Freelancers face the same challenges every day, and one of their biggest problems is staying focused at work.
When you’re the one responsible for your schedule, it’s kind of hard to balance everything when you’re at home. On top of that, there are more distractions at home than when you’re at the office.
You can scroll through social media whenever you want because there’s no boss telling. You can sleep whenever you like, too.
In other words, you have freedom. But too much freedom can sometimes cost you your big chance for success.
So, how do you set-up yourself to become productive? Well, it all starts with your workspace.
Below are some tips on how you can set up a productive workspace:
Pick a designated zone for work
The very first thing you should decide on is your designated zone for work. This is the location where you’ll probably be most comfortable working. Make sure you consider how much noise comes in that area, if there are people always passing by, the temperature, etc.
Ideally, your designated workplace should be in a separate room where you have a designated door that you can close to keep people from coming in. But if this is not possible, then it’s best to choose one area in your house where you’ll work.
This can be on just a corner of your bedroom, in the dining room, in the kitchen, etc., wherever you’re most comfortable with.
The only idea here is that you won’t need to transfer between three rooms to work. Doing so helps condition your mind that when you’re in that workspace, you’ll be working. This enables you to stay focused on finishing your work.
Make it ergonomic
Once you have chosen your designated zone of work, it’s time to make it ergonomic. This means it’s comfortable and won’t cause any strain in your back, eyes, or hands. Below are some ways you can make your workstation ergonomic:
Choose the Right Chair
Adjust Desk Height
Reposition Your Monitor
Pick the Right Keyboard and Mouse
By doing this, you can ensure that you follow the right posture. All these should be able to help you straighten your back, keep your chin up, and keep you comfortable the whole time.
Other than these, your workspace should also have enough space so you can stand up and stretch. Also, the area should be well lit and not strain your eyes.
Decorate but don’t go overboard
Next, try to decorate your home office. But it’s imperative to keep things simple.
As much as possible, there shouldn’t be a lot of things going on in the room. Leave some space if you have to. And if you’re going to place some decorations, make sure that each has a purpose.
You can then add some green in the room to keep things vibrant and fresh. You should also make sure that the room’s lighting is sufficient so you won’t strain your eyes while you work.
You can place some inspiring posters around, too. But then again, keep things simple.
You can also have a creative corner where you can post your to-do-list and other things to give you ideas. And lastly, don’t forget to have some beverages within your reach.
Invest in quality office gadgets
Investing in quality office gadgets is another way to boost your productivity while working at home. Yes, it will cost you money, but if freelancing is something you’d want to do for the next years to come, this is something you need.
Gadgets most freelancers depend on when it comes to remote work are:
And many more.
You don’t need to buy all the essential work from home tools now. Start with what you need first. If you have a slow laptop, upgrade the specs so it’s faster. The only idea here is to get the gadgets that will help address your work problems.
Organize your supplies
Clutter is the last thing you’d want if you want to stay focused on your work. So, it’s always best to organize your supplies so that they don’t become an eyesore.
If you can afford a desk that comes with drawers and filing cabinets, that’s a great buy. The storage doesn’t have to be a lot, but only enough that you’d have space to store your supplies.
If you can’t buy that kind of desk, you can utilize bookshelves, wall organizers, or small containers. Place them in corners of your room that’s easy for you to reach if you need them.
Remote work is always prone to distractions, but there’s still a way to eliminate these and keep yourself focused.
One thing most freelancers do is creating a schedule and sticking to that. This helps their mind focus on what only needs to be done. It also allows if you don’t multitask. If you think you can finish a lot if you do all things at once, well, not really.
As for social media, minimize it as much as possible. Keep your phone away from you, so you don’t get tempted to scroll through your social media.
Make your office smell great
This may not be something most freelancers know about, but making your office smell great also helps you focus. It turns out that our favorite aromas help a lot in relaxing our minds and being focused more at work.
Scented candles and essential oils are two of the best things you can use to improve the scent of your home. You can also research what scent will help tackle a particular problem you have and buy that.
Use proper lighting
As mentioned earlier, your office should have an ample amount of lighting so you can work best. This way, you won’t strain your eyes from trying to focus on your computer and not even see what you’re working on clearly.
You can make use of natural light, palace a light above you, a lamp that focuses on your work, and a decorative light to brighten up your home office.
Create a “no work zone”
Lastly, create a “no work” zone.
We all need a break, and this is most especially if you have a remote job. One problem most freelancers have when working from home is that they lose the ability to create boundaries between work and personal life. But, this should never be the case.
So, find some time to stay away from your work desk for a few hours a day. You’ll observe how this helps improve your mood, productivity, health, and, most of all, your focus.
As things are moving digital, more and more people are finally recognizing the value remote jobs are giving to people. You get to stay at home, have the time to learn the skills you want, and do what you want to do.
The best part is, opportunities online are endless.
It is enjoyable. But what most people don’t know is that remote working is not as easy as it sounds.
As you cannot set a line between work and life, staying productive can be challenging. So, try to set-up a productive workspace with the tips above and let us know how these work for you.
About the Author:
Raymond Chiu is the Director of Operations for Maid Sailors Office Cleaning Service NYC, a top-rated office cleaning service provider. Matched with affordable prices, we can address even the toughest cleaning needs and can turn your workplace into a healthy, safe, and employee-friendly environment.