Freelancing can be a rewarding and fulfilling career; you have the freedom to pick your hours, your work and even your office.
But what about when motivation is waning and you just can’t find your focus? Freelancing can lack structure, financial security and social interaction, which can often lead to a lack of motivation. However, it doesn’t need to be that way! Here are five tips for staying focused when freelancing.
Go outside for a walk
If you’re having a severe case of writer’s block or freelancer apathy (that is a semi-made up term, yes), getting outside and away from your desk is the best thing you can do! Reconnecting with nature and getting some fresh air always clears my mind and helps to improve my productivity levels. Going for a lunch time walk in a park not only gets your blood pumping, but it also improves your mood! Sometimes you just need a change of scenery and a boost of fresh air.
Create a zen work space
Working in a cluttered, messy environment is no good for productivity (just ask Marie Kondo). Instead, create a clean and bright workspace, equipped with everything you need: desk, laptop, pens, coffee-on-tap (just kidding) and notepads. My desk is under the window in my lounge, because natural light is really important to me. Some people like to have fresh flowers, sentimental photos or motivational art on their desks to create a comfortable and pleasant environment, whilst others prefer to have a separate room entirely for their freelance work. Find out what office space works for you and create it.
Stick to a routine
The idea that you can work from the comfort of your own bed, in your pyjamas, binge watching Netflix series’ in the background may sound appealing… but it’s not a productive environment and (trust me) it gets old very quickly. Establish a routine that works for you. For me, this is getting up, showered and dressed in the morning, and working 9-5 Monday-Friday, before heading to the gym most evenings. Some people prefer to get up at 6am, workout, get ready for the day and head to a coffee shop. The right routine may look completely different to you depending on your commitments, the nature of your work and your priorities. Either way, getting up and getting dressed sets you up with the right frame of mind for the day.
Make plans with people
Let’s face it, working from home can get lonely if you don’t speak to anyone for a good 8-10 hours of the day. This is where arranging face-to-face meetings with your clients, going to work from local cafes or even signing up to a co-working space can help. A change of scenery and some human interaction can work wonders for your creativity. I also find that making plans with friends, family and partners on an evening and weekend is super important! It gives me something to look forward to and gets me out of the house.
Take some time off
It may sound counter-productive to take time off in order to improve your focus, but actually, taking time away from your computer/work can leave you with a renewed sense of why you love your job. It’s easy to get bogged down in a negative world of ‘I don’t want to do this’ or ‘This is taking over my life’, because when you’re freelancing, there is no distinction between work and life. You don’t leave your work stress at the office. However, if you take the pressure off yourself for a couple of days, you’ll often find that you rediscover why you love your work – and you’ll prevent burnout too!
Are you a freelancer? What are your favourite ways to boost focus? Share them in the comments below!