Freelancing doesn’t just mean picking the projects you want to work on, it also means not having to work in an office. It’s becoming more popular, too. So popular, in fact, that the Bureau for Labor Statistics even says that 38 percent of people in management, business and financial operations worked from home. Remote working isn’t just reserved for creative types. Working from anywhere is one of the benefits of being a freelancer, especially if you’re writing. This means you must be self-disciplined. But how do you stay focused when working at home?
How Much Does Self-Discipline Matter?
The first step to working at home, or remotely, is making sure you actually work. No good will come from just sitting around all day, telling yourself you’ll work, when instead you’re just staring at the T.V. In fact, self-discipline is so important, that the University of Pennsylvania says that in every academic-performance variable, highly self-disciplined adolescents outperformed their more impulsive peers. This included report card grades, attendance, admission to a competitive high school and standardized test scores.
So, it’s essential to be self-disciplined, even from an early age. Being able to control yourself is going to be a benefit to your career as a freelancer, or as someone working from home. In the office, the distractions are different; meetings take place, people ask for your help on projects, phones ring constantly. At home, you can easily be distracted by things like chores, which you could get caught up in without even realizing it. As with everything, there are both pros and cons to working from home.
How Do You Become More Self-Disciplined?
If those with higher levels of self-discipline can achieve more, how do you become more controlled? A good starting point would be creating a to-do list. It sounds basic, however, if you have your tasks for the day written out, or outlined briefly, it can help you realize them. To take a step further, you can set deadlines for yourself. This can help you by letting you prioritize tasks depending on how urgent they are.
These first steps can help you on your way to becoming more disciplined with yourself and your work. However, you will need to make sure that you don’t let distractions like Facebook or other websites halt your work as it can be hard to start again if you let your concentration slip. Setting a timer can also help to define work periods from break periods, and help you structure your day in a similar way to a conventional work day. This can be especially helpful if you are making the transition to remote working.