Working as a freelancer is something that a lot of people underestimate or completely misunderstand on many different levels. You see, most people believe that working freelance is similar to just working from home. While that’s technically true, a freelancer typically has a number of responsibilities that make it vastly different from career work.

So if you’re interested in becoming a freelancer, we’ve put together this article to show you a detailed breakdown of what a freelancer does and how they approach their workday.

Waking up regular hours

The first misconception is that a freelancer can work whatever hours they want. If that’s true, then surely you can wake up and just do your work whenever you want, right?

That’s partially true. Yes, a freelancer could work 3 am in the morning if they wanted to, but why would they? One of the most important concepts to grasp as a freelancer is being able to work on a schedule that suits you. If you need to communicate with others as a freelancer, then working at 3 am isn’t going to work unless you talk with overseas clients.

In other words, freelancers typically get up and go to bed at the same time as anyon else because they don’t want to ruin their sleeping pattern and they need to be awake when their clients are.

Working from a home office

It’s also important to establish a productive workspace at home so you can focus and remove distractions. People often have this idea that freelancers work anywhere from their kitchen table to a nearby café. Again, this is partially true and entirely possible, but working anywhere that has a lot of noise or chatter will disrupt your work and make you slower.

What most freelancers do is dedicate a certain part of their home to work. This helps them get into the zone when they enter that area, and it prepares themselves mentally for working without any distractions.

We can’t forget the accounting

Many freelancers use QuickBooks bookkeeping services by Navitance and other providers to help them manage their finances. While it can be done on your own, having a service and a cloud platform do it for you is much easier. You’ll be able to track all of your incoming and outgoing, and you can use those numbers to help you calculate your taxes and submit your return before you get in trouble.

And the chasing clients

Get used to having clients that don’t respond to you and don’t pay you until much later. It’s always best to avoid these types of clients (and you’ll certainly remember their names) so that you can more effectively spend your time. Tracking your clients down to pay an invoice can be a lot of stress, but it’s good practice to help you identify if a client is problematic or not and if they’re worth working with. Client communicate is crucial for a freelancer to work efficiently, so get used to speaking to your clients a lot over the phone and email.