Freelancing is a job that requires you to be focused seven days a week. It is no wonder that some of us have to be motivated to keep going. Here are the tipsTips on How to Be Productive as a Freelancer. Guide for Newbies
The freedom that comes with a life of a freelance entrepreneur is indisputable. Seasoned business owners and writers, who are in charge of their time, claim that the feeling is overpowering and overwhelming. According to the statistics, a third of the workforce in the US has done freelancing in the past and will gladly resume the experience if needed. 36% of the citizens are regularly performing tasks online and having no regrets about the way they plan their day now. It is also confirmed that working remotely increases the productivity rate. You no longer have to follow the schedule. In fact, you are the sole maker of the schedule that suits you. However, being a freelancer does not always mean a happy-go-lucky attitude to life and seamless, effortless workflow. As a college student, you might have experienced the same while trying to juggle academic assignments and a part-time job. Many entrepreneurs suddenly realize their daily routine has to be built around certain hours to be managed effectively.
You have most likely heard about the freelancers that got so caught up in their daily affairs that they nearly lost track of time. To prevent this from happening, specific strategies can be employed. Some of them are meant to help you stay focused, while others are implied to increase productivity and ensure you are making the most of the day hours. There is no strict schedule for a freelancer with an itinerary, but you have to be alert at all times to stay in the work cycle. By embracing your creative freedom and seeking solutions, freelance activities can become just as meaningful as more formal types of businesses. One of the most appealing features of a freelance lifestyle is your ability to manage the workload from home. You can organize a working space, make some coffee, and focus simultaneously. If that is not enough to convince you freelancing has become a new trend, think flexible hours and a swift decision-making process. From now on, you are the boss and the crew. Regular tasks become twice as challenging. Basically, the work cycle in the freelancing industry can be broken down into four parts:
- Getting customers to purchase your work
- Managing the customer flow and promoting the brand
- Taking care of the payment options
- Multitasking the writing process
One might say that preparation is vital for being productive as a freelance worker, but this is definitely only a part of the bigger picture. Every time we try to make creative writing efficient, we come to understand that it can be arduous just as it is inspiring and rewarding. We resorted to collecting wisdom on how to manage your productivity while working from home. If you are a newbie that doesn’t know where to start, the following tips will definitely help the business expand and flourish into prosperity. Freelancing is a job that requires your energy and commitment. Here is what you can do to elevate your current potential and become more prolific:
- Set a routine. As obvious as it sounds, the key to productivity lies in something very basic and very powerful: your everyday patterns. From preparing your workplace to choosing your playlist for the next hour, it all counts. Setting yourself up for an energetic, dynamic day is no easy fit. Staying focused is another component of success. With all the time in the world on your hands, it is easy to lean towards procrastination and do nothing. Once you establish a steady routine for your day and night, however, everything changes. It could be a coffee in the morning and a to-do list that will fill you with energy for the next hour. Some people find their zen in prepping a meal or burning aroma candles. Either way, being determined helps you concentrate and become more precise in your everyday tasks. Those who have practiced the same approach claim that it becomes habitual after a series of repetitions. This is the kind of structure one requires to increase efficiency.
- Choose a time limit. Without a time limit to follow, you will have an impression of working more than you do. Apps such as Office Time and Time Panther are designed to help you set a pattern to your schedule. We highly recommend selecting working hours you will know are going to be the most productive. If you are a staunch night owl with no chance of switching to the morning schedule, don’t push yourself to edit your biorhythms. Stick to the workflow that is going to increase your productivity rate exponentially. There are times when you’d rather do breathing exercises and curl up on the couch rather than delve into the assigned task. You have to recognize that this is a phase and implement the productive techniques accordingly. Knowing how much time you need to finish a certain task will do wonders for your schedule. If you don’t want to download the app to track time, a stopwatch is enough to stay grounded. Calculate the time spent on each assignment and create a schedule that suits your everyday patterns. Consistency is one of the features that helps build a stable itinerary for a freelance worker. To stay permanently engaged try monitoring your progress and finding out which task consumes more of your time.
- Create your space. When we say “create your workspace”, it does not necessarily mean that you have to spend a fortune on an office or a built-in desk with all the fancy appliances. Choose a place that is easily associated with being productive. It can be a part of your room, say, a corner with your favorite quotes hanging above the walls. It will motivate you to work faster and accomplish more by simply looking up. Remind yourself of your monthly goals and set objectives for the near future. It does not have to be a goal that is totally and completely unrealistic. Get ready for something more practical, like implementing new habits or giving up long working hours for a while. It is important to let others know about your plan. This will not only get you into the mindset, but also eliminate interruptions. For instance, you can let your family know that you will be finishing a new project so you can’t be disturbed during the night hours. The schedule is perfect for those who are regularly pulling all-nighters and refusing to go to bed early. You will have space all to yourself and avoid the dangers of overworking. As we have already stated, it does have something really expensive to hold your attention. A motivational word is enough to keep you going.
- Minimize distractions. If you belong to the category of people who are constantly checking their emails just to see if they’ve got a new one, this post is for you. We are all somewhat guilty of the habit: having one tab open and waiting for that magic notification to pop up. If that rings some bells, then you definitely want to eliminate the distractions that stand between you and productivity. Adopt a habit of checking your email twice a day and make sure you don’t have the tab open at all times. You can read the news when you are having a break, and not while you are trying to complete an assignment that is due for tomorrow. Being in the workflow will help you find a focus point and stay on it no matter what. Even if the email seems like the most important thing you can possibly imagine, try not to get distracted from the task at hand. This will also minimize the levels of procrastination and help you hold your attention longer. This is the same for any type of social media that you find yourself engaged in. If closing all your tabs and retreating to your home office seems like too bold of a move at the moment, you can start with something less threatening, like making sure you are not checking your email every other second. We have to admit that social media is one of the biggest distractions on our way to academic proficiency and being prolific. Any freelancer with a small business can confirm.
