Freelance Friday: How to Stay Motivated When You Work from Home

In the age of coronavirus, working from home is more relevant than ever before: it’s not just for freelancers anymore! So, now we can all commisserate about the challenges of working from home — because as great as this freedom sounds at first, it definitely comes with some less obvious downsides.

One of the biggest downsides? Working from home is full of distractions, so finding (and keeping) your motivation can feel impossible at times. YOU try working when your dog lays down on top of your keyboard and your boyfriend starts watching John Oliver!

Thankfully, after awhile of working from home, I’ve started to build a routine and structure that helps me stay motivated through even the worst of work weeks. No matter how busy you get or how run-down you feel, you can still crush your workday at home following these few tips from Freelance Friday.

Get dressed and get out of bed.

As tempting as it can feel to wear jammies all day (especially when you first start working from home), it’s essential to change out of your pajamas and put on some “real clothes.” Even though no one will see you (other than people you live with, of course), I’ve found that this transition helps shift your brain from thinking about sleep to thinking about work. The same goes for working in your bed: a designated workspace helps you transition easily into your workday. Plus, using your laptop in bed is bad for your sleep — so 2016!

Create a routine you look forward to.

Every morning, I either grab coffee from the coffee shop next door or brew myself a strong cup of Joe from the Keurig in my kitchen. Then, I look over my to-do list in my bullet journal to help me prioritize my tasks for the day. This small action might not seem like much, but I look forward to this ritual every morning — which helps me get out of bed and start my day much sooner than I might otherwise. Working from home, routines easily become disrupted — so, I highly recommend building some structure into your day. Even if it’s only a morning coffee, these routines are the foundation of a productive workday at home!

Set strict boundaries with clients.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge introvert. As such, even the shortest phone call can be draining — which is why I always take care to assert my boundaries with clients. I set limits for the amount of time I will spend on phone calls with them and only allow them to call at pre-determined times. The rest of the time, they know that they can reach me via text and email. Setting these boundaries is an important part of protecting your energy so you can save it for the good stuff — like getting sh*t done that will help you grow your biz!

Work when you are most productive.

One of the best parts of working from home is you’re not bound to “normal” work hours — which means you can choose to work when it’s most convenient for you. If you’re a night owl, I don’t recommend you confine yourself to daytime work hours. Don’t get me wrong: you need time off, but you can always take time off during the day and work after the sun sets. Or, if you work well in the morning, try waking up early and starting your workday before the rest of the world gets to the office. I love working in the AM before all the emails start to flood in because it lets me get one step ahead!