Five ways to make the most of flexible working

And breathe. You’ve spent a couple of years pedal to the metal, pulling all-nighters and mainlining coffee in the name of creating a business that runs smoother than George Clooney’s charisma. With a steady stream of clients and a healthy bank balance that affords you all the Friday beers and Saturday brunches you could hope for, it’s time to start giving the old work/life balance thing a second thought. Self-employment ain’t easy but being able to choose how you spend your days makes it worthwhile. Now the hardest part of starting a business is over, here are a few ways to enjoy the freedom it affords.

Choose your own hours

Dolly Parton isn’t the only one who wasn’t enamoured with the thought of working 9 til 5. Choosing our own hours is the reason many of us put a tentative toe on the path towards self-employment, whether it’s so we can work around the kids or just because our night owl tendencies mean we’re at our most productive during the hours everyone else is knocking out the zzz’s. Now is the time to make the fantasy a reality – work whenever you want! As long as you get the job done and your clients know when you’re around, you’ve got the freedom to decide how your working week looks.

Do more work in less time

We wax lyrical about Tim Ferriss’ ‘The Four-Hour Work Week’ but he isn’t the only one who makes a case for the key to better productivity being working less hours; Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens are two of the most successful men ever to have graced our fair earth and neither believed in doing a minute over four hours of work a day. Try it yourself; you might well be amazed how much you can do in four totally focused hours, compared to eight hours of only relative productivity.

Let’s go outside

Imagine a world where you can work wherever you like. It’s the dream, ain’t it? Well, actually it could be reality right about now. If your area of expertise can be done remotely, give working outside a go. It’s scientifically proven to be good for your health and you’ll be amazed how much working from your local park on a balmy summer day can remind you how bloody lucky you are to make the rules now.

Give the nomad life a go

We get it, you deserve a holiday but you’re not totally sold on shutting up shop for a week or two. With things ticking over nicely, now is the time to experiment with the digital nomad movement. It isn’t for everyone but all you really need to do to give it a go is book a break and take your laptop with you. Anticipate a little lower productivity while you’re away but experiment with doing a few hours work in a morning before heading out to explore for the day. If it works for you, it could open up a whole world of freedom and making money on the move.

Consider a co-working space

Building a business from the ground up means early mornings and late nights guaranteed. If you’re lucky, they’ll happen in a home office. If you’re not so fortunate, your dining table could probably do with a break almost as much as you could do with a change of scenery. With cash flow looking healthy and business booming, now is the time to consider giving a co-working space like a Helm a go. The sense of community that comes with a bunch of creatives sharing a space can be godsend after lonely months of going it alone, even if it just means someone else can put the kettle on for a change.

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