- Create a list. Creating a list is one of the most effective options for freelancers that got documents piled on their desk at all times. Getting down to your assignments in a rushed attempt will bring you little or zero use. However, there is a time and place for creating a to-do list that is going to keep you on track. Break down the tasks you already have into smaller chunks. If you have ten emails pending and two texts waiting to be edited, commit thirty minutes a day to deal with the inbox correspondence. Next, edit the texts and reread them half an hour later to make sure you got your point across. This can be done without the help of a specific app or a motivational calendar (although we do approve of you having one and looking up to get inspired). In case you have to carry out research on a very narrow topic, give yourself more time to adjust to the schedule and do not compromise quality for speed. That extra hour can be vital for the future of your presentation. The secret here is complete transparency: be honest with yourself and do not accept challenges that are too time-consuming for you to manage.
- Clear up the details. Freelancers know that being aware of the instructions can change the game almost instantly and launch their writing into the stratosphere. This is especially true for projects that have complex requirements attached to them. The longer you study the documents, the more likely you are to end up with a paper that is nothing short of fantastic. We know that this has been said again and again, but it’s never too late to reiterate: knowing the details of the assignment helps you prioritize and therefore create a more concise structure. This can be true for creative projects since the customers do not always know how to transform their desires into words. As they provide a freelancer with an explanation, it is our job to shed light on the parts that seem confusing. This way, the customer’s demands are met with precision and can be edited to personalize the task.
- Manage your projects. A full-time freelancing practice means that you get tempted with a ton of projects that need to be done right away. It takes a strong will and a clear mind to sit down and seep through the ones that are too much to handle. We know that walking away from the project that could potentially bring you cash is too much for experts who pride themselves on being punctual and succinct. However, this will also help you avoid the risks of overworking and biting off more than you can chew. In this case, you set your priorities straight and accept the challenges that match your weekly plan. As much as we would like you to make millions in one go, it is important to manage your time in a way that will be most beneficial. When you have an excessive number of projects hanging in midair, you have to decide which ones will increase your productivity and give you the best outlet imaginable. Sure, there is a matter of payment and fees, but we do not want freelancers to overwhelm themselves with the workload as they struggle to keep on track. Managing assignments is something that should be dealt with at an average speed.
- Take a break. If you want to have a break that will be free of guilt and shame, reserve twenty minutes a day to scroll through social media, read news, or chat with your friends. If this sounds like the next level of complexity, make sure you don’t get distracted too often. We believe that breaks can lead to a productivity boost if they are specifically reserved for mindless activities. You need to choose a distraction that can get you into the state of tranquility and then help you bounce back into the more habitual rhythm. You can choose to dedicate precious hours to studies, but please keep in mind that recharging your batteries is just as important. Use the time to check email notifications and send a response to your colleague. This is also a great target practice for specialists who need to be on the run all the time. If you notice your slouching pose, take a break and do some stretching. Staying at home gives you the advantage of moving around without having to think of other people’s personal space. You are completely relaxed and therefore able to form a coherent reply and take a pause from your everyday routine. Apply this solution to days when you are feeling overwhelmed and not capable of managing tasks that seem too complicated.
- Have a plan. This is your chance to acknowledge your time limits and constraints without being too judgmental. It is easy to go into a spiral when you are feeling exhausted. We’ve all been in a situation when the achievements of the previous year seem to be obscured by the uncertainty of tomorrow. This should not be a hindrance on your way to success. Specialists recommend assessing your chances realistically and having a plan that is really going to work. Getting in and out of a habit is less likely to be accomplished. Setting a goal for a year, on the other hand, helps elevate the levels of dopamine in your body. You will become more passionate about the projects once you have them all sorted. This is a universal fix for freelancers that do not want to delve into the complexities of downloading a planning app. The option is easy, accessible, and certainly not requiring you to sacrifice personal time for the sake of career goals.
- Have a check-in. When the working day is over, you have to go over your plans and make sure you’ve achieved what you set out to do in the first place. If something is missing from the to-do list, it is time to stop and ask yourself why you haven’t finished a particular project. This may be due to the lack of resources, energy, or motivation. You probably know that freelancers love packing everything into a few hours just to get ready and hand in the paper before the deadline. This is not the right tactic if you are determined to stay on the winning track. We want people working remotely to evaluate their choices and make sure they are headed in the right direction. It is possible that you do not wish to fall into the trap of procrastination. Then, you have to understand that exhaustion does not motivate a remote professional to work faster. It drains your resources and makes you forgetful. To prevent this, pay attention to the elements that can be characterized as distractions. Ask yourself what you can do to eliminate them completely and lead a happy, fulfilled working life. If nothing helps, stay within a community of people who have the same goals. This will add to your overall achievements and help you get the burden off your chest. You will be sharing information only like-minded people can understand and therefore will form meaningful connections. Keeping busy with your coworkers is another great way to stay focused on any day of the week.
Lina Jones is employed by Apapers.org as a talented writer with a passion for blogging. She is not only editing texts and dealing with academic assignments for students, but also managing a personal page in her free time. Lina is known for her dedication to the subject and diligence when it comes to carrying out scientific research. She is now residing in Carolina with her family.