Working from home is great but it also has various disadvantages. One of them is exactly the freedom that you first appreciate, creating your very own schedule. It is really important that you start your day right since this is going to have an impact on practically everything that you will do. Freelancing will make you lose track of time so planning is really important.
What do you do when you wake up?
I tend to believe (I might be wrong) that most freelancers are hitting that snooze button a number of times. Some will most likely not even use an alarm clock. Then, they go to the bathroom, brush their teeth, grab some breakfast. Some will grab coffee while others will play with their dogs.
Every freelancer will have some sort of routine, even if they do not realize that this is the case. Do you always hit the snooze button on your alarm clock? Do you always brush your teeth first or wash your face? All of these are routines. We all have them and it is completely normal.
The problem is that routines tend to be longer and longer as time passes. When you first start working as a freelancer you are happy, confident and you do not spend much time eating and getting to work. Then, eventually, many freelancers end up finding any possible excuse to postpone the work that is done.
You do not even realize it when your regular 8 hour work day turns into a 4 hour work day. You still stay at the desk for 8 hours but you only work 4.
Extra Reading: How To Deal With Freelancer Procrastination
Develop An Effective Morning Routine
What you do in the morning will set the mood for your entire day. Since you work from home it is so easy to be distracted. If you get in the right mindset as you wake up, you have a much better chance to avoid distractions and be effective. This eventually makes everything better since you will have more time to deal with other things you love, like a hobby (I personally play video games).
What is an effective morning routine?
This is where things get a little tricky. Let’s consider my routine:
- I wake up.
- I get ambushed by my dog and have my face licked all over.
- I feed the dog.
- I take the dog out – this happens every other day. The other day the roommate takes him out.
- I get home and wash – unfortunately I have to do this or my dog pees in the home if I disappear even for a second after I wake up. He is weird like that.
- I eat.
- I check my email as I drink my coffee and smoke a couple of cigarettes.
- I start working.
This seems pretty straightforward but it takes around 2 hours. During those 2 hours I slowly wake up and by the time I start working I am completely focused on work. Something so simple actually took months to work on and get going, with numerous distractions coming up.
Further Reading: How to balance life and business when you work from home – 8 tips
Why am I saying all this?
Because you should understand that it takes dedication to end up doing the same thing every day and having that routine actually make you more effective.
Develop An Effective Morning Routine As A Freelancer
If you look for information about this on Google you will mostly see general tips, templates and routines that other people use. Copying is never a good thing. When you copy what someone else does there is a pretty good possibility different results will appear.
Obviously, there are some things that will work and that you can learn so by all means, use Google Search. Always use Google Search to see what others do. You never know where you find some inspiration.
What I want to point out is that you are a unique person so your routine is your own. You basically should think about the answers to some questions:
- Are you tired when you wake up?
You need to look at your sleep pattern and habits. It is possible that you sleep too much or not as much as the body needs. Getting really good sleep is very important. Routine will not matter if you are not rested as you wake up.
- What is the first thing you need to do?
I am not talking about going to the bathroom or washing your face. This is quite obvious. Think about the rest. Do you need to eat to get working or you have to eat a little later? If you are a person that cannot eat when waking up, as you grab a coffee or any other liquid, you can check the day’s to-do list or check your email address. Things like these get you in a working mindset.
- When are you effective?
Most freelancers quickly check their messages as they wake up and want to get to work as soon as possible. If this is not something that works for you, there is a pretty good possibility you need to work at another time of day. I was like that for a really long time. I was only effectively working during the night. If you are not effective after the morning routine, make this routine all about the other things you should do. Just do be sure that you check your received email subjects to see if there is something that requires your immediate attention.
5 Tips To Create That Perfect Freelancing Morning Routine:
- Write down what you have to do tomorrow before you go to sleep today.
This list helps you stay focused. Try to include time to look at that list in your morning routine since this put you in the right mindset. You know what you have to do and you already have some sort of planning done. As you look at the list you just need to assign priority and decide what to do first.
- Use cold water to wash your face
Cold water might not be so pleasant but it wakes you up. Do not open your email before you feel you are awake or you will lose time. Take all the time you need to fully wake up and you already made a big step towards being more productive.
- Plan your day
See that to-do list and start planning your day, at least your work day. The morning is the best time to do this since planning does not require too much brain activity while the result makes the entire day more effective.
- Work out a little
The morning is perfect for a little exercising. You do not need to do much. Something as simple as a morning yoga energizing routine or some push-ups helps much more than you imagine. As an extra tip, make sure that while you work you also have some exercising breaks to get your mind off work and keep the body active.
- Consider music
Music helps us so many times. It is pretty useful for many morning routines as it can give you what you lack. Is your energy low? Some dancing on upbeat music might help. Experiment with different genres and see what works and what makes you start your day right.
Remember that those 5 tips might or might not work. You want to experiment and create a morning routine that is great for you. Do some research and see what others do but do not remain focused solely on that. Focus just on what you do in the morning. Similar tasks should be associated with the rest of the day but you always want to start your day right.