oDesk Everyday Practical Tips

Working from home as an oDesk freelancer is an absolute dream. You set your own schedule – work as much or as little as you want – choose only the jobs you enjoy and basically have total control over your freedom and finances.

However, sometimes we get so caught up in all the projects we’re juggling, that when everyday distractions start breeding, we can get very irritated and completely thrown off track. And for good reason.

The general population that works outside the home can have their distractions, but for the most part…they’re left alone to focus and do their job.

Sometimes when working at home…it’s not that easy.

For example: Unless you take your phone off the hook, it will ring. Whether it be a family member or friend or those irritating telemarketing calls. But it’s just enough to put a damper on your creativity and focus even for a few seconds.

We all want to succeed in our freelancing careers. We all need to make the best out of our environment and working conditions.

oDesk Tips

Below are 3 important practical oDesk tips to apply while working in your home office that should make your day go a little bit smoother and a whole lot more productive.

1) Set your hours and keep them. This can be somewhat challenging and easier said than done. Our flexibility is what seems to draw our friends and family members to call or stop by unannounced. Just this week, I had a friend phone me twice wanting to go walking in the park – my Mother doesn’t drive so she called wanting me to drop off a book of stamps – my Husband needed help packing for a hunting trip and my niece needs help with a book report that has to be done in 2 days.

So…hello people! I’m working…
Let them know, this is when you’re working and to call you after hours.
I’m an early bird, so my best time to work is your usual 8am-5pm day job. As hard as it is to say NO…I really have got to stick with my schedule if I want to be productive.

Let all friends and family know you can’t be disturbed unless of course it’s an emergency between (in my case) 8-12…1-5…period. If I was working outside the home, I’d rarely get interrupted.

If you start to deviate from your schedule, others will think this is acceptable all the time.
My recommendation? Don’t start it if at all possible.

2) Eliminate distractions. One thing I didn’t have for a long time was a door to close off my home office. The dog would trample around, chewing on her bone and anyone that came to my door could see in and know that I was home.

Close off your office. Hang a sign on the door if you have to; Do Not Disturb.
Another distraction is the TV – radio or music playing. Now some people enjoy a little background sound which is fine. A little soft music(or loud) whichever helps you concentrate. Everyone is different. But if you do find these devices distracting, shut them all off.

3) Get yourself comfortable. If you’re not sitting in a comfortable position or a great chair, chances are you’ll be distracted. Constantly squirming – moving your chair up or down – back and forth just trying to be content, typing away on your keyboard or doing whatever your skill is.

Invest in a good, comfortable chair.
Same goes for your desk. Make sure you have it set up that you’ll know where everything is. From pens and pencils to all the notes you’ll need to be productive. Whether your work space is large or small, set it up for you. Set it…then forget it.
You might think these oDesk tips are “common sense” and yes they are. However, you wouldn’t believe the amount of chatter I’ve heard about being comfortable while working at home.

4) Dress for comfort or professionalism. Here’s one you might think is a little off, but I still want to throw it out there…     
Many people who freelance from home love to work in either their pajamas or sweats and t-shirts. If you’re comfortable…go for it. But sometimes, dressing up – putting on that nice pair of pants and shirt or your favorite dress may boost your professionalism and confidence.

 Do this if you have an interview on the telephone – webcam – or chatting on Skype. When you’re dressed professionally, it will definitely come across either through your voice or posture. You feel good, you feel confident and professional and it will give you an edge. I know…you’re thinking that sounds silly, but try it before you knock it. It just may surprise you.

These 3 practical oDesk tips are really just the tip of the iceberg when working from home, facing elements you may not encounter in a regular office. However, these should get you thinking on ways to give you an edge and become even more productive than you already are!

Let me know what you do to beat distractions. I’d love to hear them!