Whether you are just dipping your toe in the waters of freelancing or you are starting your own business from scratch, there are a few things you need to succeed. Of course, you want to get your business going with as little money as possible. You don’t want to be in the hole financially before you get your first paid invoice.
Here are the top 5 things that I use to successfully work from home (and on the go).
1. Defined Work Space at Home
Most freelancers are guilty of limiting their workspace to their laptops. While this can work for some time, it is a good idea to have a space in your house that is devoted just to work. Depending on the type of business you are running from your home, you don’t even need a lot of space. I like having a distinct work corner in our family’s office for the following reasons:
- It helps me know when to shut down and separate myself from my work
- It gives me a productive place to work if I need to work while my husband watches the girls
- I can brainstorm ideas and write down lists and have them in a designated spot, rather than all over the house and in my laptop bag
- If I have trouble getting down to work at night, moving to my spot in the office helps trigger my brain to be productive
2. Portable Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Enhancers
I do some of my work from Starbucks, and on busy days, the internet connection can be extremely slow. Having a portable Wi-Fi or a Wi-Fi enhancers can help your internet connection stay strong and help you stay connected. Most of the time, I use my phone as a personal hotspot to help. Here are some other solutions to try:
- HooToo Wireless Travel Router ($17.99): Not a hotspot but can help strengthen your signal.
- Karma ($149): Allows you to top off your device with GB (just pay a small fee), but the best thing is that you can share your Wi-Fi with others and earn more GB for doing so. So if someone connects to your network, they will be given 100 GB of free Wi-Fi, and then you will be rewarded with 100 GB too.
3. Noise Cancelling Headphones
Wearing noise-cancelling headphones helps me to get in the mood to work. The simple act of putting the headphones on allows me to concentrate on the tasks I must do that work period. The Bose ones are extremely nice but on the pricey side. I find the Sennheiser HD work nicely for what I need them for but are only $22.05. Plus, if something happens to them when I transport them to and from the coffee shop, I won’t be too heartbroken about it.
See also: 10 Freelance Jobs for Moms Who Want to Work at Home
Whether you like planning on your phone or on actual paper, having the right tools to plan correctly will keep you productive. I personally love using my Color Crush A5 Leather Planner for everything. I was thisclose to paying over $50 for a planner that was amazing but also only for one year. I saw the Color Crush on sale at Blitsy and love that I can add the pages that I need, and that to update my planner for 2017, it will only take about $10-15 to update it.
I use several, adorable planning sheets that I bought from Etsy to keep my budget, grocery list, and work planned out. You must be intentional about your time or your time will slip away from you.
5. Distraction Blockers
Distractions will kill your productivity and decrease how much you make an hour. Glancing at social media or online shopping for online five minutes seems harmless, but if I do it every hour during my six-hour work period, I just wasted 30 precious minutes. Some good ones to try are the following:
6. *Bonus Tip* A Place to Work Outside of the Home
I have tried a few different coffee shops and restaurants with free Wi-Fi to work outside of the home. It takes a few attempts and trial by error, but it is important to find your outside of the home work spot. I go to one Starbucks regularly when I have my babysitter for two afternoons a week.
If I am feeling a bit of writer block or uninspired, usually just leaving home and going to my Starbucks spot helps perk up my brain and productivity a bit.
Getting to my most productive workflow has taken some time. The above six things help me get in my groove faster and get more articles done.
What tools do you need to successfully work from home (or the coffee shop)?