This might seem funny, but as I was finishing high school, I was literally dreaming of a job that could be done from home. Since I was a working-class kid and watched my parents bend their backs ten or more hours a day and earning hardly enough for the four of us to survive (I also have a sister), I strongly decided that my life would look different.

I made a pledge to myself that my work hours will be flexible and that I will definitely not work that hard and earn so little.

However, when I finished school, I did start from career scratch. First, I worked at a little shop around the corner. The main advantage was the one that I did not have to travel to work. I still lived with my parents and the job was not hard.

Dream-come-true job from home

After a while, it became dull and boring and I decided to leave it as soon as possible. As I had already been freelancing via the Internet, I started thinking about turning online for good when it comes to work.

However, things do not always go that easy, so I had to do some other minor part-time jobs in combination with the online work to earn for a living. But the progress online was constant and after a year or two, I quit all other jobs and did only projects online, mostly the programming.  I was finally making my dreams come true by working from home, without a boss panting behind my ear and, what is most important, my work hours were flexible.

While you might think that this is the end of the story, here is where the real story starts.

Working from home made me quite spoilt and disorganised, and trust me, that is one of the biggest mistakes you allow. While I was doing a job that I had been dreaming of for a while, the fact that you don’t have to do something right away, but in a week or two, usually caused last minute solutions and the quality of my work started decreasing rapidly.

Due to that, I began earning less money and some of my old clients would not hire me anymore. It lasted for a half a year or so and then I stood in front of the mirror and told myself that I had to pull myself together and get back to old me. Working from home, although fabulous and relaxed in the beginning, turned out to be a double-edged sword for me. After that black period, I established some rules and have been sticking to them ever since then.

Quality time when not at work

It might seem a bit crazy, but I realised that the most important precondition for a successful freelance day at home is how I spent my free time the day before. If you do many interesting, mind-relaxing and soul-enriching things when not at work, your productivity will increase and you will be more satisfied in general. While hanging out with friends is one of those must-do things when not at work, never underestimate physical activity. It recuperates the body and invigorates the mind. A regular massage is a great reducer of stress, especially if you sit a lot.

Demanding stuff comes first

When working from home, one of the main ways to keep yourself under minimum amount of stress is to prioritise your projects and deadlines. Those of us who manage to first deal with the most demanding tasks will eventually be the most successful ones. There is something damned in the human nature that forces us to postpone the most complicated things in life and then later we have less time and energy for them. That can be compared to getting into cold water, especially the sea. If you hesitate and do it slowly, it will be more shocking and stressful than closing your eyes and jumping into it.

Objects around you

The work space adds a lot to the amount of stress you are (or are not) exposed to. If you pile up numerous unnecessary things around your study or the room in which you work, the whole space will be less fresh and more suffocating. Also, be careful what you hang on your walls. If the surroundings is too depressive, you will not feel much better either. When it comes to small anti-stressors, think about getting a stress ball.  When you are in the middle of a tense and excruciating  job, making a five-minute break, pressing an anti-stress ball and observing the tree in front of your place can really help you get your mind back in shape.