There is any number of stresses to working as a freelance designer. You have to keep the quality of work high and ensure that you have a constant stream of clients flowing through. Working from home can make things more difficult because you have to contend with your working life and your home life coming together. You need to stop them from grinding against each other too much.
Let’s take a look at how you can make working from home successful as a freelance designer.
Segregate a Space
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you have to accept the inevitable pressures of family and work life coming together. Whilst you can’t go into separate buildings to segregate one from the other, you can do this psychologically by providing yourself with a designated workspace. Ideally, this will be a home office, but if you can’t manage that, even a corner in the living room is a good second best.
It’s important you can psychologically put yourself in that ‘work’ state of mind. If you can’t do that, you’re going to see your productivity levels dropping like a stone.
Rid Yourself of Distractions
The most difficult part about working from home is dealing with the number of people who think that they can bother you because you’re always home. It’s frustrating to have to tell people you’re busy sketching out a design. They don’t seem to listen, and that leaves you in a tough place.
The best way to deal with it is to be upfront. If possible, get a work phone. This work phone won’t have the numbers of anyone but your clients on it and you won’t give it out to family and friends. Turn off your home phone so they can’t contact you at work.
You’d put your phone on silent in a boardroom meeting, so why not at home?
Stop Going Insane
Photoshop and InDesign can only be your two best friends for so long. Even the most hermit-like designer needs to get out somewhere. Feelings of loneliness and depression are most common with people who work from home. It happens when you don’t have any co-workers to speak to.
To prevent yourself from falling into this pit of despair, make an effort to get out more. Take some breaks throughout the day where you’ll go out to the store to pick up a few things. On some days you can even take your design work on the road. Setup shop in a local coffee store or bar. Even just being around people can alleviate those feelings that you’re not fully connected to the real world any longer.
Set a Solid Start and End Time
Another danger of working at home is not being able to turn off the computer at the end of the day. You don’t have a manager telling you to get out of the office. That’s why so many people get tempted to keep working for hours on end. They claim they’re getting ahead of the game now so they can rest later. The thing is they never do rest later. Instead, they continue to work themselves into the ground.
Whilst burning the midnight oil every so often isn’t a problem, doing it all the time is. That’s why you should treat working from home as any other job. Set a time for where you will stop working for the evening. Be strict with yourself. If you haven’t finished working, stop anyway and catch up in the morning. This is the best possible course of action you can take for your health.
Image source: Lifehacker