How Do I Eliminate Distractions While Freelancing?

When you’re a freelancer, staying focused and on-task is key.

You have to eliminate distractions so you can work.

How Do I Eliminate Distractions While Freelancing?

Wherever, whenever, and however you prefer to do your freelance work, it’s important to develop a method that suits your unique approach.

After all, you may find yourself putting the finishing touches on a big project, video conferencing with a new client, and outlining your next assignment within the same hour.

Working from home and freelancing has its benefits, but those who become easily distracted can find themselves overwhelmed and falling behind.

Wherever, whenever, and however you prefer to do your freelance work, it’s important to develop a method that suits your unique approach.

Learning how to organize your space, manage your time, and choose the right items for your home office can help you eliminate distractions freelancing and maximize productivity.

4 Ways to Eliminate Distractions

1. Have a Dedicated Home Office

While it may be tempting to work from your bed or parked on the couch in front of the TV, designing a home office for yourself can help you minimize interruptions.

It’s far too easy to have a project derailed by listening to your favorite morning talk show or drifting off for an afternoon nap while snuggled under the covers.

Treat your work-from-home set up the way you would an office job.

Invest in home office furniture, such as a desk or computer table, that fits your space and comfort level.

If you have a spare bedroom that you can turn into a base of operations, browse spacious desks with plenty of room for your laptop and any folders, notebooks, or materials you might need.

Is square footage at a premium?

You might need to get creative in carving out your work area.

Consider taking over a clutter-free corner of your studio apartment, living room, or bedroom. Look for desks with large drawers to keep notes and supplies in one place and easily accessible.

Treating your freelancing job the way you would an office position can help put you in the right mindset when it’s time to start working.

Remember to keep your workspace tidy so that there’s no temptation to clean up when you should be focusing on projects. Additionally, having all of your materials in one place can prevent you from stopping work to search for what you need.

2. Create Your Office Hours

Another good strategy for staying on track throughout the day and eliminating distractions freelancing is creating an agenda.

Since you’re working on your own time, you’ll most likely have the freedom to mold your office hours around your personal life. This can be especially beneficial if you have a partner or children in the house who have their own schedules.

Whether you prefer a nine-to-five workday or you choose to keep less traditional early morning or late night hours, make sure that the people in your home respect that this is your work time.

Maintaining a consistent schedule will help you and your loved ones establish a routine that makes it easier for you to stay focused during designated times.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that hours worked don’t necessarily correlate to productivity.

Research shows that artificial deadlines and shorter timeframes help you stay accountable.

Knowing that you’ve promised a client a project by the end of the week or setting a self-imposed daily goal can ultimately be more effective than packing in more hours.

3. Take Care of Chores Beforehand

One of the biggest distractions to element when freelancing is working in the same place you live.

Putting the finishing touches on your freelance work is difficult when you know there’s a dirty pile of dishes waiting for you.

While it seems harmless enough to clean up a little during your work time, those minutes add up quickly.

A good way to eliminate distractions  is to complete household chores before you sit down to work.

Give yourself an extra 30 minutes to an hour before starting, if possible, to clean up anything that might prove distracting. This can include quick tasks like putting away the kids’ toys, paying bills, or making the bed.

This may also prove useful for personal matters, such as returning a friend’s email or replying to a comment on social media.

Try your best to take care of any emails or other socially related things that may divert attention from projects. If you can, get into the habit of putting your phone on silent and only checking it once an hour to help keep you on track.

Knowing your distractions and removing them before you begin work allows you to have peace of mind and complete focus on the task at hand.

Make a list the night before or in the morning of everything you want to do around the house. If you can’t do them all before starting, try setting aside time during breaks or lunches so you won’t stray during work hours.

4. Use Tools to Eliminate Distraction

Having the right tools for freelancing can have several different meanings.

When it comes to a freelance artist or writer, owning a fast computer or creating a neatly organized workstation might not be enough. There are several practical and easy-to-use products to help freelancers stay focused, on track, and productive.

  • Noise-canceling Headphones: If you can’t have a quiet household, create your own with a good pair of headphones. Try listening to ambient sound or instrumental music to avoid further distractions.
  • Filing Cabinet: If you have the room, a spacious filing cabinet allows you to sort all of your paper documents and manuscripts in one place. This will help you save time and eliminate the need to go looking for a specific assignment or reference.
  • Calendar: Whether you have a physical calendar on your desk or an app on your phone, make good use of it. Planning out your days, weeks, and months then sticking to it is one of the best ways to keep your professional and personal life well-organized.
  • Dry Erase Board: It sometimes helps to visualize your process when working on a project. A dry-erase board provides a spot where you can jot down notes for quick reference and may even help you see things from a different perspective.

Eliminate Distractions Once and For All

If you’re having a hard time eliminating distractions and wondering how to stay focused at work, try taking advantage of some of these hints, tips, and tools to get the most out of your day.

Whether you’re just starting as a freelance writer or you’re a seasoned vet, it’s important to keep focused and eliminate distractions to grow and succeed.

Over to you – how do you eliminate distractions in your work day?

Hazel Bennett is a freelance writer and blogger. She has a degree in communications and lives in Northeastern Ohio. Hazel loves writing about numerous topics and showcasing her expertise with words.

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