You’ve decided to branch out as a freelance court reporter working from home. It sounds like a great plan to have your own space, not having to worry about a boss or co-workers but the reality might not be as rosy. Being a freelancer means having to find and retain your own clients, set a schedule, and work around your family’s needs. With focus on what’s important, we think you’re going to be a success!
Much the same as real estate, working from home is about location and finding the best place to work. Do you turn the spare room into your office? Do you work in the unused corner of your bedroom? Is the dining room your new work space? The choice is yours! We recommend a place where you can focus on work that is separate from the rest of the activity at home.
Many reporters tell us the best place is a separate room with a door where you can open and close for business throughout the day. We recommend a space away from where you sleep and relax and get your mind off work.
We all need time off from work but you’ll also need a work schedule. Set times when you’re available to meet prospective clients and other time for work. We recommend time blocking as a strategy to get the most done.
Block a few hours to solely focus on one client or project. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t read email. Just work on one task. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you’re focused!
It can be tricky to find time for household chores and family time when your office is down the hall and you’re on deadline but you’ve got to find the balance. If not, you will become stressed both at work and at home. Try these tips:
- Communicate your schedule to family and friends.
- Schedule time to talk or meet with friends outside the home so you don’t feel isolated.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
You will find over time that there’s a rhythm to your day. Maybe you have a cup of coffee with your spouse before they go to the office. You might choose to work before dawn so you have time with kids and grandkids in the afternoon and evening. The choice is yours.
While clients will have some say in how your days are structured, you have the last say in when and for whom you work now that you’ve chosen to be a Chicago freelance court reporter.