Have you been wishing and hoping that you might be able to turn your side hustle into a real career as a full-time blogger? It can be incredibly scary to take that leap; after all, working for someone else provides a certain amount of security – not to mention a regular paycheck and health insurance! However, as you are working from home during this pandemic, you might consider this time as a trial run for your full-time freelancing or blogging career. Here are some key lessons to begin implementing even as you continue to telecommute.
Set Up a Dedicated Space
If you’re working while stretched out on your couch or camped out at the dining room table, stop. Telecommuting experts all say that you really ought to have a dedicated workspace. Why? Well, it helps you transition from “home” mode to “work” mode each morning, and then back again in the evening.
You don’t have to have a fancy set up or even an entire room. Just find a flat surface for your laptop and a chair to park your butt in, and use them for work only. Ideally, you will want at least a little privacy. If you can’t shut the door, set up a folding screen or tack up a curtain to demarcate your space.
Dress for Success
Similarly, don’t roll right from bed to your home office dressed in the same PJs you slept in. Take the time to change your clothes. Like that specific space, work clothes will signal to your brain that it’s time to be productive.
Should you get gussied up as though you were going to the office or having an important client meeting? That’s probably not necessary. Try yoga pants, jeans, or a loose and comfortable dress. Just be sure you look professional and appropriate when and if you have video meetings. (And yes, that might mean wearing pants!)
Stick to a Schedule
There is one more way to make a meaningful distinction between the workday and your leisure time, and that is by scheduling your work. Without sticking to a schedule, you are all too liable to sleep in, get sidetracked fixing an elaborate snack, or put off until tomorrow what you ought to be getting done today.
This is even more true for freelancers and FT bloggers than it is for telecommuters with external deadlines. So get in the habit of sticking to a schedule and staying on top of your email.
That Means Logging Off, Too
One of the best parts of working from home is having great flexibility. You can take a quick break to put in a load of laundry or measure ingredients for an Instapot meal. However, it’s important not to mesh too much of your personal life into your workday.
At some point, stop checking work emails. Log into the intranet or messaging system only during your designated work hours, and log out when you are supposed to be punching out.
For some Type-A folks, the temptation to knock out just one more task or write one more proposal is just too great. Be firm with your free time!
Freelance Work Takes Discipline
Not everyone is cut out to be a full-time freelancer, whether they work as a blogger, graphic designer, artist, editor, or IT professional. It takes discipline – not only to get to work but to stop working and shift into your personal time, too. Depending on how flexible your remote work for an employer is during these days of stay-at-home mandates, you might be getting the perfect opportunity to flex your freelance muscle and see how this lifestyle suits you!