It's been around three years I've been doing my freelance thang fully now. I have a part time job for two days but the rest of the week (and a lot of the time weekend) is spent working on briefs for clients. Working from home can be difficult, there's a million distractions such as Real Housewives, Netflix and playing that new Rachel Platten 'Fight Song' on repeat. (I CANNOT STOP LISTENING TO IT). These are my top tips on how to be freelance fierce at home...
1. DRESS THE PART - Above you will see me channelling my inner Melanie Griffith in 'Working Girl'. When I first started working from home I would find myself drawing away, emailing clients and haggling prices in long johns and a string vest. Now, I'm all for comfort, but as soon as you get comfortable, you get sleepy! I find if I get up and dress like I would if I was heading out to a meeting or work it helps kick my brain into working gear. You don't need your best threads, just something you'll feel work ready in.
2. MAKE YOUR DESK OR STUDIO FUN -
I'm currently at home, however I'm aiming to move in the next few months. Wherever I end up, I'll need a desk area or work space and it needs to be fun. No one wants a boring desk. You're gonna be spending ALL DAY there so if you want a stuffed dinosaur teddy on your desk, damn well do it!
3- SURROUND YOURSELF WITH INSPIRATION
If you're creative, you will get a block at some point. When your brain is mush and all you want to do is, well, nothing. However make sure you surround yourself with photos, books, pictures, music, anything that you know will give you an idea. My shelves are rammed with comic books, postcard sets and other random finds. These have all come in useful at some point, even the Spiderman statue!
4 - MAKE LISTS
Every day make a new list before you leave your desk for the next morning. I have the worst memory and have to leave constant reminders of all the stuff I need to do. If so, make a reminder on your phone to remind you to make a list. You feel me?
At one point I was suffering from fairly bad pressure headaches and migraines. Then I had an eye test and got my first pair of specs and life was in HD. I was told that when you work on a computer a long time, due to the concentration your eye will not blink as many times as it should. Therefore, it will dry up and become sore, eventually leading to dizzyness and headaches. Make sure you make yourself take a break from any close up drawing/tablet/computer work every 15 minutes. Breaks are awesome and an excuse to eat Kit Kats and also your eyes need a rest.
6 - GET SOME SHUT EYE
Power naps are the best thing ever. Around 25 minutes is the perfect amount to dirft off, feel like you've slept and then feel re-energised. You'll feel a bit groggy but then you'll eventually be fully awake being mega productive within minutes. I have a power nap pretty much every day. Ever seen me post on social media around 2pm? Hell no, I'm dreaming about being part of the X-Men, duh.
7 - TREAT IT LIKE A WORKING DAY
That's right. Set yourself your working hours. I find I'm really good at getting work done early in the morning and late at night. Lunch time is a no go as I'm eating and then I need a cheeky power nap. So I get up around 7-7.30, work out, shower, change, dance around with my iphone and get my working grind on around 8.30- 9am. I'll take a break at 1-2.30pm, then crack back on. On a good day, I'm done by 6pm. Most days I'm up till 11pm, sometimes 1 am getting work done depending on how much I have to finish!
8 - HIDE YOUR PHONE
Yep. That cute guy off Tinder can reply later, you got shit to do sistah! I will turn my phone on for social media posts at peak times but other than that it sits on 'Airplane Mode' for the majority of the day. Now and then I'll check my texts but other than that I know how easily distracted I am by constant instagram posts or googling fan theories on who 'A' was on Pretty Little Liars. Which, now 'A' has been revealed I've actually bought more time doing work. Cheers PLL.
9 - BREAKS
Set yourself breaks in the day. 11am, 1pm, 4pm.Whenever works for you, just take 15 to leave your work room or desk.
10 - GET THE HELL OUT
If you get time on your break, go for a walk, run, drive. Fresh air does wonders for you!! Hell even crack open a gin and tonic. Not that I EVER do that....
11 - DON'T SIT AND EAT
Don't sit at your computer and eat. Mainly because you should be able to enjoy you food and not rush it. Take time to sit down and eat a meal, don't wolf it down, just enjoy it. Mixing break time rituals with work time just means you will never turn off. This a trick I only learned the past year!
12 - DON'T TAKE WORK TO BED
Just don't. No e-mails. No laptop in bed. NOTHING. Bed is your safe haven for chilling out so don't bring work to the bedroom. It just messes up your pretty little brain!
13 - GET A GOOD PLAYLIST ON
Music keeps me going all day. I will sit and listen to film scores, Tchaikovsky and Girls Aloud. Yup. I give no shits whether you judge me for that as all the random music I listen to has helped me create some stuff I'm really proud of. So if you have a ton of musical guilty pleasures, get them on a playlist.
14 - DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT
This is something I learnt very recently. I had three commissions due within 48 hours and was running out of time. I was spending a whole morning redrawing and inking the same illustration as it just wasn't working. All I wanted to do was sit and finish reading my book. So around 12ish I gave up, threw the towel in on my bad doodles, went and sat and read my book with a tea. Around 2 I had finished the book, had lunch and fully re-energised to get this work done. I then went back to my work room and got soooooooo much work done. Moral of the story is; if you're having a really bad off day, do what feels right for you. Don't pressure yourself to get it all done in an hour or a day as you can waste energy and materials on something you're not proud of. If you need to take a break, read a book, go shopping, watch a film. DO IT. Obviously do this in moderation!
So that's it for my freelance fierceness tips. Have any other work from home homies got any advice or tips I missed out? Leave it in the comments below!