People are likely to be envious of you if they learn that you work as a freelancer. What’s better than being your own boss, after all?
Working from home, on the other hand, has its drawbacks and is not as simple as it appears at first look. It can be difficult to concentrate on your task and do it efficiently when you lack motivation and have a lot of distractions in your home.
There are numerous responsibilities that must be completed on schedule, and you will almost certainly be required to handle multiple projects at the same time.
We’d like to share some freelancer productivity suggestions with you today.
What Is Productivity?
Integration is the key to productivity. Individuals frequently mentally divide numerous elements of their lives into distinct categories, only to run out of time to devote to each section.
There are only 24 hours in each day, regardless of your ambitions or level of motivation. When all is said and done, the amount of time you devote to your hobbies and ambitions will never feel like enough to achieve significant progress.
How can you pursue your goals, advance in your career, and maintain good relationships while also enjoying each moment?
The answer is straightforward: integrate.
Here are some strategies for integrating your life, achieving your objectives, and increasing freelancer productivity.
Steps To Improve Freelancer Productivity And Focus
- Make use of a calendar
If you’ve ever marked something off your to-do list, you know how satisfying it feels. You can draw out a visual depiction of your schedule on a calendar so that you know exactly what’s on your plate and how to organize your time.
You can utilize a number of different calendaring methods. You may try out a few to determine which one you favor.
Here are some suggestions:
Make use of the cloud. Keeping your to-dos in the cloud is advantageous since you’ll always have a list of what you have on your plate, and you can access it from any connected device. If you’re not at your desk, you may check your tasks on your smartphone to get a better idea of how your day and week are shaping out.
Block out any time that you won’t be available. You can invite clients to plan meetings on a shared calendar. Allow yourself some time to prepare for meetings and to regroup after them. Set aside time on a shared calendar so that clients don’t book back-to-back meetings and overburden you.
When you work as a freelancer, you have complete control over your schedule. As you arrange your task, think of yourself as a client you’re assisting. Set yourself up for success by using a calendar to organize your monthly, weekly, and daily responsibilities.
As a result, making use of a calendar can help you increase your freelancer Productivity.
- Stick to a reasonable workload
A consistent workload is beneficial (and often necessary) to life as a freelancer. Taking on too much work, though, can wear you down. A heavy workload may paralyze you mentally and cause you to avoid your to-do list altogether, resulting in stress as deadlines approach.
Be honest with yourself about your capabilities. To be more confident when accepting or declining a project, use task length estimation to determine what your weekly burden looks like.
Here’s how to estimate task length if you’ve never done it before:
- With each project, keep track of the time. Keep note of your project completion times to obtain a better idea of how long a typical project takes.
- Make a schedule for yourself. Recognize how many hours you have to work each day. Work time, such as client meetings, selling yourself, and email correspondence, may need to be accounted for. That’s a realistic depiction of your time available for each day based on what’s left over.
- Overestimate the time of the project. It’s usually better to overestimate the length of a project than to run out of time.
The more frequently you track the time it takes to accomplish different jobs, the better you’ll be able to forecast your workload each week. Tracking your projects and averaging out time spent on various tasks can be done with Microsoft Excel or a cloud-based service like Google Sheets.
This strategy is also useful for estimating the pricing for potential customers. You can use statistics to show your value while negotiating with clients if they want to pay you hourly and want you to bid or estimate your time.
- Start with the assignment that you find the least enticing
When compared to later in the day, you may have more energy when you start your day. That’s why it’s a good idea to start with the most difficult duty.
Once that task is completed, the rest of the day’s tasks appear to be a little easier to complete.
If you lose energy as the day goes on, ticking off your to-do list will be easier because the easier activities are gone.
As a freelancer, you may have decided to “start your day” at night because that’s when you’re at your highest freelancer productivity.
- Take frequent pauses
Taking breaks is beneficial to freelancer productivity. Breaks might assist you to avoid becoming burnt out. They provide you with an opportunity to reboot. They can also energize you, particularly if they are beneficial to your health. Taking a break to walk around the block, for example, might generate feel-good endorphins that have a favorable impact on your job.
