6 Ways To Become A Productive Freelancer
When you freelance, you get to decide how and when to work at your terms. This is one of the most excellent perks of freelancing. However, it comes with its challenges. To provide high-quality work to your clients, you need to stay motivated and productive. We know that you would have heard this statement hundreds of times. The trick is to discover the most appropriate ways according to your personality to boost your productivity.
Freelancing is not just delivering work but involves many tasks such as accounting, marketing, project management, and client management. All these additional roles might be overwhelming and make you procrastinate. Working as a one-person army, managing deadlines, and delivering your best could wear you out, which is something you want to avoid. You also need to make sure that to be a productive freelancer, and you need to be mentally, emotionally, and physically fit.
One fundamental difference between freelance and a full-time job is that when you are a freelancer, you are paid only for the work you deliver. When you are a full-time employee at an organization, you get paid even if you have not given your best for that particular day. So when your mind gets distracted and wants to watch a show instead of working, you need to ask yourself, is this the right time to watch that show?
Here are a few techniques that can help you maximize your creativity and also lead you to become a better freelancer…
1. Divide jobs
Make a document and list down all the jobs that you need to complete regularly. You can divide them into three segments – daily, weekly, and monthly. You would have a list of tasks like delivering projects, following up with clients on feedback, making invoices, making pitches for new projects, and having a timely call with clients are a few basic tasks that you would be doing. Try batch-tasking, grouping similar types of jobs in one batch. These jobs would need the same kind of effort, concentration, and thought-process. For example, all invoices could be made in one go.
For daily jobs, you can focus on the most critical tasks when you’re the most productive. Prioritize your important tasks and then the regular tasks. Don’t mix all jobs to avoid spending extra time on small actions.
2. Create a schedule
After dividing the jobs, it is time to create a schedule. For example, you can set a particular time to reply to all emails, schedule social media posts, create an infographic, have calls with your clients, and do your research. These tasks and their frequency will vary according to your projects. The objective is to work on particular jobs according to the schedule.
Just like batching your jobs, your schedule should also be designed for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Along with allocating hours for everyday jobs, you can allocate days for certain types of jobs. Your schedule will not just include tasks, but your lunch break, coffee time, and regular breaks as well.
Try to stick to the schedule and finish the designated activities. This way, activities will not overlap and give you a clear state of mind.
3. Set up a workplace
Your couch or bed might be the most comfortable space in the house, but it is not the place where you can work. To create an environment that avoids distractions and allows creative thinking, you need a dedicated workplace.
You can set up a table in the extra room you have or in the corner of the place you prefer the most. It should be a decluttered space. Try looking for space where you can access natural light, put up a plant, keep the essentials you will need, and is away from noises. Keep organizing this space regularly. This is the space where you will spend your working hours, and it should cater to all your needs.
You can also work from a coffee shop or a co-working space if you prefer that environment.
4. Put social media notifications on silent
While working, it is imperative that you stay in work mode and not get distracted by external factors. Your phone could be a disruptor in the ideal space you create for yourself. Do not check social media, news apps, emails, and other alerts that can distract you and can be checked later. You can put your phone on silent if your work allows that. Research shows that even if you do not check the phone alerts, it can break your chain of thought and negatively impact productivity. You might not realize it but interruptions by phone cause higher levels of inattention and hyperactivity.
5. Take regular breaks
The science behind taking regular breaks is not to make your work hours less but to make you a more productive freelancer while saving you from stress and exhaustion. Working continuously will not make your better but soon will lead you on a path of burn out. When you take regular breaks, you give your mind rest and make it healthier.
You can set reminders on your phone to take regular breaks. You can cook something, draw, paint, read a book, listen to music, exercise, practice breathing exercises, talk to a friend, do stretches, go on a walk or meditate, whatever is your choice.
Do not engage in social media and emails while you are taking a break. It has to be a mindful rest.
You can also think of long breaks like going on vacation to refresh your mind and have a good time. You will have to plan work, finish work and manage clients before you go but this is worth considering.
6. Use productivity tools
Depending on the kind of projects you have, you can find the necessary apps that will simplify your life further. For example, for marketing, you can use apps like Hootsuite, Canva, or MailChimp and for managing projects, you can use Trello, Evernote, or Microsoft Onenote. Depending on your work, you can find the most suitable project management tools.
These tools will help you organize work, save your time and energy, and help you focus on essential tasks.
Getting lost in work and managing some setbacks are common. To ensure that you do not go through the same, you can follow these simple tips. They do not require you to add tasks in your day but to make the most out of your day. You can also try other ways to stay productive as every person is different.
We hope you can organize your work much better and become a productive freelancer by following these tips.