11 Working from Home Tips on How to Stay Productive 173

working from home tips on how to stay productive

Working from home is more possible than ever with all the opportunities the Internet brought.

You need to be willing to work hard to get to the point where you can make a decent income by yourself, though. Which often means working more than 8 hours a day, doing it for free first, never being sure whether you’ll receive money tomorrow, etc.

But the pros are way too good to skip that chance.

You’re playing by your own rules, not answering to anyone, probably doing something you’re passionate about, can take a break whenever you want, or a whole holiday actually. The working hours are up to you, and you can even work from the beach.

Not to mention that you can structure your days in the best way possible so that you can have time for your family, for hobbies and activities you love, and pretty much everything that’s important to you.

You can also scale the business anytime, take up new projects whenever you feel like, work hard to start making passive income and then totally forget about it but still get money coming in.

This lifestyle is not for everyone.

For a start, not everyone is ready to dedicate so much time and energy while having a regular job to something that may or may not work out. Then come the sacrifices, the willpower, doubts and fears, the constant chance of failure, the need to do research and read a lot daily, etc.

But the people who want this lifestyle love every second of the journey to getting there.

And once it becomes your average day to wake up and to have to make yourself get to the office (which is just the place where your laptop stays) but there are also other things you may be doing, are in no rush, can put things off and are feeling lazy, some changes need to be made and discipline needs to be developed so that you can be successful.

Because if you don’t do these, you’ll stop making money and will have to go back to the 9-5 lifestyle. So productivity is the ultimate goal here – to be productive at home when no one’s making you do it.

Here are some working from home tips on how to do it:

11 Productivity Tips for Those Working from Home

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1. Have a morning ritual to set yourself up for a productive day.

Start the day early and successfully by having a ritual that consists of healthy, positive and inspiring activities.

Make it at least 30 minutes and include drinking a cup of coffee slowly and peacefully. Add some reading or writing (but not online), a quick workout, maybe family time during breakfast if the others are up. Or whatever gets you in the mood to start the day and make the best of it.

2. Find your most productive time.

It’s important to keep getting up early even if you don’t need to go to the office or answer in front of anyone superior, but if you get a lot more done in the afternoon, or even at night, then structure your workday around that time. And never miss it. As it’s when you’re actually doing something productive.

This way you can easily work 4-5 hours a day and get it all done, plus focusing on some side projects and new ideas.

3. Tell others to respect that time.

Once you set your working hours (yes, you should do that in order to have some discipline in your life and an organized day), tell your family not to enter the room, tell your friends not to call you during that time.

It will be much easier if you get clear about that once, and never get distracted because they don’t know what time you’re working.

4. Declutter your desk.

Your desk is your office. Organize it, throw away everything that doesn’t need to be there, tidy it up and keep it that way.

5. Keep lists.

A to-do list for the day is a must. Personally, I don’t use any software or write it anywhere online, as pen and paper are working great for me.

Make a list of all the things you need to do tomorrow the night before. Then in the morning decide which your most important tasks are and focus on them first.

You can also make a list of things that need to get done eventually, but which aren’t urgent. And go back to it every now and then.

There are many other kinds of lists you can keep in order not to forget stuff like writing down everything that comes to mind connected to your business, new ideas to contemplate on later, passwords, etc.

If you’re in doubt whether this technique will help those working from home who want to stay productive, here’s how writing to-do lists helps your brain.

6. Set times and deadlines.

When you’re working from home, especially if it’s only for yourself, you’ll need to be disciplined. Otherwise, you’ll start procrastinating.

So have a certain time for waking up, have set work hours too. Also, don’t forget to set deadlines for a project, or even for the small daily tasks.

7. Have routines.

Sometimes you may not want to go to sleep, but you’ll have to in order to get up early again tomorrow. So an evening routine would help in this case.

Also, the morning ritual is a key ingredient for kickstarting the day and staying productive.

You can check email right after it, for example, to get from morning mood to working mood. That can also become a routine.

8. If you feel like working after hours, go for it.

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If you want to keep working or feel super energized and full of ideas at night, feel free to skip going to bed and just go with the flow. You may be in the zone and that state is not to be missed as people usually do some of their greatest work when having a sudden burst of inspiration. (I’ve explained that phenomenon here.)

9. Don’t mix work time with leisure activities.

Some of the easiest bad habits someone working from home can build are checking email constantly, indulging in social media, or watching TV while working.

Well, you’ll have to move the TV in the other room if you can’t resist turning it on, can use softwares that block the Internet for some time if you need to write or read something. As for the email, you’ll need some willpower to limit yourself to 2 times a day – once in the morning/afternoon and once in the evening.

