If you’re a freelancer, you know how important it is to work as much as you can. Sure, you can schedule your projects when you like and choose the clients that work best for you, and those are some definite perks that mean you can work as much as you want to. But if you aren’t productive when you’re working or can’t always discipline yourself to stay motivated, you aren’t very successful. It’s a challenge that every freelancer needs to face, but luckily, you can use lots of strategies to be more productive.
If you want to learn more about these effective strategies, read on.
1. Create the right workspace
As a freelancer, it can be tempting to work from bed. Or from your favorite nearby cafe, where there are always moms chatting in one corner and baristas barking orders at the counter. This flexibility is part of why,, “4 percent of employees said they would quit their jobs to work for an organization that would allow them to work remotely more often, even if their salary stayed the same.” But if you’re going to be distracted, whether it’s by sleep or by a fun conversation you’re over-hearing, then you need to set up a workspace that works for you.
If you prefer to work from home, it’s a smart idea to set up an office at home. For example, if you have a spare bedroom, you can easily dedicate a corner of it to being your office. All you need is a simple desk, the technology you use (for example, a mock-up area if you ), and a place for your coffee cup and pens. It’s key to keep this room clean: a cluttered room will only lead to a cluttered mind, a rich place for distractions.
Don’t forget that if you’re working from home, you can deduct this cost from your taxes when you’re filing. To learn more about this, take a look at.
2. Become an expert scheduler
If you’re always juggling a variety of projects, from clients who are all paying you different amounts and asking for different services, then you need to master your schedule. Otherwise, you’ll soon be overwhelmed, with deadlines all at the end of the month that you forgot. Especially as your business grows and you get more clients, this is something to worry about. There’s a reason why multitasking causes productivity to drop by : it’s because you’re constantly being pulled in different directions.
Your schedule should be based on your deadlines, of course, which means long-term planning from month to month. Additionally, you need to sit down every week (dedicate a day for it) and plan the next week, and at the end of every day, make a list of what you need to do the next. It can be tempting to put aside work as a freelancer when you’re invited last-minute to go out with friends. But the only way you’ll know you can go is if you plan your schedule so you have time for unexpected interruptions.
To learn more about effective scheduling strategies, check out.
We know social media is addictive. Especially if you run a freelancing business based on social media—for example, an eCommerce store that you advertise on Instagram—then it’s even worse. It would help if you were online often to check out what your customers are sharing and who’s asking questions about your products or services.
But did you know that, on average, Americans spendon their phones? This is a scary number, this amount of time that takes up over half of a typical nine-to-five workday. And without a boss looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re working, it can be too easy to check your phone while you’re completing freelance work.
Luckily, there’s technology out there created for a social media detox. Just a few examples include ShutApp and SPACE. Find out what works for you, and stick to it. You can always scroll through Facebook when you’ve finished your responsibilities for the day!
4. Create a rewards system
Finally, one of the best ways to stay motivated is by rewarding yourself anytime you accomplish a milestone. Since you don’t have a boss around to congratulate you or give you a raise for your hard work, you need to do it yourself. For example, when you finish a long project, you can take a long weekend off.
Also, it’s most effective to work your rewards system as much as you can to have a healthy work-life balance. For example, every few hours of work, take a break. And don’t forget to exercise! Exercising for only 20 minutes benefits your mood for , which means that you’ll not only be healthier but happier, too.
By using these strategies, you’ll be more productive than ever. What other strategies do you use to stay productive while running your freelancing business?