Freelance design is unique in that designers can make their own schedules. For some this is a benefit, but for many the lack of structure can be a challenge. Here are five work from home tips that address the different challenges of freelance design and how to overcome them.
1. Identify the checkpoints
Trying to tackle a large job can be overwhelming and seemingly impossible. Sometimes that intimidation can be preventative of getting any good work done at all. This is where recognizing the checkpoints is important.
For a book or pamphlet job, a checkpoint might be finishing the rough layout of a single page. For a package design a checkpoint might be setting up the Photoshop or inDesign template. Taking bite sized pieces can make insurmountable jobs seem easier.
2. Take breaks and move your body
What can be done upon arriving at a checkmark? A good place to start is moving your body. How many times have you snapped out of an intense work session to find your back hunched over and your neck sore?
Not only is it easy to forget the importance of stretching, but it also goes unsaid that changing position can be helpful too. It can be nice to bring the laptop over to the couch for a while and go back and forth between the desk each time a checkpoint is hit.
3. Realize your limits
Sometimes it just happens that you burn out before the checkpoints. In these cases theres nothing wrong with taking extra breaks. It can be nice to have another activity on the computer to bounce back and forth from.
For example, it can be helpful to watch a short unrelated video each time the work hits a dead end. It may be just enough to return to the work with enough momentum to push forward.
4. Be aware of your body
Sometimes a work session can come to a grinding halt for a seemingly unknown reason. In these moments it’s good to ask yourself if you’ve eaten enough food, if you are appropriately dressed for the temperature, or if the environment your in is conducive to working.
There’s no perfect formula for getting work done. Sometimes it just takes experimentation. This could include rearranging the furniture/table in your work space, working at different times during the day, or listening to different types of music while you work.