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Freelancers, here are 6 simple tips to boost your productivity!Dorien Jorissen
Freelancing feels like a dream come true for many people. Choosing your own projects, having a say in your working hours and deciding on your workplace: how much better does it get? With great freedom, however, also comes great responsibility. As a freelancer, only you are accountable for the amount of projects you finish and the money you earn. Staying focused is therefore pretty important.
Lucky for you, we have some tips on boosting your productivity as a freelancer!
1. Schedule your days around the three Cs
It’s best to think about your work in the ‘three Cs’ categories: creative work, collaboration and connect time. Once you know which tasks fall into which categories, it will become much easier to schedule your day.
Creative work includes all tasks that need focus and energy, such as complex tasks that require thinking, writing and planning. If you’re a morning person (and therefore more productive during the morning), schedule this kind of work early in the day. You will have already tackled your most difficult things during the morning, which will give you a great feeling of productivity.
Collaboration contains a wide range of tasks that need less mental energy, from phone calls and emails to meetings and other conversations. If possible, try to schedule these tasks in the afternoon. It’s much more productive to go from focus work to meetings than the other way around.
Last but not least, there’s connect time. This is the time that you spend with family and friends during the evenings and weekends. Connect time is very important to clear your head and recharge for new workdays.
Of course, this schedule depends on when you have the most focus and energy. Don’t hesitate to throw it around if you’re more of an evening person. Just allow yourself to do the collaborative work in the mornings and focus on more difficult tasks in the afternoon.
2. Follow the two-minute rule
If your to-do list is full of small tasks that you keep putting off, don’t hesitate to follow the two-minute rule. It’s actually quite simple: if a task takes you two minutes or less to complete, just do it now. Send that email or go have a quick talk with your project team members about an issue.
By immediately doing these little tasks, you won’t have to worry about them anymore. This will help you keep up your productivity throughout the day!
3. Create a focused environment
A peaceful environment helps to get in a productive mindset. Actively minimize distractions in both the online and offline world. Only answer phone calls and emails at scheduled moments throughout the day and always turn off the push notifications on your social media. If possible, make use of ergonomic materials and choose a quiet, sunlit and inspiring place to work from. You will certainly be less distracted. If there is too much going on around you, just use headphones to cancel out the noise or listen to some of your favorite music.
These changes might seem small, but they can already make a huge difference in creating a more productive environment!
4. Take a break
Skipping breaks isn’t the right solution for increasing your productivity. In fact, quite the opposite is true. How often does it to help to just push through, when you’re stuck on a problem or just don’t get anything done? Almost never! Breaks, however, give your mind some much-needed downtime and help you get a fresh perspective on the problems that you’re trying to solve. They are a great way to regain your energy.
Our conclusion? Just take a break, if you need it. Your brain will be thankful for it!
5. Reward your productivity
Intrinsic motivation, the motivation that comes from inside of you, is an important part of freelancing. It doesn’t hurt, however, to also reward your productivity every once in a while…
As a freelancer, you don’t have a boss to see your hard work and give you a bonus. So you should allow yourself to do something nice, when you reach a milestone or finish a difficult project. Take the afternoon off and have nice long walk with your dog. Go into the city and have delicious piece of cake or buy yourself a present. Just do something for you. You’ll see that it gives your focus time a boost!
6. Use automation for your finances
Nowadays you can automate almost anything, from sending emails and creating workflows to invoicing. It’s a great way for saving significant amounts of time.
Automating your finances is one of the things that will most increase your productivity as a freelancer. There are enough software packages and platforms to invoice your clients and chase down payments. The best strategy is to first explore some online payments solutions and their opportunities. Then choose a package to your liking that offers both online invoicing and expense management. This way, you will be able to easily track and manage all of your payments!
Sometimes it might be tough to stay focused and productive throughout the entire day. These six tips, however, will certainly give you a productivity boost and make sure that you stay on top of your work!
Looking for a new project or advice on your freelance business? Don’t hesitate to contact IT MATCH!