Working as a freelancer has grown in popularity in recent years as people have become switched on to the lifestyle benefits this offers.
Advancements in technology have made it much easier to work remotely, thus making freelance roles more coveted than was previously the case.
However, freelancing can be fraught with danger, particularly if you are the type of person who is easily distracted.
With that in mind, we take a closer look at some of the key lifestyle and practical tips you can adopt to ensure you make a success of your freelance career.
Separate work from your home life
Many people who take the plunge as a freelancer find it difficult to get to grips with no longer needing to travel to the workplace each day.
Working at home may seem like a good idea, but can produce problems if you fail to separate your work and home life.
Establishing a clearly defined space for work by converting a spare room into an office is a great way to create clearly defined boundaries between the two.
If family members are in the house during ‘work time’, make sure they are aware that disturbances should only happen in case of emergencies.
It is also imperative to treat freelancing with the same respect as traditional working by creating a schedule and sticking to it.
Working as a freelancer does not mean you have to maintain a 9-5 structure, but never forget that you still must set aside enough hours to make a success of things.
Get enough quality sleep
If you are going to function properly as a freelance worker, you must ensure that you get the requisite amount of sleep at night.
A recent study by Betway Insider highlighted the importance of creating relaxing pre-bedtime routines to foster optimum sleep conditions.
They found that meditating for 30 minutes before going to bed is the best way to guarantee that you will get a good night’s sleep.
Many freelancers end up working excessively long hours, which subsequently results in them struggling to get enough sleep each night.
A lack of sleep makes it difficult to function properly the following day and can lead to the onset of several serious health conditions.
To avoid this, establish a clearly defined bedtime routine and stick to it rigidly throughout the year to ensure your sleep delivers the required rest and recuperation you need.
Maintain your focus
Maintaining your focus as freelancer can be difficult, regardless of whether you are working for home or while you are travelling.
Working remotely introduces several distractions that are not in play in a traditional workplace, so be wary of these creeping into your day.
A popular tactic to use to improve productivity and focus is the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks up the working day into shorter timed intervals.
Rather thank working for long periods at a time, you work in short bursts to ensure you maintain a high level of productivity.
By taking regular breaks, you maintain motivation and your creative juices will flow more efficiently as you are not tiring yourself out.
The Pomodoro Technique is ideal for freelancers in sectors such as journalism, providing with the perfect platform to plough through their daily tasks.
Use your new freedom effectively
As mentioned earlier, freelancing gives you the freedom to choose when you work – the daily 9-5 grind can become a thing of the past.
It is imperative to use your new found freedom to your advantage to effectively optimise the time you spend working each day.
Spend some time thinking about the type of person you are. If you are an early bird, do not waste time lying in bed when you could be working.
Conversely, if you are your best in the afternoons or evenings, create a work schedule that takes full advantage of those particular times.
Identifying when you work best will have the knock-on effect of creating clearly defined times when you can fit leisure activities into your schedule.
Working as a freelancer can be hugely rewarding if you utilise your freedom correctly, helping to create a scenario where you should end up with more personal time on your hands.
Make yourself accountable
While working for yourself gives you greater freedom, you will still be answerable to the people or organisations who provide your work.
On that basis, it is important to ensure that you make yourself accountable and can be easily contacted through a variety of platforms.
Digital messaging tools such as WhatsApp, Skype and Slack are excellent ways to maintain regular lines of contact with the people you work for.
If you are working away from home, make sure your clients are aware of your whereabouts, particularly if you may be slower replying to messages.
Always be mindful of deadlines set by clients and keep them fully informed if you are likely to experience any delays in meeting them.
By being fully accountable and responsive to those who provide your income, you will offer peace of mind that you value their business.
Use technology to your advantage
In addition to digital messaging tools, there are also a plethora of other technological innovations you can use to support your freelancing.
For example, note-taking and task management application Evernote is an excellent way to keep on top of your projects across different devices.
Software solutions such as Trello and Asana are also worth checking out, especially if you are collaborating with other freelancers.
Using Google Drive to synchronise and save your work will also give you peace of mind that you have a back-up if something happens to one or more of your devices.
If you access public Wi-Fi when working remotely, always use reliable Virtual Private Network (VPN) software to access the internet.
VPNs keep you secure when you are online and are extremely useful in unlocking geo-blocked content if you need to access it in a barred region.