New to freelancing? 5 tips to survive working from home

21/1/2013 |

If you’re new to freelancing, the hardest part can often be working from home. 

Here are our 5 tips to make sure you stay focused and get your job done!


Working from home.


In theory, working from home is the best way to be sure that you won’t be interrupted and distracted by all the noises and annoyances of the office. On snow-days, however, there’s a good chance your kids / flatmates or other half is also at home.


> locking yourself in the spare bedroom
> wearing headphones – it blocks out the noise / deters conversation from others
> getting out – if you can!  Is there a coffee shop, pub or friendly neighbour with wifi nearby?



Admit to yourself that TV is largely a pointless waste of time. TV is the worst form of ‘inactive attention entertainment’.

Since most of us now have access to some form of on-demand service through the internet, the one or two hours a week of TV that are really worth watching can be downloaded and watched via a laptop.

(Read our ninja Matthew Brown’s series of posts on television)



It’s tempting to be distracted by the household chores –  “I’ll start my report just as soon as I’ve done last night’s washing up and hoovered the lounge”.

Use these tasks as excuses to get away from your laptop for a scheduled break – try a series of “power hours” or use the Pomodoro Technique to have a solid stint at working – then break to get something else done.



Chances are your fellow homeworking colleagues will spend the day sending silly emails and chatting.

We’d suggest turning you email off, but remote-working means you need to rely on your email more than ever. Schedule ten minutes every hour at a set point in each hour to read, delete and process the new messages.



Phone calls are amongst the worst interruptions. They cost you time and energy, both in dealing with them and in ‘recovering’ from them.

If you can, let calls go to voicemail – which is a seriously underrated as a communication medium.

It’s one-way communication instead of two-way. As such, the caller leaving the message gets to the root of the issue in seconds rather than in minutes and by the time you call them back, you’re both halfway through the conversation that needs to happen.


Like this? Try these

 Try one of our time management workshops

Stay focused with a Tangent Log 

How to Work from Home Without Going Insane  Lifehacker

Does working from home work? (academic study) 



  1. Brain Cutlery

    I was hoping you we’re going to have some suggestions for dealing with the kids :-p

    They are the No. 1 reason why I dare the difficult drive to work on days like these!

    Thanks for the other hints….

  2. Grace Marshall

    @BrainCutlery I know what you mean…

    How about getting a bit creative with the Pomodoro – use a timer to negotiate chunks of time with your kids (depending on how old they are!) – timer goes on, you get to work, timer goes off, time for a snowball fight…


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