Monday, November 14

Cabin Fever - 15 Ideas for Freelancers. Pt. 1-5

Here's the first in a 3 part series in a guide to home working, I'm a complete expert at it, I've been doing it for a WHOLE YEAR!  OK, maybe I'm not, but these are my thoughts from year one.

1. Get Dressed

Seriously DO NOT work in your pyjamas, don't even work in your tracksuit bottoms, no you have to dress like you're going to work to feel like you're working, this means no bare feet, no nude under the desk, no nipples at monitor level. If you're going to take this seriously then 'Never Nude' is a good policy.

2. Work at Least Proper Hours

You might be more inspired in the evening, I tend to feel purple around 6pm and like to push through, but always make sure you're available the hours your clients work. Unfortunately for me, my voice always sounds like I've woken up, so even though I'm working from about 8.30, clients always ask me if I'm in bed, of course, I'm not, I'm ready for action, and my clients like this kind of reliability.

3. Get an Accountant

I've got an accountant, I call him Uncle Neil, I'm pretty sure he hates me, I ask him all sorts of stupid questions, all the time. When we have a meeting I make him explain everything about 12 times until I properly understand it, but that's what I'm paying for right? Getting a proper accountant to handle your Tax Return and other boring stuff is essential, it's really complicated and you don't want to waste your precious time on these kind of things. Everyone needs an Uncle Neil. (He doesn't know I call him 'Uncle', and he's not really my uncle).

4. Back-up Properly

However you do it, make sure you back up properly. I back up to TimeMachine throughout the day, then at the end of each month I have a separate drive that I transfer all of my completed project for the month onto. I also do automatic duplicated saves locally from Quark on even save. You can go a step further and back up these backup drives remotely, Amazon servers are excellent for this kind of security.

5. Manage Your Moods

Had a rough night's sleep? Feeling a bit fragile, then maybe don't send that email to your client questioning the need to make this particular amend. If you're in a bad mood, remember there's no account managers here to buffer your brooding apathy, if you annoy a client, it's very easy for them to find another designer. Take a minute, take a breath and come back it when when you feel a bit more like a pretty, pretty princess.

What do you think? Have you got any good tips for Home Workers? Do Share them.

Part 2 on Wednesday 16th November

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