More and more of us are choosing to work from home. My job as a freelance writer gives me this flexibility. All I need is my kitchen table and a laptop – plus a few gadgets and good routines. Here’s how I make it work…
Find your happy space
Your working space needs to be somewhere that inspires you. For me, that’s my open-plan kitchen. It’s the lightest room in the house, and all that extra light keeps my mind sharp and focused. I like to get comfy, but not too comfy otherwise I might fall asleep (writing in bed is a no-no for me). So, you’ll usually find me sitting at the kitchen table, laptop and to-do list at the ready.
A laptop and my all favourite notebooks
After two years of freelancing, I saved enough money to buy myself a super lightweight laptop. It’s been a godsend, but I still couldn’t live without an old-fashioned notebook and pen. I have three: a daily planner for my to-do list, a simple diary and a blank book to fill with ideas. Every piece of work I produce for a client starts out as a list or a mind-map on paper – once I’ve got the basics, I move to my computer. I just find my brains works better that way, but experiment and see what works for you. This planner from Ohh Dearhas revolutionised my focus lists.
Useful apps to boost productivity
My productivity levels really shot up when I started using the FocusList appon my computer. It’s a super simple little tool that helps you manage your time. The basic idea is that you work on a task for 25 mins, and then take a 5 min break – repeating it again and again. The app sounds an alarm when it’s time to stop and start. It’s such an effective idea, and it (mostly) stops me frittering away my time on unfocused activities and social media.
Knowing when it’s time to switch off
The hardest bit about working from your kitchen table is knowing when it’s time to switch off. Some people work better without boundaries, but I’m a firm believer in setting yourself your own office hours. I work when my kids are at school, and then sometimes for another couple of hours in the evenings. But these aren’t firm rules – and if a project feels stuck, then taking some time out is often the best cure and will lead to greater productivity in the long-run.