Transitioning into a remote, freelance or self-employed professional environment? It’s not as easy as it may seem. Going from a structured work environment to one where you’re the boss has plenty of perks. But the transition can also be difficult. In addition to your day-to-day tasks, you’ll need to find your own motivation and structure. These tips should help you find your way.
Choose Your Work Hours
One of the joys of working remotely is choosing your own work hours. But this perk can also become a downfall if you don’t choose wisely.
Find What Works for You
Don’t simply work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. because that’s what you’re used to! You’ll end up back in the slug of corporate life before you know it. Try out a few different work schedules. Or, change your work schedule from week to week.
Prioritize Your Tasks to Become More Self-Employed
We all have tasks we need to complete — and not every task is created equal. Make a list of tasks at the beginning of the month, week and day. Prioritize each task and write your tasks on your calendar.
Motivate yourself to complete your tasks. What happens if you don’t finish them? What happens if you do?
Work For Your Energy Levels — Not Against Them
Depending on your age, gender and health, your energy levels will be drastically different from others’. Are you a night person? Don’t start work at 6 a.m. Do you need an afternoon nap? Go for it!
Create a Community
One of the perks of working in an office is having an instant community (whether or not you like the members is another thing). When you go remote, your community goes away, too. We recommend building your own community by hiring a coach, locating online help and finding work buddies, people who are also self-employed. There is a lot more than you think.
Hire a Coach
When you don’t have a boss, you get plenty of freedom. But you also don’t have someone keeping tabs on you and keeping you motivated. Hiring a coach can help you take advantage of all the benefits bosses offer — without the expectations.
Locate an Online Community
There are plenty of online communities for freelancers these days. We at Rise have created our own support group for remote workers, CEOs and professionals. Get advice, sign up for benefits and find your people.
Find an Accountability Buddy
If you don’t have the money to hire a coach, find an accountability buddy. Keep each other motivated by checking on each other throughout the day and talking about your goals.
Choose Your Location
Location, location, location. It’s a bit of a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason. When it comes to work satisfaction, location is pretty much everything. If you’re unhappy in your environment, you’re more likely to become distracted.
Your workspace should spark:
When we talk about location, we can also look at our minds as a location — or as your state of mind as a place. If you train your mind to be still, you’ll have better focus. Meditation can help quiet the chaos and help you find silence (even if your email is a minefield).
It’s easy to get so comfortable in your environment that you forget to eat, exercise — or even go to the bathroom. And when we forget to do these things? Our productivity decreases.
To ensure your productivity stays high, schedule breaks throughout your day. Some experts recommend 90 minutes of work followed by a break. Others simply recommend that you do what works for you.
Find Your Purpose
Above all, experts recommend that you find your purpose before you do anything else. Why are you doing this work? What’s in it for you? What’s in it for society? Are you ‘in the flow’ while you’re working? Or are you simply just chugging through your day?
If you’re not feeling inspired or passionate about your career, we recommend doing a little soul searching. Being self-employed can get a little draining.
But if you are passionate about what you do (and you’re still finding it hard to focus), you might want to find your purpose before starting daily tasks. Ask yourself:
- Why am I doing this (earn money, help society)
- What do I get if I do complete this task (paid, recognition, self-satisfaction)
- What happens if I don’t finish this task?
- If I didn’t finish this task, what would I rather be doing instead?