I’m sure we’ve all dreamed of being Carrie Bradshaw at one stage or another. Sitting in our New York apartment, posing philosophical questions while we stare aimlessly out the window. Having lunch with our girlfriends every second day and being able to afford Christian Louboutin shoes on a journalist’s wage.
It’s the ideal (albeit somewhat unrealistic) dream of a being a freelancer. A dream that’s become reality for successful entrepreneur, Lauren Webster (but the water repellent Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Shield Canvas is her shoe of choice.)
Not many people effectively turn their passion into a career but Webster, a Sydney-based artist, is not ‘many people.’ She is a thriving, self-employed, full-time artist. She is in high demand for collaborations with fashion labels, surf and skate companies, photographers, interior designers and more.
Being a freelance artist for the last seven years, Lauren knows a thing or two about working from home. Along with the perks of controlling her own schedule comes the difficulty of being productive (hello Ellen Degeneres). If you’re in her shoes, read on to find out how to work from home like a pro.
This seems like an obvious one but when home is your office and bed is your desk, pyjamas look like suitable work attire. It’s become all too common to check emails upon awakening and before you know it it’ll be 3pm and you’re still donning Disney. Rule number one: wake up, shower, and get dressed. Make a conscious effort not to start ‘work’ until you’re presentable. That being said, one of the advantages of being remote is that you don’t have to suit up. So when it comes to choosing an outfit think comfortable and functional but make sure it says, “I’m gonna get sh*t done.”
As a creative with a flair for style, Lauren lives in her Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Shield Canvas. Being on her feet a lot of the day they provide effective support with the new Nike Lunarlon cushioning, non-slip padded tongue and micro-suede lining. Plus they’re made with water-repellent canvas so they’re perfect for wet and rainy (read: unpredictable) weather conditions. Lauren often paints outdoors for collaborative projects so this innovative feature is a major bonus in her book.
Without a strict nine to five set-up, being efficient with your time can be difficult. Ironically, time appears limitless you end up being less productive and procrastination often takes reign. Instead, treat your day as you would in a professional office. Give yourself a specific start and end time, stick to a list of to-dos and manage your time effectively. But be sure to schedule in breaks too. The luxury of working from home is that you can often be on your own schedule. Find what works best for you and create a routine around that. Perhaps you’re more effective in the morning so start your day earlier and make it to that less-crowded 3pm yoga class.
According to Lauren, “success is finding happiness in the every day and living a life that you enjoy.” While it’s important to get your work done, make your day an enjoyable one too. You have the flexibility to do so.
Your physical space has a great influence on your mental space so build an ‘office’ that will promote productivity. Regardless of your job we’d recommend something away from distractions (read: TV, friends and family, bed, fridge) but close to natural light. If you sit at a computer ensure you have a large monitor, supportive chair and a spacious desk. Then add inspiration and plant life. Studies have shown merely being able to view nature can reduce stress and increase productivity.
Better yet, don’t be afraid to actually get outdoors and work from another location. Lauren sets herself up in local cafés and takes her sketchpad to the beach in search of destinations that will foster inspiration. Cafés can be a great alternative office and many are accommodating to freelancers. Just be sure to show the necessary etiquette – don’t order one coffee and sit for eight hours burning through the free Wi-Fi.