3 Freelance Productivity Tips to Get More Work Done
For many, the freelance lifestyle seems like a dream come true. You get to decide your own hours, you could set your own pace, and you can even do a full day's worth of work in pajamas if you wanted to.
But, it's not always as easy as it seems to stay on task. With this newfound freedom comes a whole new set of distractions. It often takes significant effort and discipline in order to adjust to the privilege of setting your own schedule. However, there are ways to stay productive even when you're your own boss.
Let's check out three of the most helpful.
1. Put Your Phone Away
This is perhaps the most important freelance productivity tip that you will encounter. When your phone is within arm's reach, you often find yourself scrolling through Facebook or checking emails during an assignment without even realizing it. Before you know it, you've lost 30 minutes (or more) over the past few hours that you could've spent working.
While there are mobile apps you can download that can help prevent you from accessing the most distracting aspects of your phone by restricting your privileges, it's often easier to put it on the other side of the room out of sight.
With your phone a longer a factor, you'll find that the majority of your distractions instantly vanish. In order to prevent yourself from being disconnected to the outside world, allow yourself a few minutes to go through your phone after you completed the task. But, make sure you put it away when you're ready to work again.
Staying distraction-free will also help you become more organized (especially on your computer), which is vital for your productivity.
2. Apply the Pomodoro Technique
While the name may sound unfamiliar and complicated to some, the purpose of this technique is simple.
This method has existed since the 1980s but has recently seen a spike in usage due to a growing population of freelancers. It involves setting a timer for 25 minutes and staying as focused as possible during that time period. After the timer goes off, you'll take a break for about five minutes before resetting the timer and working again.
After you complete this process four times (for a total of an hour's worth of work), you'll take a longer break that is typically 30 minutes. Afterward, you'll start the whole process over again with a 25-minute timer.
The Pomodoro Technique can be made more effective by recording your accomplishments after each 25-minute interval. After four Pomodoro cycles, you'll be able to look back and reflect upon the high level of productivity you had over the last hour.
3. Reward Yourself
It's important to reward yourself for accomplishing milestones. The best part is that rewards can come in almost any form and it's up to you to decide how you should indulge. If you feel like socializing, you can go out and get something to eat or meet someone for coffee. If you'd rather stay put, taking an hour or so of leisure time to read a book or work on a hobby can be just as beneficial.
A good method for rewarding yourself is to watch an episode or two of your favorite show. Not only will this allow you to take your mind off of your work and unwind, it will also allow you to enjoy yourself for a predetermined time period (longer shows usually last anywhere from around 45 to 60 minutes per episode).
As previously mentioned, your options are virtually limitless. Going for a bike ride or taking your dog for a walk are other examples of rewards you can give yourself that are also therapeutic.
Freelancing can be one of the most productive ways to work as a professional, but it takes self-discipline. As long as you adhere to the guidelines that you set, you'll quickly find that you’re getting more work done than ever before.