10. Keep forming relationships.

Home-based entrepreneurs may become loners eventually. And it’s their choice.

It’s up to you to make time for family and friends and go out. Also, don’t stop reaching out to people online and meeting new ones.

11. Enjoy the process.

Working from home is a blessing, and if you’re doing it, it’s exactly what you want.

Many people are answering in front of their bosses right now, are in an unfriendly environment, bored to death, surrounded by people they can’t stand and doing meaningless tasks that will get them nowhere, while waiting for the workday to be over and making – not themselves – but someone else rich.

At the same time you’re in your home office, drinking coffee from your favorite cup and can take a break at any moment.

So be grateful. Appreciate it. Smile throughout the whole day. Your work will benefit from that too.

These are the most important working from home tips I can come up with.

If you manage to pay attention to each of these items, your days will be more productive, organized and positive.

What other ways to get things done while working at home can you think of?

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How I Became a Location Independent Freelance Writer 28

How I Became a Location Independent Freelance Writer

Writing is what I love doing and I managed to turn it into my career. But that wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without having the freedom to work from anywhere and move to my favorite country. So after I became a freelance writer, I also took a few steps to become location independent.

Let me share how that journey looked like for me and maybe inspire you to take the leap and not just become a freelancer but also travel the world or just leave your home country and never look back.

Stage 1: Overcoming The Doubts

I believe all change happens on the inside first. In the case of becoming a freelance writer and a lifestyle designer, you’d first need to do a couple of things related to developing a strong mindset.

To begin with, define what you don’t like about your current lifestyle. Be clear about it and see yourself living a better life some time from now. This vision will also help you realize what you truly desire.

For me, it was freedom and independence but in a specific way.

I mean, I don’t really need to travel the world. It was enough to spend a few weeks in Thailand and to always have the chance to get back to a destination like that if I feel like. But what I truly desired was to leave my home country, Bulgaria, and instead move to the Netherlands.

However, my transformation started many years ago, before I even knew that’s where I wanted to live. First, I wasn’t satisfied with my life back then. I was already in my 20s and I always felt like I wasn’t spending my time right. So something had to be done.

Doubts are scary.

In fact, they are one of the reasons why so many people all over the world never start a business, end a relationship, travel or else.

Once you get through that stage though, you start having hope, you visualize a better life, and you finally take action. And once you take the first step, magical things begin to happen.

For me, that first step was to define my passion (personal development) and combine it with writing, which I simply loved doing and felt like it was the right way to spend my time.

English is just my second language. I had no official degree in what I’m doing. I wasn’t tech-savvy and had no idea how the Internet actually worked.

But the desire for a different life and more meaningful activities was stronger than any lack of knowledge or experience. So I dedicated the 4 years of my life during university to building the foundation of my online business and the lifestyle I enjoy today.

Stage 2: Getting The First Clients

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I began writing, first on my blog (more on that below), then for others. But the magical ingredient here is reading.

I spent a ton of time (still do and probably always will) reading about people who were already living the life I was after. And that changed it all. I overcame all the doubts because I saw all that I wanted was possible. If other people were living like that and they all started from nothing, then it’s just a matter of time till I get there too.

That encouraged me. And my motivation never decreased because of some people I started following consistently and seeing their progress kept me action-oriented too.

It was time to earn my first dollars freelancing.

The good thing about the Internet is that you don’t have to be anyone in order to land your first gig. Once you do, the second one is easier. You just need someone to pay you for your freelance services so you can have confidence in your abilities and improve your skills.

I never thought I’d be able to call myself a freelance writer, not to mention be location independent together with that. But I left the big picture behind for a while and focused on simpler things. Such as:

What can I do today to land my first client?

After researching, I realized there are sites for freelancers where employers post jobs and I can apply to each that seems like a good fit for me. And so I did.

I created my profiles, had low rates (because any money was good money for me then if it was online), and applied for a few jobs. I had no idea what to say exactly so I just went with what felt right.

I introduced myself when pitching clients and told them how I can help them with their project. Rejection here is normal as there’s a ton of competition.

Eventually, someone hired me for a job and I made my first $20 or so.

It was a short and sweet gig and I did a good job. The communication with the client was smooth.

It’s hard to land someone for the first time, especially in my case. On my profile they could see Bulgaria and that English isn’t my native language. Also, that I’m new to the site and have no previous feedback. Basically, not the most trustworthy freelance writer to hire.

But there are new employers to such platforms too and they are ready to hire you as long as you have something to offer them.

So if you want to make money online and eventually turn that into a business, become location independent and work remotely, or just want to do what you love freelancing, then create your profiles on sites like Upwork, Guru, Freelancer and PeoplePerHour and start pitching.

