If you’re a freelancer, you know how it goes.
You get up. Grab coffee. Sit at your computer (in your PJs) and… the cat knocks over your water, you need to binge Queer Eye again, your bed looks way too inviting. Your apartment is filled with distractions, but the idea of fighting over a spot with a nearby outlet at your local Starbucks is a daunting and often fruitless venture.
Here’s what you need to do to hunker down and get to werk at home.
Find your happy place
I always thought “happy place” was such a stupid name. But, now that I’ve found a work happy place in my apartment, I feel hella productive in it. For me, it’s my patio. I recently got a small table from IKEA and, like a true Angelino, some succulents. Now it’s my go-to work spot because I’m outside with good WiFi in a relatively quiet area, and far, far away from my cozy bedroom.
Set a schedule
A schedule for your work life is crucial to getting stuff done. Without having a clear start and end time to be “on the clock,” the lines can get a little blurry as to when work begins or ends. Otherwise, it can feel like you should always be doing more and you’ll never be able to turn your brain off.
Set the mood (Bow chicka wow wow)
By getting into a routine of what your environment feels like when you work, it will help signal your brain anytime you do those things that it’s time to get down to business. For me, it’s having the coffee pot on, lighting some palo santo and candles, putting on the “Productive Morning” playlist on Spotify and having coffee, water, and a notepad by my computer. I’m neurotic, I know, but it works.
Invest in good headphones
If you’re like me, you have a major earworm. Anything with lyrics while I’m trying to write something, I’ll end up typing out the song instead of the press release I was working on. Headphones are a beautiful thing for noisy neighbors or background noises. Investing in good headphones means you can focus when you need to. Amazon has some great affordable options, like these.
Give yourself mental breaks
Get up and do something small to break up the workday that also contributes to work/life balance. Unload the dishwasher. Do a face mask. Put in a load of laundry. Write a letter to a family member. Do things that you’d normally stress out about not having time to do when you were working your 9-5, by doing them during your at-home workday. Just make sure they are small enough to get done within a few minutes and return back to the next task or project. Not only are you giving yourself mental breaks, you’re getting more stuff done.