off until 11 pm.
Thankfully, it’s pretty simple to get yourself sorted and put in place a healthy and productive routine for life as a freelancer.
They know when to stay home and when to go out
Sometimes, being at home can be super distracting. There might be dishes to wash, a dog to walk or a wardrobe to sort out, and it can be hard to prioritise work when these things are right in front of you.
Research from Harvard found that those who belong to a co-working space reported higher levels of ‘thriving’ than workers in a traditional office. One of the reasons for this was that the participants were being exposed to people with a variety of skill sets that they weren’t in direct competition with. As a freelancer, sometimes your only competition is yourself, so it’s important to make sure you still have that social interaction and are constantly learning.
They exercise in the morning
We all know that exercising has many benefits for the mind and body. It’s super important to prioritise it in your daily schedule. Exercising in the morning increases your productivity while you’re working during the day, as it helps you to release stress, plan and strategise. So in the morning, head to the gym, do some yoga or take the dog for a walk.
They tackle their biggest task first
Having a great morning routine is vital for freelancers, and making sure you tackle your biggest task first puts you in good stead to take further action throughout the day. Brian Tracy’s book ‘Eat the Frog’ bases his morning philosophy off a quote from Mark Twain:
“If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”
Do the thing you’re dreading the most and you’ll be given a boost of confidence for the rest of the day.
They have a fast and reliable internet connection
If you’re a freelancer or you’re planning on working from home, having a fast and reliable internet setup is absolutely vital to your productivity and income. Whether you’re communicating with clients, using Cloud software or uploading photo, video, audio or coding files, you need to make sure that your internet speed is going to be able to handle everything that you throw at it.
They create a focused environment
As tempting as it may be, working from your couch (or even worse, bed) is just a no-go when it comes to working from home. You don’t need to convert your spare room into a private office, but you definitely do need to set up some kind of workspace. Whether it’s a desk in the lounge room or a standing desk in your bedroom (or even a table outside for those nice days), having a designated space for your work will allow you to get organised and have access to all the materials and information you need.
One of the benefits that working from an office is that you’re bound to make business connections. When you’re freelancing or working from home, it’s all on you to put in the effort to make and maintain these connections.
Take the time to attend business networking events and bring a bunch of business cards to promote your work. Make sure that your website and social media are all kept up to date, and have a portfolio of your work also available. LinkedIn is also key to this, as many clients will ‘have a stalk’ before engaging with you, so make sure your profile is a true representation of who you are as a freelancer.
Living the successful freelancer life
Life as a freelancer can be joyful, stressful and lonely… all at the same time. However, with the right routine, the right technology, the right network and the right internet connection, you’re bound to make your freelance business a success, whatever it may be!