Though difficult, especially when it’s all new, this sense of routine is critical for success, and can take the form of putting communication boundaries in place with clients and ensuring work doesn’t spread into evenings and weekends. And sometimes, it requires you tricking your mind and body into a routine resemblant of a regular office job.
Despite having been self-employed for nearly seven years, journalist and writer Samira Sawlani still finds freelancing from home a challenge – one that requires a great deal of discipline. “It can be easy to miss lunch or take lunch earlier as a way to procrastinate, so I have a set time in place, [as well as] tea breaks and an hour for the gym,” she shares. “I also, without fail, switch my laptop off at 5pm and go out for a coffee. Even if I resume work later at night, having that time when I go out, walk, leave my phone at home, have a coffee and read my book has made a big difference.”
Creative and author Samantha Bertish, who has worked from her home office for ten years now, also believes that discipline is the key. Treating each day as a proper working day, Bertish’s work set-up replicates an office-style environment with a desk and chair: “My day starts just as if I was going to the office...I structure it with an 11am tea break, 30 minutes for lunch, a break in the afternoon to walk the dog and finish at 6pm. I don’t take calls or respond to emails after this time, just as if I had left a real working office.”