Breaks have been proved to improve concentration, improve work mentality, and even assist professionals to avoid injuries, according to research. But how do you incorporate breaks into your schedule?
According to a study conducted by The Muse, productivity is optimal when you work for 52 minutes and then take a 17-minute break. You can use a smartphone timer to test out this unusual work-break plan and see if it works for you.
It’s possible that what works for you isn’t the same as what works for another freelancer. That could be your break time if you have children who require your attention or if your dog requires a walk. Just remember to arrange breaks throughout your day (maybe even into your calendar!) so that you can work more energized.
Over and above its important to maintain a work-life balance to boost your freelancer productivity,
- Concentrate on projects that you are passionate about.
People choose their careers as full-time freelancers for a variety of reasons, one of which is the ability to work on projects that they truly enjoy. However, especially when you’re just starting out, you may find yourself taking on a job that you don’t particularly enjoy. It can be tempting to say “yes” to whatever possibilities come your way if you’re trying to expand your business or if you’re having trouble finding work.
However, this approach might have a negative impact on your freelancer productivity. You may postpone or put forth a half-hearted effort if you dread what you have to do. This could lead to low-quality work, which could harm your freelance reputation — all because of a task you didn’t want to take on in the first place.
Make an effort to spend your work week on projects that you are excited to complete. If you have less work than you like, you can put that time to good use by doing something beneficial for your company.
Productivity Techniques For Freelancers
The tips below will help you enjoy your spare time when you’re not working, set a timetable that doesn’t trap you in endless freelance jobs, and plan a workweek that puts you in charge of your freelance efforts.
- Apps for Time Management
Without a firm grasp of where your work hours are going, it’s impossible to minimize them. RescueTime and other similar apps allow you to keep track of your working hours, giving you a better knowledge of when you work and what you do.
- Purchase an office space
Smart freelancers rarely consider their expenses to be a waste of money; instead, they consider every expenditure to be an investment in increased productivity, visibility, or output. Whether it’s money spent on advertising or the most up-to-date software, the goal is the same: to improve a part of their business that might otherwise stagnate. When it comes to increasing freelancer productivity, the goal isn’t to save money but to make more.
- Form a Support Group
Work can feel overwhelming at times. You’re stressed out, unable to stay focused on your assignments, and in desperate need of a getaway. After informing your big clients that you’ll be unavailable, you receive a last-minute communication from someone you’ve previously worked with: there’s a task that needs to be completed right immediately.
Rather than worrying, build a network of other freelancers who can assist you in these instances. Even when you’re not in the office, a short email to your network can help you maintain client relationships.
- Take vacations on a regular basis
Take a month off after your next significant project to figure out how to make your business less of a drain on your personal time. It usually just takes a week of reflection to realize that what you have now isn’t going to last decades. A break can improve your concentration, whether it’s time to build a new cash source or simply a cause to rethink your attitude to clients.
- Keep an eye on your output
Examining how much time you spend working is one thing; really focusing on changing how you finish tasks is another. Tracking hours alone can lead to confusion between time spent working and the outcomes of that labor, whereas tracking output alone might lead to hours spent working at a breakneck speed. If you keep track of both, you’ll be able to figure out how you’re most productive, which will help you eliminate non-essential tasks.
- Keep Your Workload Realistic
Many freelancers are continuously on the lookout for new clients, assuming that more business will certainly lead to greater money, independence, and success. Managing additional clients has no intrinsic benefits, but it does come with a slew of drawbacks for your work-life balance.
The most significant indicator for any freelancer is their ability to create cash, not the number of clients they manage or the number of projects they can take on.
As your firm grows, it will require more of your time and effort, all for an output that may not scale with it. There’s nothing wrong with keeping things modest, especially if it means a smaller client base.
Hence, using these techniques will help you boost your freelancer productivity.
Tips To Boost Your Freelancer Productivity
- Plan your tasks and keep track of your time.
If you’re one of the many freelancers who work on multiple projects at once, learning to manage your time is critical.
Moreover, make a schedule for each of your projects. If you need to devote some time per day to each of your projects, consider separating your daily work hours according to the tasks you need to do. If you have urgent chores, you should schedule your time such that you can do them right away while still having time to focus on your other projects.