Stage 3: Building a Blog and a Brand

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The 3rd crucial step in my journey to becoming a location independent freelance writer was this blog.

Let’s Reach Success started as a personal blog on self-improvement. But consistency was the key and I seemed to be good at this. It’s because I love writing too of course. It eventually turned into my biggest project and today it’s my portfolio.

There are more than 1600 articles in the archives, a whole book store, proper design (thanks to this premium theme), authority, and a story behind it. Which makes me and Let’s Reach Success kind of a personal brand.

If you haven’t started a site yet, you’re wasting time. Whatever it is that you wanna do online, you need that one platform.

I’ve written a quick guide on how to do that. Check out How to Set Up a WordPress Site on Bluehost. Don’t worry, the technical aspect is easy and I’ve outlined the few simple steps you should take to have your site up and running in less than 30 minutes.

Blogging is a must for every freelance writer. Here’s why:

First, you get to showcase your work. You can write articles all the time and show them to clients. Whenever you want to start writing about a new topic, you’ll simply start covering it on your blog and then provide samples to employers.

You become known as an expert. If you stay consistent and provide unique and quality content frequently, people will know you’re the go-to blogger in the niche. Together with your unique voice and all other things you’re doing on the side, you can build a name for yourself. That means clients will start finding you soon.

Blogging is a learning experience. There’s a lot going on in the archives on my blog. If I go back, I can even see how I’ve grown over the years. Your writing will change too and that’s okay. Your site becomes your biggest project, especially if you’re a writer yourself. Also, it’s thanks to wanting to improve Let’s Reach Success that I’ve learned so much about optimizing content, making money from a blog, and more.

Stage 4: Setting Up an Online Business

Now that you’ve overcome the doubts, have landed your first freelance client, and have your own blog, you can turn that into an online business soon.

First, of course, you’ll need to have some decent income monthly to be a proper location independent freelance writer. Although plenty of people register a company from the beginning and then slowly grow their freelance business.

However, in the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing. I was paying taxes and fees for the freelancing platforms I worked with and that was enough. I wasn’t sure how much more I could make each month.

When I got to a few hundred dollars monthly, though, (which is an amount you can live with back in my home country if you aren’t paying rent), I decided to fix the legal part and register as an independent worker there and start paying my taxes.

Over the next months, I truly believed I’m now a freelance writer earning money from my craft and loved it. Of course, I also wanted to grow, build skills, land better clients, improve my site and see what else I could be doing online.

Stage 5: Choosing Your Ideal Destination and Moving There

amsterdam - the dream location

When I was making $1000/month from my blog and freelance writing services, and because the business was online, I finally felt like I could soon move away and start a new life.

The country I wanted to live in was the Netherlands. I already had friends there and knew it was the place to be for me. So I booked a place in Amsterdam with AirBnB and dedicated these 10 days to finding my new home.

I needed it to be affordable and in a good neighborhood and that’s exactly what I got.

Because I wanted to be there so much and worked hard for it, there hasn’t been a day since I moved that I didn’t wake up with a smile on my face.

That’s one of the main aspects of lifestyle design. Doing work you love and making just enough to be able to live the way you like.

Of course, Amsterdam isn’t cheap so I had to limit my expenses and change things.

Stage 6: Living The Location Independent Lifestyle

I did some traveling too. Spending 5 weeks in Thailand cost me a lot in terms of money (although it could have been cheaper too but I didn’t prepare well) and focus. But it’s safe to say these weeks have been the craziest and most adventurous ones in my life.

I might go back there, but that’s not necessary. I love my daily life too and don’t need an escape from that. The important thing about being a location independent freelance writer is that you have to enjoy the freedom of being where you are. And if you earned your chance to get there, it tastes even better.

Stage 7:  Mastering Working Remotely and From Home

Location independence and freelancing aren’t for everyone as it’s not easy, there are sacrifices to be made and plenty of challenges. One of them is getting distracted and not doing focused work on a daily basis.

One thing I did right though was to build some good productivity habits and eliminate procrastination and distractions early on. In fact, that was when I started making my first money as a freelance writer.

It’s nice to imagine how you can live and work from anywhere 6 months from now. But if you don’t build the discipline in advance and learn how to structure your day so you can do your best work, you won’t make it.

Here are some things that can help:

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Stage 8: Growing The Freelance Writing Business

My focus is on increasing my income now. I got to over $3500. These come from sponsored posts here on Let’s Reach Success and freelance writing for clients.

I’m working on other things too such as increasing book sales and building systems to earn passive income from affiliate marketing. But these don’t come naturally to me so it takes time.

So that’s how I became a location independent freelance writer and how you can do the same.

Here are the exact steps I took to become a location independent freelance writer: