My housemates sometimes leave in the morning with a jealous shout of “Off to do some real work!”

But I don’t think they realise that working from home as a freelancer presents some unique challenges.

Monday mornings are a time I find simultaneously exciting and daunting.

When you’re working with other people you’d probably grab a hot drink and sit down to map out your week — but how do you do that on your own?

There are times where I’ve seriously thought about drawing faces on a few balloons and setting up a boardroom meeting in my living room… but I’ve also been developing some less crazy ways to run my Monday morning meetings with myself…

Don’t dive headfirst into emails
I will freely admit that I’m rubbish at resisting my inbox first thing in the morning. But on the times when I do manage to avoid checking my emails first, I find an extra sense of clarity and focus on the task I do instead. Which is extra handy on a Monday when you need to set your week in order (and perhaps have a slightly fuzzy head from the weekend).

Act like other people can see you
Sure you can work in your pyjamas if you want — but science shows that the way you dress affects your behaviour and even your intelligence. (One study found that people wearing lab coats were better at paying attention and performing tasks accurately). For me this sometimes just means wearing a shirt on the days when I want to be at my best… even if I am still barefoot and wearing shorts :)

Don’t let “urgent” short-term tasks distract you from developing long-term strategies.
I’m not one for grand five-year plans, because it’s pretty hard to predict the future. But there’s a danger in concentrating only on your immediate todo list — because to run a successful freelance business, you must think longterm too. How is your pipeline of work looking for the next 3 months and beyond? Do you need to target a new type of client to take your business to the next level?

Make a list of your big three
Todo lists have a nasty habit of getting longer and longer, with the things you don’t want to do lingering like a bad cold. So I’ve started writing my big three tasks for the week on a different list — and keeping it next to my laptop where I can see it.

If in doubt, put on some loud music and dance like no-one is watching (because… no-one is)
If things are getting on top of me, a few minutes of dancing is my go-to technique for putting things back in perspective.

However tough my week is looking, I try to remember that the freelance life is one that I have chosen to live — and a privilege that not everyone can enjoy.

Breathe. Smile. Laugh. Wiggle your toes.

Everything’s going to be just rosy.

If you're thinking about going freelance — you should join the waiting list for the new version of my free course:  7 Things You Should Do Before Going Freelance.

Posted to Uncategorised in 2016.

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