- Concentrate on a single task at a time.
When it comes to increasing productivity, the concept of multitasking has been demonstrated to be inefficient. Multitasking, rather than assisting you in getting things done properly, implies performing multiple tasks in quick succession over a short period of time.
Moreover, you are limiting your ability to think more deeply about activity by doing so, which can undermine the coherence of the tasks at hand. Focusing on one activity at a time is the greatest method to get through your to-do list. After you’ve completed one activity, you can move on to the next.
- Distractions must be managed and eliminated.
You should strive not to get distracted by any of the diversions at home, especially with so many things on your plate. One of the disadvantages of working from home is that it is easy to become distracted.
There’s social media, gadgets, Netflix, housework, and other distractions. Staying focused might be difficult at times, especially if you have children or pets who require your attention.
What you can do is create a home office where you can work without being distracted by anything at home.
- Organize Your Desk at Work
The organizing of one’s workstation is another facet of work that some freelancers take for granted. Keeping your workplace tidy and organized can enhance your freelancer productivity and morale.
If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few pointers on how to set up your freelance office for maximum productivity:
- Wipe away any dust and grime that has accumulated on your desk’s surface on a regular basis. This will assist keep the air around your workstation clean and irritant-free.
- Organize all of your work equipment and tools.
- Organize your work computer’s wires and connections so that you don’t have to fight with your mouse, chargers, and other connectors.
- Take Good Care of Yourself
In addition to maintaining attention, managing distractions, and arranging your work tools, your health and safety should be a key priority. Improved freelancer productivity is correlated with a healthy mind and body.
Working from home has many drawbacks, one of which is that you tend to be physically sedentary. You may get imprisoned up in your own home if you have fewer activities to commit to, fewer social encounters, and no need to always look your best.
Check out the best places to work as a freelancer and see how they may help you boost your productivity.
You may be overly concentrated on getting things done, and as a result, you may lose track of time, forget to eat on time, consume fewer liquids and nourishment, and be sleepless.
- Take regular breaks.
It’s important to take breaks while working you can try these approaches to boost your freelancer productivity :
- Try the Pomodoro approach, which involves using a timer to divide work into 25-minute intervals with 5-minute pauses in between.
- Consume nutritious foods on a regular basis and drink plenty of water.
- As needed, take regular bathroom breaks. Avoid holding it in because it can lead to a variety of health issues.
- Stretching or sitting yoga positions are good options.
- Avoid eye strain by following the 20-20-20 rule: glance at anything 20 feet away for 20 seconds for every 20 minutes you spend looking at a computer screen.
You may quickly improve your efficiency and be able to complete more chores by implementing these productivity tips for freelancers, regardless of how many projects you are currently managing.
Tips To Break The Blockage and Increase Freelancer Productivity
- Unclear brief from client: A lot of times we cannot move forward with the work because we are not confident of what the client really wants.. It is very important to have a written brief from the client. If the client doesn’t give it to you, write it and ask them to verify. Keep the deliverables clear. This takes a lot of effort but this will save you a lot of time during execution.
- Unclear payment terms: Not knowing how much client is willing to pay is a deterrent to productivity. It keeps playing at the back of your mind and hampers your quality and speed of work. A written freelance contract will help, whether over email or even Whatsapp. If there is any ambiguity in pricing terms it will come to haunt you later. Read more about pricing it right for first time customers.
- Deadlines: There is no better motivator than deadlines. Always get a deadline from the client. It will help you understand your limits and speed up. Set deadlines for yourself. Without deadlines, the work will expand to occupy all your time.
- Collaborate/Talk to people: Talking about the problem to other people tricks your own brain into finding the solution faster, on its own.
- Have an intern/trainee around: Having an intern or trainee around is helpful to outsource mundane repetitive tasks or one-time tasks that need a lot of research.
A freelancing career necessitates the same level of passion and dedication as any other job or industry. If you’ve decided to work as a freelancer, these are a few ground rules that you should follow in order to perform your best work and attract additional clients.
These tips and techniques will help you enhance your freelancer productivity and help you succeed in any field of freelancing.