The Importance of A Freelancer’s Workspace
You’ve decided to go out on your own. Perhaps you’re not there yet, but you work from home at night or on your off days. Some people may just pick a comfy spot and start to work. Others may not have much space. If you’re married and have children, you can’t leave your work or computer out in the open. If you live alone, you have free reign over the house. No matter what your actual work situation is, you need a dedicated work space. Today, I am going to give you tips regarding the importance of a freelancer’s workspace.
You Need Privacy and Peace
I have a dual career, as both a web designer and a writer. I get paid to write content, paid to write articles, and I build custom websites for clients. All of these require concentration. My job as a designer & developer is to solve problems and provide solutions for my clients and their businesses. I have 2 children, a son that is 2 and a daughter that is 7. I am also still happily married, and we have 2 dogs and a cat. No matter what room you are in, there always seems to be a circus going on. The kids are being loud, as they all tend to be, or the dog is fighting with the cat, or my wife is watching a movie or wants to have an in depth conversation.
The point is, that you can’t work with a circus going on around you. There has to be a space where you can go and be alone. You need to focus on what you’re doing without interruptions.
Try to find a space, no matter how big or small, where you can shut out the outside world. This will make it easier to concentrate, and business phone calls with go much smoother.
Set rules with roommates or family members that between the hours of x and y, that is your office space, and you need total concentration.
Have Everything you need in one spot
Having to get up every 5 minutes will kill your productivity and break your concentration. Plus, you’ll be too tempted to socialize of catch what your friends or family are watching on tv. Gather everything you need, such as important papers, a notepad, pens, and books or references, a good power strip, and your charging cables for both the computer and your phone.
You can’t turn off your phone, or at least I can’t, because I may miss out on a new website client. However, you can avoid areas with a television, or set yourself up facing away from it.
If you have a room, or even a corner, it’s important to set your space up with objects or images that inspire and motivate you. Try not to just stare at a blank wall.
Sit near a window, if possible, but face away from it. The natural sunlight will keep your mood elevated, but you won’t be tempted to daydream and stare out the window – or be a creeper and watch your neighbors.
If possible, make sure your desk is the right height, or adjust your chair to make it comfortable for you to work. if you start to cramp or feel pain, especially in your arms, it could be that you are leaning or reaching, and you need to adjust your work area in order to fit your body.
No room for a desk? Have a Laptop? Use a Lapdesk
Laptops are great. you can carry them wherever you go, but man do they ever get hot! I have a 15 inch Macbook Pro, and you could cook eggs on the bottom of it. Pick up a good quality lapdesk for $15 -$20. Make sure that it is big enough for your laptop, and that it has around 5 to 6 inches of space left over for you to place and use your mouse. Save your legs and keep your lap cool. All that heat can’t be good your your health.
Tips for Working Around People
When I first started off, my desk was in the living room. It was tough working around family, because everyone was too tempted to talk to me while I worked. I bought a pair of noise canceling headphones, and set a rule that while I had those headphones on, I wasn’t to be disturbed, unless someone is sick or dying. it actually turned out the be quite effective. When I get sore or tired of working at my desk, i have a pair of thick, over the ear headphones with 1 inch thick cushioning to block sound. I can sit in a comfy recliner and do research, write, or whatever I need to do, without hearing what is going on around me.
My desk was in the living room, but I made sure that it was in an alcove, where no matter where I turned I couldn’t see it. It is far less tempting to get involved in the television when it’s too tough to see it.
Make it easy to store your supplies and tuck everything away from pets and kids.
Schedule your work time for when your home is the quietest. The quieter your work area, the easier it will be to concentrate.
Take Phone calls outside, in a garage, or another room where you can concentrate and you can hear. Remember to take your note pad with you. Also, remember that callers can hear background noise as well, and screaming children are never appealing during a business call.
Your workspace can have a drastic effect on the quality of your work, as well as your productivity. With a little effort and forethought, you can set yourself up for success. If you follow the tips above, you’ll have the ideal freelancer’s workspace.