4 tips to boost your productivity as a freelancer
Freelancing can be a whole lot of fun, but when you set your own hours, it can often be difficult to motivate yourself and get it all done each day.
No matter whether you’re a writer, a graphic designer, a voiceover artist or a web developer, starting off your day on the right foot and having a plan of action will help you get the most out of your day. Take a look at our four easy tips for boosting your productivity as a freelancer below, and make a change today!
Use the 2-minute rule
If you’re great at procrastinating and you always let little tasks drag on forever, then you need the 2-minute rule in your life. It comes from David Allen’s bestselling book Getting Things Done and is super easy to implement into your daily routine. The rule is simple - if a task takes less than two minutes to complete, do it straight away. So, whether it’s replying to those emails, clearing your desk up or posting your latest service on fivesquid, you’ll get so much more done each day if you just get the little things out of the way so you don’t have to worry about them later.
Split your day up
This technique varies depending on how you like to work and when you have the most motivation, focus and energy, but splitting your day into two halves is a great way to add some structure to your work. If you’re a morning person (happy to leap out of bed without hitting that snooze button even once) then mornings are probably your most productive time of day, and you might feel a lag in the afternoon. If this sounds like you, then you need to schedule larger, more complex tasks for the morning, leaving meetings, planning sessions and other ephemera for later on in the afternoon. If you find that your energy levels work the other way around, then allow yourself more leisurely mornings, and make your afternoons more productive instead.
Use the Pomodoro technique
If sitting at your desk all day trying to force yourself to concentrate sounds like torture, then try using the Pomodoro Technique to boost your productivity right now. The technique works like this: work for 25 minutes straight with no distractions (that means no Facebook, no phone calls, no getting up to make a cup of coffee, or chatting to the postman); after 25 minutes you get a 5-minute break where you can do what you want. Once you’ve repeated the routine 4 times, you get a reward of a 30-minute break.
If this all sounds too complicated, then you can simply download any number of apps that keep you on track, or even web extensions that alert you when you’re allowed a break.
Group similar tasks
If you find yourself doing a whole lot of one type of task, then it’s often a big time saver to group each element of these tasks together. So if your tasks involve planning, research and then report writing, rather than tackling these individually, do all your planning first, then all of your research, and so on. Focusing your mind on a particular type of task will help you speed through your workload and get so much more done.
Sometimes though, it really is ok to ask for help. So when you just need to focus on that all-important project, it might not be a bad idea to get someone else to take care of the menial tasks that still need tending to. Believe it or not, you can hire your very own virtual assistant from only a fiver!
So now you know that just by making a few small changes to the way you work, you could be creating that 25th hour in the day you often wish for – even if you only use it to put your feet up and enjoy a nice cup of tea!