How to get the most out of your working day as a freelancer
If you’re a freelancer working all hours of the day at home, or a mum avidly blogging about nappy disasters and product reviews, you’re going to need a comfortable and inspiring space where you can be productive. It’s so easy to just roll out of bed, flip the kettle on and slouch on the sofa with a laptop warming your thighs, but in order to get the most out of your home-working day, you’ll need a dedicated space and some essential equipment and accessories to get you through.
Boring but essential for the home-office, an up-to-date version of any software that you use on a regular basis will make life a little less stressful. Not only will it keep download speeds of files down on your end, but will keep things speedy for anyone downloading your docs from emails too. An up-to-date version of Microsoft Office will be really useful , if (like the writer of this article) you’re still plodding along in XP! (You can buy it from places like Argos for just over £100).
The right hardware
Whether you like to be able to pick up and go to the nearest coffee shop when the house gets too noisy, or set up permanent camp in the spare bedroom, you’re going to need a computer to get your work done. That 20 year-old Mac just won’t do, but there are plenty of deals available on cheap laptops that will suit a range of tastes and cater for every need. A smart phone is also an essential if you need to be able to check in to your emails whilst on the go – this will also enable you to stay social and keep in touch with conversations whilst out of the office.
Working on the sofa in front of the telly may be tempting some days, but it’s not going to do your back (or productivity) any favours. Clear some space in the spare room, in the corner of the kitchen or create a quirky workstation under the stairs so you can clearly separate yourself from home and work. A good desk with enough space for you to spread out is worth investing in, as well as a chair that is comfy and will support your back while you’re sat down for long periods of time.
Having plenty of light in your office will keep you in a brighter mood when the going gets a little tough. If possible, place your desk where it will be drenched in natural light to keep cabin fever from taking over. However, if this isn’t possible, invest in a good lamp to stop your eyes from straining too much. And besides, who can be creative or productive in the dark?
It’s not uncommon to find that most desks are cluttered with notes and stacks of paper, business cards and endless to-do lists. Finding a storage system that works for you will calm the chaos slightly and will make everything a little more manageable – whether you have storage boxes for each project and all your invoices or a folder filled with sticky-notes and scribbles’, staying organised is paramount.
It’s also worth getting yourself an external hard drive to keep all of your work backed up at all times – this also gives you flexibility and means all your work is at hand when you do have to go into the office.
However you choose to style your home-office, make sure it reflects you and your work and is set up with productivity in mind!
Argos offer a range of business products to help you set up your home office www.argos.co.uk