- 1 My space inside the house (the setup & organization)
- 2 How I deal with noise when working from inside and outside the house
- 3 How I deal with distractions such as TV
- 4 Other places I can still work in
- 5 Should you have a home office
- 6 More tips to help freelancers create an environment conducive to work
Working online from home can be a little daunting if you have not yet organized a section / room in your home that you use exclusively when you are doing work that clients outsource to you.
At the office, the setup is usually optimized for work and more productivity. There are fewer distractions. And other things like having one’s colleagues around, motivates more people to stick to the work assigned to them and to finish it as fast as possible.
At home, one runs the risk of getting very little done because of the constant distractions (TV, visitors & neighbours) and little to no supervision.
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So, how do you find a place that you can organize well to lessen distractions and be more productive while working from home? I will show you below.
My space inside the house (the setup & organization)
Next to a window, I have a table and chair that I use whenever I am working on my own projects or writing articles for clients. I don’t have a TV in the room or a stereo / music system and I think that helps with focus to some degree.
On the table I usually have a mug (with tea / water to hydrate myself), a few of my notebooks, my smartphone and a laptop that I use. To me, this is my ideal space to get work done. There is enough space in the surrounding (not so cramped the way I see it) and I can stand and walk a few steps with my music (playing via earphones) when taking breaks.
How I deal with noise when working from inside and outside the house
Since I spend time learning how to do songwriting I get to download a lot of instrumentals from YouTube to my smartphone and laptop.
I sometimes work with the instrumentals playing. So, I get to block the noise from outside using my earphones but still get to really focus on what I do because the instrumentals don’t have someone singing / rapping like in regular songs.
I also find myself doing some of my work early in the morning or late at night when it is relatively quiet. And then during the day, when more people are about and the noise levels are up, I can focus on things that don’t require a high level of concentration. Plus I live in a place that is usually quiet especially when people leave for work / children go to school.
I also use my earphones sometimes to block music from neighbours and conversations too. I can do this with or without instrumentals playing. I find that even with no audio output, my earphones can block a lot of noise.
How I deal with distractions such as TV
Other places I can still work in
Outside the house. I can sit outside on the grass to do some light research work on my smartphone. I also sometimes sit outside when typing articles. I just do it on my smartphone. I will get the outline ready, type it in a text file then just go out and fill the article.
Once I get in the house, I will just use the Bluetooth option to transfer the file from the smartphone to a laptop for further editing before uploading it online.
Should you have a home office
A room that is just dedicated to your online freelance activities? I think so. If you can afford it, why not. Especially if it can be a room that is spartan – a room that only has the bare essentials you need to get work done.
Even people in your household will know that when you get into your office, that you are not to be disturbed. This can result in you getting more work done on a daily basis. So, if you live in a house where you can just turn one room into your office, do it.
If you have to move, to get such an opportunity, do so. If you can’t, make plans for the future while still trying your best to create a space in your house that creates an environment you would get from a room dedicated to just your online work activities.
If your home is relatively quiet and you can minimize the distractions that may affect your work, invest in a good chair and desk before you start even thinking about having a room that will only act as a home office.
More tips to help freelancers create an environment conducive to work
Find a place that pulls you away from as many distractions as possible and setup your desk there.
Working under natural lights beats working under a bulb or tube, so during the day, if you can get as close to a window as possible without being distracted by what is going on outside (people passing by / cars), do it.
Take advantage of mornings when the world is relatively quiet to get more work done. You can do this by waking up at 5 am for example to handle work outsourced to you.
If you are single and renting, save and plan to move away from your current location if it is too noisy or there are new distractions coming in the area (for example establishments playing loud music / with machinery that are loud such as welding shops). Relocate to another part of the city or town.
While you work on creating an environment in your house that will help you become a more productive freelancer, make sure that you take care of things in your mind too by mastering time management. Avoid anxiety by learning how to dive into work immediately.
Master habits that can help you maintain your calm as you work on various tasks outsourced to you. Get enough sleep. Take regular breaks from your desk, pace around, go outside or mingle with whoever is home. Take showers to keep your body fresh. And whenever necessary, take naps.