Making a living as a freelancer has its pros and cons. One of the pros, at least for certain types of industries, is the ability to work from home. Freelancers who do so avoid the daily commute; they have the ability to control their own schedules more tightly; they are able to work in a comfortable setting. But not all is sunshine and roses.
Working from home has its negatives. It also offers some hard-to-avoid traps. For freelancers, falling into those traps could significantly hurt one's business. That's why it's important that freelancers learn to identify the traps and avoid them at all costs.
Here are the top five freelancer work-from-home traps:
Working from home can be a lot less stressful simply because you are in a familiar environment. The downside is being easily distracted. At home, you have easy access to your home theater system or your music collection. You have access to your pets. If you are a parent, the kids are home when school isn't in session.
Distractions can be a big problem for freelancers who work at home. Two ways to avoid distractions are to set up a dedicated workspace with a door you can close. The second is to use a time tracking tool. Time tracking tells you whether you are spending too much time on a given task.
2. Lack of Organization
Work-at-home freelancers may discover they aren't as productive as they would like to be simply because they are not organized. Their offices are a mess. They do not keep a set schedule. Chaos seems to rule the work day.
How do you avoid this trap? By using a high-powered daily planner. Whether it is a traditional bound planner or one of our daily planner PDF printable, writing things down helps you get organized. Planning and scheduling your day helps maximize every minute.
3. Working Too Much
Believe it or not, working from home can cause freelancers to work too much. Every hour they work means more money. And because they don't have a boss to tell them to go home at the end of the day, they may be tempted to work longer and longer hours. A daily planner is the solution here, too. It can help the freelancer block out time that will be spent doing things other than work.
4. Spending Every Dime That Comes in
By definition, freelancers are self-employed. That means they need to find their own work. As long as work is steady and revenue is flowing in, there is a temptation to spend, spend, spend. The trap is spending every dime that comes in, and not anticipating slow times ahead.
The obvious solution is to create a budget and stick with it. Disposable income should be saved rather than spent. That way, when there is no work, there are still financial resources to get you through. And by the way, our daily planner includes a section for tracking your finances.
5. Failing to Network
We all have the need to network both personally and professionally. The freelancer who works at home can easily fall into the trap of not networking. Instead, it is easy to become isolated inside the four walls of your own home. How do you avoid this trap? By planning time to go out and network on a regular basis.
It turns out that many of the traps freelancers face when they work-from-home relate to planning. The less planning a freelancer does, the more likely they will fall into the most common work-from-home traps.