All freelancers struggle with productivity ups and downs. It’s not so simple to work from home. There’s no one there to push you to work, and there are even more distractions than in a busy open-space office.
Luckily, there are some amazing productivity hacks you can try to maximize efficiency and productivity on a daily basis.
1. Create a Routine
Routines are great. They keep you on the right track at all times, and your mind and body work almost subconsciously through that routine.
Wake up at the same time every day, and start working at the same time. After a couple of weeks, you’ll be “programmed” to start working at a certain time. The same goes for your breaks. Schedule your lunch each day at 2, or any other time that suits you, and stick to this schedule.
Familiarity makes it easier for the brain to stay clear of the distractions.The more routines you have, the easier it’ll get to stay focused.
2. Track Your Work
Start using a computer monitoring software while you’re working, to track how much time you spent on which task and establish your productivity patterns.
Once you’ve run the software for a few weeks, you’ll have a great insight into which tasks take up more of your time. Consequently, you’ll be able to organize your workload more precisely.
You’ll also manage to determine which apps and websites are making you less productive. This way, you can cut down the time you’re spending using these tools.
Another great thing is that you’ll be able to charge your clients more effectively, as you’ll always have screenshots and exact data as proof of work.
3. Make Lists
To-do lists help you get a sense of structure, as well as plan out your daily/weekly/monthly workload. Before you’re done working for the day, create a to-do list for tomorrow.
When you start working, scratch or erase the things you’ve finished. This will give you a sense of accomplishment, and push you to finish even more tasks.
Furthermore, by writing tasks down you’ll be sure you haven’t missed anything you were supposed to do.
You can either use online tools, or good old pen and paper for this – whatever suits you best. The most important thing is that they are organized by days, weeks, or months, so you can always be aware of your deadlines.
4. Take Care of the Hard Tasks
Hard and unpleasant tasks cause everyone to procrastinate until the last moment. If there’s an uncomfortable call you have to make, or there is a complicated project on your plate – deal with them as soon as possible.
Otherwise, you’ll keep thinking about how hard or unpleasant it’ll be, and you’ll just keep losing focus. Take a moment to breathe, understand what is making this task so tough and deal with it.
5. Treat Yourself
A good approach to stay clear of social media and texting while you’re working is to reward yourself. Each time you finish a task, treat yourself with 5-10 minutes of activities that are not work-related.
Before you start working again, turn off all notifications, and turn on website blockers.
Also, you can reward yourself after a productive day. If you managed to finish a project before the deadline, take the night off and go out with your friends. Order pizza instead of cooking. BUT ONLY if you really deserved to be treated.
Once you “train” your brain with rewards, you’ll become more productive because you’ll want more treats. It’s that simple.
6. Head to the Co-Working Space
Every city is filled with them nowadays, and if you’re one of those people who start working better as soon as someone else is productive this will be heaven.
Co-working spaces are filled with freelancers who are just like you. Besides motivation, these can bring you great new friendships, or even new clients.
It can be hard to stay motivated and on top of your game while you’re working from home. Yet, it’s far from impossible! Yes, the above hacks are easy, but their are extremely effective.
It will take some time to develop each of these into a proper habit, however, once you manage to do that you’ll be set for any project that comes your way.
GET THE BOOK BY
Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books–written by men–barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.