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How to work well alone

| By: Gill Chantler (Community manager / illustrator @ Briefbox)

Living the freelance lifestyle can appear to be, from the outside, like you’re ‘living the dream…’ Having the ability to be your own boss, manage your own time and work from tropical, far-flung locations. Sounds pretty peachy right??

However, with such new-found freedom and flexibility comes with a certain degree of responsibility. It’s now solely down to you how you manage your own time and workflow. Also, finding yourself without the support of your college professors or peers can be tricky at first for some individuals. Though don’t panic! You can begin to manage your workflow and fine tune your working routine by following our top tips below:

1. Get your daily routine down. It may sound pretty obvious, though by sticking to a similar time each day to get up in the morning and importantly when to clock off at the end of your day will really help you to structure your week and manage your workflow. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that friends and family, who are not freelance, will probably work within a more structured timeframe, i.e 9-5. And so, sticking to a similar schedule yourself will allow you time to go out in the evenings and hang out with your buddies!

2. Face distractions head on. When I worked as a freelancer for a period of time, it may sound a little geeky(!) though when I worked from home, I worked hard at making sure my workspace was neat and tidy. At the end of the day, I made a habit of clearing my desk space, allowing me to start afresh each morning and focus on the tasks at hand.

3. Understand when to switch off. Being your own boss can be fantastic. It can also be rather tricky to switch off from all the zillions of creative ideas which can ping pong around your head and keep you awake late at night. Make sure, you get out there, stay social, make plans with friends and get a good nights sleep in now and again. Keeping a balance with friends and family also, in turn, will help to keep your creativity and happiness in your work. This is a key factor, in making it as work as a freelance creative, long term.

4. Get out there! If you’re really going bananas at home. Mix it up(!) Don’t just sit there in a creative stew. Find out what works best for you. Try, working from home in the morning and if you find yourself in a rut, go for a walk or settle down in a cafe with your laptop.

5. Don’t be afraid to change things up if you need. Buddy up! Reach out to some of your fellow freelance friends out there and get creative in setting up a co-working space. You never know what could happen, new exciting projects could come your way or you could consider setting up your own company down the line.

6. Find your own community! Sometimes when you’re stuck on a project and have been looking at your screen for too long the best thing to do, is to get your work out there and take some fresh feedback on board… Which is where sites such as Brief box can be an awesome space to share your ideas, join a community of creatives and see what people think!

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