by Emily Watts
When people hear that you work as a freelancer, they probably are envious of you. After all, what could be better than being your own boss? However, in reality, working from home has its difficulties, and it is not as easy as it might seem at first glance. Without motivation and with a lot of distracting things in your house, sometimes it is just impossible to concentrate on your works and get it done properly. There are many tasks that need to be delivered on time, and most likely, you need to be able to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
In today’s article, we would like to give you some freelancer tips to make you more productive.
Freelance productivity tip #1: Create your schedule
Determine your working time
Setting a timetable gives you a sense of responsibility and make you appreciate the time. Establish a reasonable schedule and stick to it. Decide when you want to start freelancing, then set your alarm in the morning, get up, brush your teeth, dress up, have your coffee and get to work.
Wandering around in your underwear is unlikely to put you in a proper working mood, and chances are you are not going to be very productive during the day.
Take some breaks
Studies have shown that short breaks during the working day increase productivity. You need to learn to take some short breaks from work to recharge your batteries. Take a walk, eat a snack or go to a coffee shop. Take some time for lunch. Skipping meals will give more time for your projects but working with a growling stomach does not help productivity. Strive for quality, not quantity.
Freelance productivity tip #2: Come up with a solid plan
If you do not set a goal, you are likely to lead an aimless life. Set short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. Think about what you need to achieve, then write your goals down for productivity improvement. You may not believe it, but long-term goals help shape short-term goals.
Make a to-do list
Make a to-do list based on the weekly goals. You can use a mobile application or write in your notebook. A well-planned day will help you stay focused, which is very important for freelancers.
Break up large tasks into smaller ones
When writing things down that need to be done, do not write something like “write an article about productivity” or “design the logo.” Instead, you should be specific about your tasks for the day. For example, “research for an article on productivity” or “detail the concept of the logo.” By specifying the task, you narrow your focus down and work much more productively.
Use your time right
There are mobile applications that can help you control your time and be more productive. It is very important to know if you are spending time wisely. Keep track of how long it takes to perform tasks, and you will be amazed to learn how much time goes down the drain. Knowing the amount of time you need to complete your tasks will help you plan your working hours more rationally and improve your efficiency.
Towards the end of the day, make sure you assess how well you performed. Did you manage to do everything you planned? If the answer is NO, think of the reasons that prevented you from accomplishing your tasks. Performance assessment is a crucial step toward boosting your productivity. Set complex but feasible goals and justly evaluate your performance to understand whether it is possible to achieve even better results.
Freelance productivity tip #3: Do not eat at the computer
Maybe you do not need to be reminded of it, but you will be surprised when you find out how many people actually eat and drink while freelancing. This is not only dangerous for your computer but also harmful to you because this way you will not take breaks or move your body. When dining at the table, you kill two birds with one stone: you eat without the risk of spilling your drink all over the keyboard and let your body move for a while.
Here is one of the most useful tips: do not drink carbonated drinks and food containing a large amount of sugar. It gives you a lot of energy at first, but then it quickly disappears, and you cannot work all day productively.
Freelance productivity tip #4: Concentrate
Do only one job at a time
Multitasking has ceased to be exclusively a computer term and became a part of our regular vocabulary. Now many people think that by accomplishing multiple tasks at once, it is possible to achieve more. But this idea is not even close to being true. The thing is that being fully engaged in one task is much better since concentrating on one thing is easier. Splitting your attention between several tasks leads to a decrease in quality and much less productivity.
Cut down on your Internet surfing time
We suggest you use an RSS reader to get new content from your favorite sites and blogs. This is a better approach than visiting websites several times a day in the hope of seeing what is new. If you already use some program to read news feeds, spend a little time and clean it from those mailings that you hardly ever read. In addition, sort the subscriptions by folders in order not to visit sites that are not related to your work during the day.
Nowadays we are all hooked on social networks, and oftentimes this can be a real problem. So instead of constantly keeping your mail and Facebook in the field of view on the desktop, make a specific amount of time only for checking your feeds and emails. For instance, you can give it 20 minutes during the breaks between the tasks, before you start your working routine, or even at the end of the day when all the work is done.
Freelance productivity tip #5: Organize things
Merge your mailboxes
Many of us have several mailboxes for various purposes. Why not combine all the messages in one place? Get a Gmail account if you do not have one already. It is free and one of the best on the web. As soon as you have your account on Google, you can use it to receive mail from your other email addresses. You can use filters to organize messages too.
Use shortcuts to organize emails
Instead of using Gmail folders, use shortcuts. Labels act like folders, and besides, one message can have multiple labels instead of just being located in one folder. Use shortcuts with names such as “Urgent” and “To be completed” to mark the priority of messages so that everything is in order.
Update social network accounts all at a time
Social networks are a great way to find new clients, track the main trends in your industry and network with colleagues. Most of us have accounts on such sites as LinkedIn and Facebook. Being present on all these networks can be a real challenge not to mention wasting a huge amount of time. Instead of visiting each site separately, why not keep them all in one place? For this purpose, you can use some social network aggregator and stay up to date from one place.
Freelance productivity tip #6: Let others know you are busy
As a freelancer, your close people may often perceive work outside the office as a passive source of income, during which, you can have a conversation, have some coffee or go for a walk at any given moment. If you have such people in your house, try to explain to them that you should not be bothered when working.
Freelance productivity tip #7: Reward yourself
Small awards for a well-done job allow the freelancer to understand that they are performing great. If you have a favorite pastime or some certain preferences in food that can bring you an incredible pleasure, treat yourself with those. This is an excellent incentive for achieving high results, being more productive and happy.
Freelance productivity tip #8: Use help
Distribute the workflow
If you are still in college, hiring custom assignment writing services could be a great option not to get distracted by your studies. And if you are already past your college years, think about the possibility of finding an assistant. This will spare you some extra time, as you will not have to deal with documentation and billing and you will be able to concentrate on your work.
Learn from other freelancers
In order to stay on top of trends and increase your productivity, you need to exchange experience with your colleagues from time to time. For this purpose, you can communicate on forums, visit freelance exchanges, enroll in some classes to improve your competencies and much more. Do not think that you will be wasting time on these seemingly unnecessary things. Sharing experience and gaining new knowledge is a contribution to your professional success.
Are you a freelance with tips on how you stay productive? Let us know in the comments below!