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Have you discovered the benefits of working from home?

It’s late September and the nights are drawing in. Soon all the unlucky people who have to commute to work will be going out and returning home in the dark. It’s even worse for those who have to stand about waiting for public transport; not only is it dark, it’s pretty cold as well!

It's a documented fact that we feel less enthusiastic during the winter months. In the UK, 1 in 50 people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, and 1 in 8 has milder symptoms more commonly known as the 'winter blues'. It begins about now and carries on until April with the worst months being January and February. And the symptoms include lethargy, difficulty in concentrating and lack of motivation. Not a good combination if you have to drag yourself out of bed on a cold winter's morning and travel to your workplace.

Now consider how much nicer it would be if you could get out of bed, have breakfast, turn on your computer and start work without having to venture out into the cold beyond. As a freelancer working from home you could do exactly that. Simply set up your home office, register as self-employed, get a contract and you're ready to go.

You may be thinking that this sounds too good to be true. Well, there are a few pitfalls to avoid but with a bit of careful planning you should be able to work more productively from home and have more time on your hands for enjoyment.

Some freelancers start to miss the outside world after they've been home-based for awhile. But these days that doesn't need to be a problem. Wi-fi is readily available in cafes such as Starbucks, so make a point of going out to work in a quiet place if you need a change of scenery occasionally.

Probably the most important thing to do when you're freelancing is to create a schedule. When you're working with clients you have to make sure that you know exactly what has to be done, for whom, and when. A simple calendar should suffice as long as you remember to update it with all your tasks and project timelines. Remember, the one thing you don't want to do is put yourself in a position where you have too much work to cope with and end up letting people down. By planning your work schedule in advance you should be able to alleviate the chances of this happening.

If you're properly organised, you'll find that motivation comes naturally, after all as a freelancer you'll be taking on projects you actually enjoy doing.

No travelling to work, the ability to set my own working hours and only doing the type of work I actually enjoy are my main reasons for freelancing. What are yours?