Work From Home Survival Guide: 5 Ways to Stay Motivated and Productive While Freelancing

As a full-time freelance photographer and social media specialist, I’ve been working from home now for 9 months. While I do miss working in office – the schedule, the peers, the stability – working for myself and working from home comes with its own perks! I can travel whenever I want (and work remotely while I’m there), create my own schedule around activities I want to do (like lunch time pilates twice a week), and nothing can beat doing work in your pajamas. But staying on top of my workload can be difficult when I don’t have the office environment. So, I have come up with 5 tips to motivated and productive while freelance working from home!

Work from Home Tip #1: You don’t need to be at home to work from home

Whether it’s your local coffee shop, a shared workspace, or your actual home, find the space that works best for you to work from home! You should feel comfortable, inspired, focused, and have enough room for your work. 

While I do most of my work from my home office, I also like to mix up my setting. This keeps me stimulated and gets me out of the house on days when I could very well spend it all inside with my computer. I work at my favorite places in Seattle, including Sugar Bakery & Cafe, Queen Anne Coffee Co., and The Riveter.

Work from Home Guide


Work from Home Tip #2: Create a routine

Without having to be at work at a certain time, creating a routine can feel impossible. I have found creating a flexible framework for my week has helped me a lot. The routine that works for me is to have alternating days of shoots where I’m out all day and editing where I actually work from home. I also try my best to wake up at the same time every morning and to schedule my earliest shoot of the day at the same time every day.

Work from home guide


Work from Home Tip #3: Stay organized

For me, this means LISTS. As I am usually working with multiple clients all at the same time, in addition to my personal projects such as creating presets and writing blog posts, creating lists to keep track of my tasks have helped immensely. I currently use Asana to keep track of my short-term and long-term tasks for projects. I love their project board feature, which allows me to move tasks through different phases of completion. 

If you are working with a team or a client, you can also create a shared Asana to keep everyone on task and in the loop from the comfort of your home office.

Work from home guide


Work from Home Tip #4: Get comfortable

Everything should be convenient and comfortable. When I work from home, I don’t always wear my pajamas, but I do get comfy with my clothes. I have quite the collection of joggers and sweatpants that keep me cozy while I’m working, and rep my college sweatshirts at my editing desk. I also make sure my kitchen is fully stocked with my favorite teas so I don’t have to go out and break my workflow when I need a bit of caffeine.

Work from home guide


Work from Home Tip #5: Eliminate distractions

Find what keeps you focused, and stick to it. Is it listening to music, podcasts, or a TV show in the background? Do it – find your playlist, your favorite podcast you can binge, or the TV show you’ve seen a million times and can tune out. Keep your workspace tidy and free from distractions if possible. Change up your setting if you’re feeling restless and distracted. Lists can come in handy to help you focus on what needs to be done now. I also recommend time blocking, setting timers, and bribing yourself with your favorite treat or a walk around your neighborhood when you accomplish a task.


Are you currently working from home, or thinking about making the switch? Let me know down below!


Thanks for reading,




Work From Home Survival Guide



  1. January 13, 2019 / 4:34 pm

    Seriously so good and so true Karya! I’ve gone through the same experience and completely agree with all of your tips — especially the morning routine bit… life changing. Congrats on figuring it out girl, cheers to a damn good year!

    • karyaschanilec
      January 15, 2019 / 4:58 pm

      Thanks so much Cortney! Totally agree about the morning routine being life changing, just sets the stage for the rest of the day! Cheers to us both