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10 tips for journalists who work from home
Advice shared by followers of @journalismnews and @freelance_hacks
We asked for advice on working from home by posting a message from @journalismnews on Twitter. Lots of people from our 80,000-strong community responded. We have rounded some of the best advice up in this Storify.
Here are 10 tips. Several are from freelancer Karl Hodge who emailed us his tips.
1. Create structure
Go for a walk in the morning, grab a coffee and then start your working day. Take a lunch break and get some fresh air.
2. Get into work mode
Make sure you get dressed rather than working in your pyjamas. Follow simple techniques such as wearing shoes while working, removing them when you switch off. It sounds silly but it works.
3. Set up a work space
Set up a dedicated work space, ideally not in the bedroom. Work from a desk rather than the sofa or your bed. Working from living room or kitchen blurs the distinction between home and work. If you can, make a spare room your office and consider installing a lock and locking yourself out when you are not 'at work'.
4. Turn off distractions
Follow the Pomodoro Technique by ignoring email, Twitter and other distractions for 25 minutes then allow yourself a five-minute slack period.
5. Plan your day
Start the day with a 'to-do' list. Kark Hodge suggests using an app like Remember the Milk, Reminders on iOS or Todoist.
6. Use your mobile
Give out your mobile number for work rather than not your landline so clients can get you even when you pop out. Answer unknown numbers with your office patter. Hang up sales calls – you don't have time for them.
7. Go mobile
You will need a laptop or a keyboard for your tablet so you can work from coffee shops. Similarly, mobile broadband is a must. Either buy a mobile dongle, mifi or a phone contract with tethering built in.
8. Make lunch
Think about lunch plans in advance. One suggestion is to make a packed lunch before you start work in the morning.
9. Keep office hours
One of the testing parts of working from home is making yourself stop working. Try to keep office hours and don't simply stop work at 5.30pm and then start on personal admin. Turn your computer off and cook a meal or go out of the house.
10. Get out!
Get out as much as you can. Meet contacts during the day and plan your social life so you regularly get out in the evening. And meet up with other freelancers. You can find groups on meetup.com or consider setting up your own network of freelancers so you have a support network.
Don't try and arrange socials with your friends during the day or allow people to drop round. As Karl Hodge says, "It may be your mate's afternoon off, but your boss (you) has to be more strict."
Contributions from: @martyndarkley, @davidcuen, @CarleanneGwen, @Katherine_OP, @lucy_whufc, @CoachLyds, @davemalloy, @CatSnowdon, @TheChrisPrice, @anneleenophoff, @garethharding, @louisebolotin, @HelenTither, @VirtualLilly, @jonhew, @AdamWestbrook, @timoncheese, @SunMattHampton, @JulianMarkOwen, @FelicityHannah, @MatlockRichard, @mr_numbers, @NeilMcMahon, @Wendycarlisile, @SimEditorial.
And here are five tips from freelance journalist Sue White.
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