Editor’s Note: In a previous blog, Ken Chen says it’s possible to work from anywhere as a consultant. All it takes is some imagination, the right client, and the will to go for it. Take it from Ed Sweet, a copywriter who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, but has built long-distance relationships with EM Marketing and several clients.
I’ve worked in offices before and I’ve never liked it. The many downsides for me include everything from public bathrooms and endless meetings to fast-food lunches and heavy traffic.
In order to strike the best work/life balance for myself, I try to treat every day the same. So every day is a work day, and every day is a weekend.
Here are some tips to make the most of your day.
1. Be Responsive
I always try to beat deadlines and respond to feedback as soon as possible. Being fast and efficient generally leads to more work.
2. Take a Lot of Breaks
I go nuts if I work more than about 45 minutes at a time. Working at home gives me lots of reasons to get up. After a burst of work, I can throw a load of laundry in, do the dishes, make some food, pay some bills, pick up my daughter from school, or go to the gym.
3. Make Time to Exercise
I try to go to the gym about five or six days a week. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are the best times because it’s not crowded and you can get in and out quickly. It’s a great stress release and it clears my head so I can take a fresh look at things when I get back to my desk.
4. Get a Change of Scenery
I like the office I made for myself, but sometimes I’ll work in the kitchen or on the couch in the living room. Every Friday morning, I meet a ghostwriter friend of mine at a coffee house downtown. We hang out for two or three hours, talking and working.
5. Juggle Different Projects
I’m not an endurance writer, so I like having three or four different projects going on so I can jump around if I get stuck on something.
6. Have Other Outlets
I volunteer as a board member for Project Sleep, a nonprofit organization, and I write, record, and perform music.
7. Stay on Top of Your Finances
I know how much money I need to make in order to get by, and how much I want to make to maintain the lifestyle that I like. I work a seven-day week and try to work at least three or four billable hours every day. If I can’t meet that goal, I need to hustle more projects. If I can meet it, I still have leeway to take on new work when it’s available.