Your life should consist of more than work, and youll be more likely to finish your work-related tasks in a timely fashion if you have other things planned for the day. Whether its walking the dog, meeting your sibling for coffee, or cleaning the garage, give yourself something else to do.
Dont turn non-work activities into work activities. This includes eating at the computer (my guilty crime). Step away from the computer, drafting table, or other work-related materials for meals; stop thinking about your work, relax, enjoy your food and any company you may have. If youre watching a film with the family, dont bring your laptop or your sketchbook to the TV room with you. Leave it behind. Multi-tasking is a great skill to have on the job, but you have to know when to turn it off.
Give yourself at least one day off a week.
Heres another case where I have to take my own advice and relate a little personal experience. Between my own side projects, working for About, and my clients, I was working seven days a week when I really didnt need to and wearing myself out. I still work six days a week unless I manage a little productivity boost and finish a day early; however, I always have at least one day a week thats pure Adri-time.
I may go out to a film, relax at home with my partner, have a boys day out with my friends, or just take a day to enjoy a good book - but whatever Im doing, above all Im not working. Ill clean house on my day off before Ill turn on my computer, even if I dont exactly look forward to spending my day with a toilet brush.
Whatever you do, just be sure to step away for a day and dont think about work. Itll help you clear your head and approach your work with a fresh eye and a calm, rested frame of mind.
Dont worry, all this regimenting doesnt mean that you cant still enjoy working from your home office. My standard work attire ranges between comfy pajamas and ripped jeans; I cant think of many offices that would allow that, and Im pretty sure that my cat isnt an acceptable part of the dress code. From the loud music blasting in the background to the DVDs occasionally on repeat nearby, all are perks that I couldnt enjoy in a regular office.
Enjoy the freedoms of freelancing, but learn to balance them with responsibility. No one said you cant keep a tight schedule while wearing fuzzy slippers.