Wednesday, November 16

Cabin Fever - 15 Ideas for Freelancers. Pt. 5-10

Here's the second 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.

6. Plan Your Week on a Friday

Every Friday I'll plan the following week on my chalkboard (above), I'll make a list of jobs that I have on (bottom right), above that I'll list the tasks that need doing, and then break each day into AM and PM and divide these tasks through the week. Who needs Basecamp right? Chalkboard planning like this will help keep the motivation going over the weekend, and always mean you know exactly what needs doing when.

7. Take Walks, Play Sports

Cabin Fever is a killer when you work for yourself, whole days not talking to anyone can leave you a little strange of mind. Not long ago, I went nearly 2 weeks without leaving the office, and when I eventually did go out I felt very anxious. I've started to get out more, play some sports and make sure I'm seeing people regularly, these kinds of relationships are invaluable and they help to maintain sanity. Get some tight shorts a headband, and play some badders (badminton).

8. Be Cautious with Amends

When you're part of an agency you have that second line of defence in your Account Manager, they'll manage amends, and then check and sign them off. Every designer I ever met thought they could handle their own amends, and everyone of them couldn't. Be cautious, print the email out, tick off the ones you've done, then double check these and cross through the ticks. It's the only way to ensure you're not wasting everyone's time.

9. Get a System to Manage Work

When you're busy the last thing you want to do it to get a load more work drop on your desk, but you have to learn to manage your workflow. It's really important that you keep the momentum going through the properious times to minimise the lean times. I have a system that keeps me in check, I have a 'special' chart, and everyday I have to get a tick in at last 2 of the boxes. The Columns are 'Pitched'. 'Quoted' and 'invoice'. Then at the end of the week I add up my scores, each week has a max of 15, and if I'm under 10 I thrash myself with my mouse cable. Only joking of course, I use a Wireless Mouse.

10. Make Something Positive Happen Every Day

I know this sounds really annoying, and you probably hate me now, but it really works for me. I have a goal that I have to make something positive for Citizen happen every day, this can be anything from a good response to a blog, or quoting a new piece of work. A good business will move forward on positivity (I'm so sorry, I hate things like this as well), but you're on the only one that can make that happen (god, I can only apologise). Nobody put this on a motivational poster and we'll be alright.

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

Part 3 on Friday 18th November

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