Three Top Tips For Moving Into Freelance Work

August 5, 2019 4:35 pm

If you’re moving into freelance work, it can be easy to focus on the positives; setting your own hours, not having to report to anyone and being able to stay in your pyjamas until lunchtime are all great bonuses – but there are also a lot of negatives. Working for yourself can be isolating and lonely, you can find yourself working longer hours to please clients, and your work-life balance can disappear easily if you let it. If you’re thinking of moving into freelance work, then read on. Here are three top tips to make it as smooth as possible. 

Create A Productive Workspace

The first thing you need to do as a freelancer is make sure you’ve got a good workspace set up – a desk in front of a well lit window, with a comfortable chair – ergonomic if possible. Secondly, make sure your laptop or computer monitor is in the right position; the screen should be at eye level, and the keyboard should be roughly 17 inches from your body – this set up helps to prevent back problems and eye strain. Lastly, keep the space clutter free with a pinboard for any notes and reminders, and a few pots for pens and stationery – leaving the desk largely empty will allow you to spread out any papers you need to work from.

Budget Wisely

Creating a budget should be one of the first things you do as a freelancer, as you won’t be earning a regular wage – your income will be generated by invoices, which can take anything up to six months to be paid, so it’s important to be clever with your spending. Set up a spreadsheet to keep track of incoming money and expenditure, and try to make sure you keep enough back to cover any periods of sickness or injury – as a freelancer, you won’t be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, so you need to make sure you have a buffer. 

Look into registering for a business account for your utility bills, and do an online commercial electricity comparison to find the best rates – setting up a business account can save you a great deal of money in the long run. 

Create Regular Working Hours

When you work for yourself, there’s always the temptation to work longer and harder than you should; it’s easy to find yourself at the computer late into the evening, just so you can get a task finished, or get ahead for the next day – this might sound admirable, but it’s actually a fast track to burnout. 

Make sure you set yourself regular working hours, and stick to them – and to avoid late night emailing, leave your smartphone to charge in a different room, so there’s no temptation to pick it up in the middle of the night! It’s also important to make sure you take regular breaks throughout the day; stop for lunch, and move away from the computer to eat – moving around will get the blood flowing, and will help you be more productive in the afternoon.

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