How to set up a productive home office for the freelancer

'Tis the season for consumerism, yes, but also 'tis the season to find some great deals on home office necessities for your freelance business. 

elise darma freelancer home office

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. 

netflix freelancer productivity

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. 

[Want to see the full list of the places I traveled to in 2015 and 2016? It's right HERE.]

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. 

home office for the 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

productive home office freelancer elise darma

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

How to set up a productive home office for the freelancer

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. 

5. Hang a whiteboard

How to set up a productive home office for the freelancer

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? 

 

If you're not sure where to start as a traveling freelancer, get started here with this free checklist:

Get the Free Checklist!

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Want to travel the world AND be an entrepreneur? Grab the free starter checklist for the travelpreneur here.

Or, if you're looking to work one-on-one together on getting your profitable freelance biz up and running, you might want to... (wait for it)... MIND THE GAP!

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Elise Darma

About the Author:

Elise Darmanin believes that "travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer." That's why she makes beaches, coffee shops and co-working spaces her office by working remotely while growing Canupy Content. Canupy is a social media and copywriting agency for small to medium-sized businesses. The Canupy team helps brands grow through social media marketing, copywriting and content strategies that inspire audiences and drive sales.