Despite enjoying the freedom and flexibility of being a freelancer, it takes a lot of self-motivation to stay productive. There are mornings when we wake up and would rather binge watch Netflix than talking to clients and working on an assigned task. But, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. That’s why you need to stay productive each and every day. And you can accomplish that by implementing these 6 techniques.
1. Set a Schedule
I know you become a freelancer to escape the burden of schedules. But, if you want to remain productivity, it’s necessary to establish a daily schedule to keep you organized and motivated. For example, you may dedicate an hour every morning to planning your day, responding to emails, making phone calls, or updating your social media channels. After that, you may set aside the hours between 9 and noon for work, take an hour lunch break, and get back to work from 1 to 4.
2. Get an Early Start
Again, you left the 9-to-5 world behind because you didn’t want to get up early every morning. The thing is, instead of waking up early, getting ready for the day, and commuting to a job, you’re actually out of bed and getting to work before everyone. I used to wake at 6am so I could be out the house by 7am. However, I still wasn’t getting to any actual work until 8 or 9. Even if I slept in until 8, I can get right to work - after I’ve had my cup of coffee first.
Besides getting to work before most other people, waking up early has benefits like being more proactive, being able to anticipate problems, and become better planners. It also gives you time to fit in other activities like exercising.
3. Design a Functional Workplace
Your couch might be extremely comfortable, but is really the optimal space for you to work? To remain productive and
, you should create a functional workspace that contains the following:
Exposure to natural light.
A temperature setting at 77 degrees.
Painted in neutral or soft colors.
Filled with plants.
Free from background noise.
Most importantly, make sure that you keep your work area clean and organized so that you easily find items when you need them.
4. Give Yourself a Break
has found that taking frequent breaks can increase productivity and creative thinking. Breaks can also prevent stress and exhaustion. In short, it’s a win-win situation.
The Pomodoro Technique is an effective way in learning how to take breaks since it forces you to work in 25 minute increments, which are followed by a 5 minute breather.
5. Earn Rewards
One of the best things about working from home is that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. Of course, that takes a lot of self-discipline. But, if you reward yourself, you’ll actually find that you stay productive.
For example, I finally decided to watch Breaking Bad last year. Instead of binge watching the series in a couple of days, I would watch an episode per day after I completed a task. Not only was it a reward, it also gave me a break from designing.
Even though you work from home and are bringing a decent income, it’s still important that you continue to work on your social skills - you’ll need them when approaching and working with clients. When you take that much deserved break, go grab a cup of coffee, do your weekly grocery shopping, hit up the gym, have diner with your friends, or take a class to enhance your professional or personal life. Just get outside and socialize with someone in the flesh.
Not only will that keep your social skills sharp, it will also give you an energy boost to complete a project.