Being productive is difficult, and all freelancers struggle with it during working hours. There is intense pressure to strike some kind of work-life balance. One approach is to create a system that promotes a more sustainable way of life. Another thing you can do is spend time with tools that tend to make you perform better by implementing positive efficiency practices.
As a freelancer, the longer you take to complete your job, the less time you will have to enjoy your life outside of work. With these factors in mind, how do you hold yourself responsible when there is no clock to punch and no boss watching over your shoulder? There are ways to make productivity easier.
1. Have an idea of what you want your freelance company to be.
Aside from your day-to-day activities and assignments, there are also some long-term goals you want to achieve. And, whatever the objectives are, you must have a strategy in place to accomplish them.
Begin with a broad vision of how you want your company and lifestyle to evolve in the coming years. Then, for every decision you make, keep the vision in mind. When you come to a fork in the road, such as deciding whether to take on a new project or cut back on existing ones, the vision will be the compass that guides your path.
2. Assist yourself in entering the productivity zone.
If you can carve out time to completely concentrate on your core business activities — the things you do best — you'll finish working much quicker (and enjoy your downtime much more). Turn off your phone, including email alerts on all devices, and set aside a space for work. If you have a spare room, that is ideal, but if not, you can make a space in your room. This will give you some breathing room and allow you to concentrate. Having a calendar on the wall or motivational quotes strewn around can also help with motivation.
3. Recognize when to take breaks.
Remember you are human, people are not machines. Many freelancers also have full-time jobs and overwork themselves. To get work done, we all need to feed, sleep, socialise, and move our bodies on a daily basis. Working 18 hours a day is not a sustainable option. Allow yourself a break to clear your mind, eat, and rest your eyes because too much screen time is harmful to your eyes.
4. Make use of technology to improve your productivity.
While many people use technology to avoid work, it can also be used to save time. There are several Apps available to help you stay productive, such as Screen-Time on the iPhone and StayOnTask on Android. Consider all of the mundane, repetitive activities you must do as a freelancer — bookkeeping, phone call scheduling, and so on. Accounting services, such as Persona Finance, will assist you in organising your finances, making your life simpler.
Consider transferring all of your clients and tasks from Excel spreadsheets to a proper client management tool. You will waste less time looking for phone numbers, meeting notes, and invoices if you have all of your important data in one place. You can also respond to client emails faster and see at a glance what you need to do each day.
It can be difficult to build a productivity strategy when you first start out as a freelancer. It takes time to define the priorities, habits, schedules, and resources that will allow you to work efficiently for yourself, just as it does to settle into a new job. Persona Finance [firstname.lastname@example.org] will help you figure out your finances as a freelancer.