Being your own advisor, setting up your own schedule and making your own rules is definitely one of the best parts of freelancing. But all of this can turn into your worse enemy.
Not having a normal structure of an office environment you can find yourself at the end of the day thinking where did the time go and why you couldn't deal with all proposed tasks.
If you don't start managing your time properly, you might end up doing more overtime than in a 9to5 job, being more frustrated and quite overwhelmed with your work.
So, to help you out, we're giving you 5 ways to improve your productivity as a freelancer. Remember, these tips are highly effective and it will only cost you no more than your commitment and dedication.
Set your schedule
Well, isn't the whole freelancing gig a way to get out of schedules? YES. But, to be honest, it is necessary to follow a timetable to maintain productivity and get work done. Having a predefined schedule not only helps you keep a better track of your work, but it also ensures that you are fruitful and aren't wasting any time.
For example, you can set up 1-2 hours in the morning to check all your emails, take calls, set up any needed social media necessities take a short break, do a couple of hours of real work, take a meal break and get back to work.
Get up, get dressed
Since you're working from home, what's the point of putting on street clothing rather than staying comfortable in your sweatpants?
Wandering into your home office still in your pajamas doesn't exactly set the mood for a very productive day.
So: get up, take a shower, get dressed and get to work on time. This will absolutely propel you to a more productive environment.
Stress and exhaustion creep up on you when you're trying to be a workaholic. In recent studies, breaks have been proven to increase your productivity and creative thinking and reduce all that stress.
Spending a few minutes away from work will have you returning refreshed and ready to take on the next task. One technique mentions that it's best to work 30 minutes with a 5 minute break. So, don't get greedy with time as your main focus is quality and not quantity.
Set up a working environment
The couch or the bed may sound appealing, but are they really an optimal working space and most important: will you actually be able to get any work done from there?
So, get a desk, put it in a nice part of your house, where you have some natural light, invest in an ergonomic chair, a keyboard, and a mouse, add up some plants, a printer, a calendar, nothing much but whatever makes you feel more comfortable.
Define your plans
You can easily make this in a couple of steps that in time will become more of an automation:
a. Set goals
Short term or mid-term are the best ones. Either think of the current day or go a bit larger and plan out for the whole week. Of course, the main goals of your project should be the long-term ones, as these are the ones that shape out your short-term ones.
b. Make to-do lists
Out of your goal list, you can easily make a to-do list for each and every day of work. At the end of the day, you can make the to-do for the next day and tick out everything that you did today. In this way, you can also prioritize tasks and stay focused on what's important.
c. Break up large tasks
Tasks that have a lot of steps from beginning to end are better to be taken a bit more specific. Narrow down each step and work more efficiently like that. Leave the general description just in your goal list.
d. Keep a time tracker
Knowing how you are using your time can help you in your daily time management. In this way, you can find out how long certain tasks might take to complete and how much time you're actually wasting.
In the end, what's more important is that you find your own workflow. Don't listen blindly to others and experiment on what works better for you. Keep some steps in track so you have a real backbone to work with and become a more efficient and productive freelancer.