Avoiding the Temptations of Home: Using the Great Home Office Effectively

So now youve setup your home office. Youre ready to start getting the job done and avoid the temptations of home!

Well, not quite. The home office is setup to minimize distractions. Now make sure everything is at hand.

In the office (yes dear readers, Im a corporate drone and a freelancer), my department (marketing) got the short end of the stick. Weve been relocated at least thrice within the last quarter, so we decided to leave our file cabinets in a relatively deserted area.

This “solution” was born out of desperation with the big bosses’ indecision. It does save my back from having to push really heavy cabinets some 100 feet (Im not kidding!). Unfortunately, it also means when we need to consult our files, or dig up old collaterals, we have to do a little walking.

Walking is healthy for you. But in this case, taking more than ten steps disrupts your productivity. And dont you hate it when you realize you forgot what you were looking for, meaning you have to return to your desk to remember? More wasted time! All my files, reference materials, and supplies relevant to my freelance career are in a cabinet right beside my desk.

The point is, when working at home, or anywhere for that matter, it helps that everything you need is nearby. Besides, walking through your homes minefield of distractions (imagine passing by the tv, bed, and fridge!) can prove fatal to your focus.

What’s More Important than Creativity

Freelancers are usually brought in to provide new solutions to old problems. Which is why companies are willing to pay a lot for prodigiously creative talent. But there’s another reason why these contract workers are in great demand: their consistency.

Clients can depend on these Freelancing Gods not only for their inspired output, but that the job will get done. There’s no point in paying for the best talent when you’re not even sure he’ll deliver. It’s like choosing where to invest your money; you’ll only spend for sure returns. Creativity doesn’t ensure this, while consistency does.

One of my dad’s friends is a composer. He’s been hailed as a world-class talent, creating music that easily beats the best my country has to offer. So why is he virtually unknown? Thanks to his many missed deadlines and poor work ethic, he became known as unreliable. Film producers and other clients became hesitant to hire him. And without projects to showcase his craft, the composer never gained the recognition his creativity was begging for.

What’s the lesson? I’ve said this so many times, but the most important thing for a freelancer is to submit projects on time and to spec. Because clients and employers would rather hire someone who will get the job done, over someone who won’t. Creativity is plays second fiddle to consistency in this respect.