Editors Note: I wanted to include content from Elise’s site here on SMG because while she focuses on helping people run their business’ while traveling, a journalist is a constant nomad, there are so many similarities to what Elise teaches that can help you when you are always on the move or out in the field.
‘Tis the season for consumerism, yes, but also ’tis the season to find some great deals on home office necessities for your freelance business.
First of all, does it seem weird that as a travelpreneur, I’d even have a home office?
Fair question. And you’re right. Having a proper home office was something I avoided for a long time.
“But I want to stay mobile!”
“But I don’t want to own a bunch of crap!”
Those are things I used to say.
See that double desk right there? It’s where I’m writing this post now.
And believe me, if I was doing this while sitting on my couch or eating a croissant at a cafe, writing this wouldn’t be my #1 priority.
I’ve been freelancing for three years and it’s taken this amount of time to accept that a home office is a MUST. I only wish I had done it sooner.
See, the way I live as a travelpreneur is that I’m not on the road 24/7. I travel for about 1/3 of the year. And the rest of the time is spent at home in Toronto.
This is the right balance for me as I don’t want to live out of a suitcase forever, and I like to regroup and get grounded again after my travels – from the comfort of my own home.
So without further ado, here’s how to set up your home office to become a more productive freelancer.
1. Face the light
Is this Feng Shui 101? I don’t know.
All I do know is that when I first started working at my dining room table which had no natural light hitting it (only my kitchen lights), it felt completely unmotivating to sit there.
I’d longingly glance across my apartment at the windows in my living room and bedroom…
So finally, I ordered a laptop desk, assembled it (care of IKEA) and was happy as a clam to finally see the street outside and get some light on my face.
(I eventually bought two desks to fit my second monitor. I usually stick them together, and then separate them when I need to create a workspace for another team member.)
2. Get a second monitor
I fought this for a LONG time because I didn’t want to own more “stuff.”
But now I know how silly that is. Having two screens instead of working off a 13″ laptop makes me work faster, less distracted, and more efficient (read: fewer open tabs and desktops).
I’m a fan of LG and I’d recommend getting a minimum 22″ screen.
3. Invest in a non-backbreaking chair
How to set up a productive home office for the freelancer
My dining room chairs were fine for a while, but soon I could see that my physical stamina was not keeping up with my mental stamina.
Now, office chairs can get EXPENSIVE. I found the Alera chair to be a nice middle ground.
You could also look on Craigslist or Kijiji if you’re okay with that.
4. Use that notebook
I always had a few unused notebooks kicking around. Finally, my hardcover Moleskin notebook became a part of my daily routine.
It’s now always open next to my laptop, and serves as a constant reminder of my to-do list (keeping me on track) AND is a place where I can always scribble down inspiration when/if it hits.
Sometimes I like to type it out, but I find that I reach for my pen and notebook first.
I’ve really taken to this one. There’s something about facing your monthly and quarterly goals each day that really *lights a fire under your ass.*
For 2017, I’ll even buy a bigger whiteboard.
Want more resources? You can peep my whole list of HERE.
What about you – is there an essential office item for you that I missed? Let me know on Twitter @EliseDarma
Make sure you check out Elise’s website HERE for more great tips.
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