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A beginner’s guide to working from home

With all what we have going on, many people will find themselves working from home now. If you are one of those people and working from home is new to you, this beginner’s guide to working from home may help you make the most of it. Working from home can be a blessing and it can be a curse. It depends on your personality and the work you do. I have been working from home for about 6 years now and I have tried various techniques to help me stay productive and actually work from home in the midst of all the distractions. My working form home is really going well, and I have recently started studying from home too!

 

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Here are some tips to help you work from home effectively –

Work when you are most productive

You need to figure out when you are most productive and aim to complete the main tasks then. This will allow you work on other tasks that are not as important or demanding when your concentration levels are low. Being a freelancer means you can set the times you want to work. You may not have to work the traditional 9-5 if those hours don’t favour you. I love the flexibility of setting my own hours around when I am most productive. Once you figure this out, you can work from home and actually get work done.

Have a routine

I love routines. They keep me focused and productive. I would be lost without a clear schedule on how my day needs to go. One of the first things you need to do when you start working from home is to have a routine and stick to it. That way you know what needs doing and when it needs to be done. For every working hour, you have a clear schedule. There should always be room for flexibility when needed. After all that is the beauty of being self employed. Once you have a routine and you stick to it, you will find working from home easy and productive.

Take regular breaks

Don’t get tempted to keep working without taking regular breaks in between. Remember sitting is the new smoking. Good to move around for a few minutes after every hour of sitting down. Regular breaks are good for the body and the mind. You could go for a short walk to clear your head or just walk around the house doing some chores.

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Days off are important

Back in my early days of working from home, I worked every free time I got and I did this pretty much everyday. This is no longer the case for me. I now take a day or 2 off every week and that helps me recharge. It can be difficult to not work every single day, especially if you have just started freelancing. The anxiety or the fear of missing out keeps you grinding, but this is dangerous for your health and productivity. Days off are important so factor these days in when planning your schedule.

Avoid the distractions

I am not easily distracted. The bed, tv and the chores don’t distract me when I need to get work done. If that is the same for you then you will find it easy to work from home. If you are easily distracted, you will need to find ways to deal with your distractions. Working on a chair/table will help so you don’t get too comfy on the bed. Switching the tv off or working in a room without a tv helps too!

Do you work form home? How are you finding it?

 

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How to Manage Time Off as a Freelancer

The holiday season is fast approaching. Unlike those with a 9-to-5 jobs, freelancers work around the clock. That’s the nature of your job as a freelancer.  But just like everybody else, we deserve a break to enjoy the festivities.

As a freelancer, you’re your own boss and you have no one to ask for a day off. So you have to find a way to create such time for yourself.

That can seem like a very daunting task as creating that block of time to enjoy the holidays seems almost impossible. But the good news is that there is a way you can have the free time you need to enjoy the festivities with everyone else. Here exactly how you can manage time off as a freelancer this holiday season.

 

 

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Plan ahead

If you want to have the holidays to yourself, then planning ahead is key. To get more time off for yourself means you need to put in extra hours. But don’t worry, it will be worth it. I promise.

Get all your projects and tasks you have of the month in perspective.  This will help you prioritize the tasks and projects that you need to give urgent attention to first.

That’s just one aspect to planning ahead.

The next thing you need to do is to draw up a budget of how much you need to make for you to comfortably enjoy your time off without feeling the pinch in your finances. This will help you know how many projects you need to take up to make up for that period.  Since you’re the boss, no one is going to give you a bonus unless you work it out yourself.

 

Be disciplined

It will take a lot of discipline to make sure that you follow through with the deadlines you set for yourself. Since you’ll be working harder and for longer hours you need to remain focused and resolute to carry out your projects as at when due. Use incentives to keep you motivated to keep going. What better incentive than to know that you’ll get to spend time with your loved ones during the holidays and relax to your fill!

 

 

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Learn to say “NO”

Sometimes you may be tempted to take up a project or two even though you’re full to the brim with projects. At that point you need to allow yourself to be practical and say “No” to the offers that come in.

You may want to get yourself some time off but that doesn’t mean that you should work yourself into burnout.

 

Outsource what you can

If you tried but couldn’t get yourself to say “No” to the project that comes in, the next practical step to take is to outsource those projects to freelancers who will be available during the time when you’re going on holiday.

The best part of being a freelancer is that you have access to a friendly family of freelancers. The freelancer community is full of talented freelancers who do awesome work.

Once you’ve outsourced the job, you can have the freelancer send the project back to you to for vetting before you send it back to your client. That way you will still earn from the project and help create jobs for other upcoming freelancers.

 

How do you manage time off as a freelancer?

The Truth about Freelancing as a Parent

Although making the transition from a 9 to 5 to being a freelancer is worth it, the journey can be a tough one. Freelancing requires a lot of hard work, discipline and perseverance. And juggling freelancing with parenthood can be a handful to deal with.

There are, of course, a lot of upsides to being a freelancer. You get to spend more time with your family and never miss out on special events or moments with the people you love and care about.

Be this as it may, this doesn’t mean that you should close your eyes to the realities that freelancing presents especially as a parent.  Here are some truths about freelancing as a parent that you need to know.

 

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  1. You may experience dry spells

Unlike a 9-to-5 where you know what your take home every month is, income from freelancing projects are hardly stable. There will be months when your freelancing income is great while some months may be frighteningly low.

As a parent with a lot of responsibilities, fluctuation in your income may prevent you from making sure that you meet your family’s needs. Your income may go up and down but your responsibilities remain the same.

Depending only on freelancing projects won’t be enough. It will be a wise decision to create multiple sources of income, especially passive income. This will give you something to fall back on when you’re experiencing a shortage of projects for the month.

 

  1. Flexibility of freelancing gives you the opportunity to be there for your children when they need you

Unforeseen situations like accidents or sudden illness can mess with your normal work schedule and it may be difficult to get permission from the office if you work in a 9-to-5. But as a freelancer, you have the flexibility to take care of your children when they’re ill and injured.

The only downside to such sudden unforeseen circumstances is that when the payments from clients don’t come in on time you may be stuck in a tight corner.

 

  1. Clients can pay late and it will disorganize your plans

In order to ensure steady income, freelancers have to make sure that clients keep to their financial commitments. However, sometimes clients may not keep their word and the payment comes in late. Some clients even fail to pay and you may get nothing at all.

This is a frequent occurrence in the freelance industry and this can negatively affect the financial responsibility to your children.

 

  1. You’ll have to contend with shortage of time

It takes a lot of discipline to be a full-time freelancer and you need to be especially phenomenal at managing your time. When you’re a parent your time is divided between your children and your freelance work. This may mean that after taking care of your energetic kids you need to make do with the little time left to dedicate to your work.

However, with a little adjustment and proper arrangement of priorities it is possible to effectively manage your time with your work and with your children.

 

How do you freelance and parent at the same time? Do you deal with any of these issues?

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