If you’ve been working a regular 9-5 job for several years, you’ll be used to a very predictable routine.
Each morning, you’ll leave the house at pretty much the same day, sit down at your desk at the same time, eat lunch when you always have done and return home bang on the time your dog expects you.
So, what happens if you switch from that routine to a life of flexible working? If you’ve decided to go it alone as a content marketer, we’ve got some brilliant tips on how to ease into this new, brilliant way of working.
Don’t adjust your routine – yet
Whatever you do, don’t immediately change your routine when you venture into flexible working. If you attempt to adjust your working patterns straight away you’ll probably find that you become unproductive, unmotivated and end up procrastinating.
Instead, follow the working pattern you always have. That might feel wrong, but there’s a very good reason for it, as you’ll discover if you continue reading this blog.
Find a dedicated working space
There’s nothing more likely to reduce your ability to be productive as a flexible worker than not having a dedicated working space.
One of the benefits of 9-5 jobs is that you have a defined space in which to get your job done. If you switch to home working, that isn’t always the case, therefore make sure you pick somewhere that is your designated work area – and stick to it as often as possible.
Find your most productive times of the day (and week)
In our first tip, we mentioned the importance of keeping to your routine for the start of your venture into flexible working.
The reason is simple. You’ll quickly find that you’re more productive at certain times of the day. This isn’t always obvious when you work a regular job, but when you’re left to your own devices it’s much easier to identify.
Find when you’re most inspired and raring to go and start gently tuning your working day to fit those times. The more you adjust your days in this way, the more flexible they’ll become, and the less important a 9-5 routine will be.
Accept when you need to stop – and stop
This is – or, at least, should be – an easy one.
When you feel that you can’t work anymore and your brain is nothing more than a mush of words, ideas and confusion – stop.
One of the best things about flexible working is that it’s entirely down to you when you work. No one can tell you to start and stop at specific times; you dictate the hours, and that means if your body is screaming out “please, stop!” you can do so without fear. There’s always more time available elsewhere!
To become a brilliant flexible worker, you need brilliant tools.
To-do list apps, project management tools and your ever-present smartphone are just some of the pieces of technology you’ll need to get your job done whenever you need to.
The key lies in mobility, so make sure you can work pretty much anywhere you need to. For you, that might simply mean that you need your iPad with you at all times – whatever it is, make sure it’s nestled safely in your bag each day.
Flexible working has changed the careers of so many people. Use our tips above, and your journey into content marketing nirvana will start today!