Deciding to be a freelancer is the easy bit. When you stop to think about it, it’s not hard – stay at home all day, work when you want, do what you choose and generally be queen (or king) of your every minute.
The next big decision is to stay as a freelancer when you realise that, apart from the stay at home bit, none of those other things turns out to be true most of the time. But once you’re sure you’re stuck with it, there a whole host of other choices to make.
Get dressed or don’t get dressed – (Disclosure – I’m currently wearing pyjamas) Some people find that they simply can’t get their work head-on when they don’t have ‘facing real people’ clothes on – there’s only one way to learn this about yourself.
Snack or don’t snack – Easy. Snack every time.
Business or normal broadband – Give some thought to whether you should switch to a business-specific broadband deal. You can find a package that offers more in the way of IT support and other benefits such as web hosting or a stable IP address. Look online for business broadband deals and expect to be surprised by the prices. In my area, the cheapest deal at the moment is £15.90 with the fastest (362Mb) costing £43. There are also a host of special offers with cashback or vouchers.
Switching provider or staying – Most of us have some form of mild PTSD from a gruelling phone session with a telecoms provider and it puts us off switching. Seriously, who’s got three days to spare being passed from one operator to another while trying to remember the fourth letter of our passwords? There’s good news – unless you are switching to or from Virgin – because you can just get your new provider to do that leg (or ear) work.
Doing your existing work or pitching for new stuff – This is a tricky one. Do you plough through your to-do list of work you already have on the go because you’re busy, right, or not? My advice is that you must set aside a little bit of every day to do what you must to get new work because sooner or later you’ll finish what’s right in front of you.
Tidy your sock drawer or work – it’s an odd thing when you work at home. You can go for literally years on end not caring about the order of your socks (pants, plastic boxes, coloured pens, vinyl albums) then the minute you’ve got a deadline or an accountant to attend to it suddenly becomes of compelling importance. That’s why it’s important to recognise what’s going on and tackle it head-on. I find strict working hours (and checking my bank balance online) help keep me focussed on the job in hand.