I have been working from home exclusively for almost two years now which is as great as it sounds. It does come with a few risks that not everyone is able to handle, mainly to let things slide as it can be really tempting to do something not related to work. This begins with letting the work schedule slide by staying longer in bed, going on an extended shopping spree or enjoying the summer sun. While it is perfectly natural and usually unproblematic to let it slide from time to time it can become a problem if it happens to often.
Letting things slide is however only one aspect that can go wrong. Here are five tips for full time freelancers that helped me tremendously in my day to day work routine.
Set work and spare time
When I began working I basically worked 24/7. There was no balance in what I did and this turned out to be very stressful in the end. A far better solution was to set specific times for work which helped me find a balance between work and spare time. I did for example decide to work less on the weekends partially because there were not that many news anyway but also because I needed some rest from the five work days.
It can be really tempting to work eight hours straight and it happened more than once that I felt totally exhausted after spending 10 hours in front of the computer monitor. I usually did not feel well afterwards which was the turning point for me to schedule regular breaks. I try to do several shorter breaks during the day and one larger break to eat something proper. Breaks for me mean to leave the computer and do something else, usually relax with my eyes closed on the coach or going for a walk.
Eat and drink enough
I used to eat and drink little while working which reduced my ability to concentrate and work over the course of the day. It is of utmost importance to drink enough. I have water, tea or coffee standing by all the time now so that I drink enough during the day. I also make sure to eat occasionally during my breaks.
Setting up a proper workspace
A proper workspace is essential. Some users might think that all they need is a computer and a table but that's far from it. You need a good computer desk, an even better computer chair (remember you sit in that chair 40+ hours a week), a computer monitor with a good contrast that is not hurting the eyes, a computer keyboard and mouse that you feel comfortable with, a phone, router, printer, scanner and other equipment that is necessary to work from home.
Take care of your body
Your body is pretty good at notifying you about problems. It can be eyes that are hurting, body ache or any other symptoms. It is important to pay close attention to this. It could mean that the equipment and situation is not the ideal environment.
It is also important to find a balance. Doing sports, this can be anything from football to cycling or walking, can really benefit the body and mind.
Do you have any other tips that might help users in my situation? Let me hear them in the comments.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.