The workspace. The one place we spend hours upon hours doing our daily freelance work. I admit that it can be a very dreary experience when working in an environment that does not please the senses, especially if your work entails producing creative writing, or stunning designs. It can be a real drag on inspiration, and productivity as well, and it’s very important for your work ethic as a freelancer to customize your workspace to your likings, in ways which make it more effective for you to work there, as well as bring a sense of happiness whilst working there.
1. Develop a colorful atmosphere
It’s surprising how much of a profound effect color has on the human mind. Think of it in terms of the weather first. If it’s cloudy, dull, and boring outside (which is 99% of the time in England) then your mood usually reflects that. However, during sunny summer days, generally your mood often changes to one of happiness – you can apply that logic to your office too. You could, for example, paint the walls a nice bright color. Not only would this allow more light into the room (or more correctly, reflect more light) but would create a vibrant atmosphere around you, perfect for creative work. Another small example would be the use of varying colored sticky notes (these being one of my uber tools for freelancing). If you don’t use sticky notes already to post to-do tasks, you may want to give it a go – if you do this, go for the multi-colored ones, this way you can color code your sticky notes dependent on the task at hand. Let’s say you’ve got a design job to do, you could write that task on a green sticky note, whilst all coding tasks can be written on orange sticky notes.
2. Dual Monitors
Dual monitors, what? Yes, using two monitors in place of one has proven to be a great productivity booster. How you ask? Well, let’s say you’re a freelance designer, and you’ve got Photoshop up. You could use one monitor and have Photoshop open full screen on that, whilst on the other monitor you could have the design brief that you need to work off. This allows you to have both things in front of you simultaneously instead of having to constantly switch back and forth.
3. Get a comfortable, ergonomic chair
Getting a comfortable chair that doesn’t strain your back as you work is paramount in alleviating the onset of back pains, and is well worth purchasing as you’re going to be spending a heck of a lot of time sitting on one. Ensure that the chair’s height is adjustable so you can sit eye-level to the screen(s).
4. Good Lighting
Some of us freelancers are known as vampires because we only work at night. Working on a project during the late hours of the night is becoming a mighty common thing among freelancers (I do it myself sometimes). It’s probably due to the fact that it’s stone quiet during the night, and so distractions are at the bare minimum. So, if you work at night, it’s not a good idea to shut the light (which I’m guilty of), as this puts a strain on your eyes due to the immense light difference in the room and on the screen. Instead, get some good lamps (why not even one that emits colored light?) that you can switch on during your productive night shifts.
Whether you’re a designer, coder, writer, or whatever, you’re always going to need to plan out the tasks you undertake. Whether that be on paper in the form of a rough wire frame sketch of a potential site design, or working out the logic for a web application as a coder. I find that, rather than paper, you should hang up a whiteboard on the other side of your office in order to plan such tasks. Not only is this a great, more active way to plan and brainstorm, it makes you get out of your chair to do it!
Follow these steps and become a happier freelancer whilst you work!
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