Working for yourself is great. However, discipline and keeping motivated are two ingredients that you need to stay focused on your freelancing services at all times. Sometimes this is not easy as we all sometimes feel low in spirits and would rather sleep, watch TV or engage in other non-work activities. If you allow prolonged such episodes, then no work will get done and that equals to no pay. How can you beat the lethargy bug and remain productive as a freelancer?
- Procrastination is the thief of time
This is very true in the freelancer world. Do not postpone what can be done now. If it is a small task, do it to completion. If it is a huge task, break it down into small bits and complete one at a time. At the end of the day you will have accomplished a lot and you will feel good about yourself.
- Have a routine
This means having a schedule that covers your day and even the week ahead. Sometimes it is helpful to get into your working mode gradually. For example when you wake up you may take time to visualize your day, pray (for those who do), have a cup of your favorite coffee or tea and then get to your work area.
Having a schedule also means organizing your work around other important tasks not related to your freelancing work. Other things you can incorporate into your routine include:
- Specific time you go to sleep
- Time to wake up
- Break time
- Exercise time
- To-do and not-to do lists
We are more familiar with to-do lists. But not to-do lists are just as important if not more so. Such a list would include things that don’t help to build your freelancing business or move you towards your financial targets. Such a list would look something like:
- Will not check email more than twice per day
- Will not work sitting for more than half an hour at a go
- Will not respond to WhatsApp messages until 10 in the night
- Will not update Facebook more than once per day
Each freelancer has his identified time wasters and online addictions to add to his ‘not-to-do’ list.
- Early to rise…
Start your day early and tackle the more difficult tasks first. Doing this will see you achieve more because as your energy and focus wanes, you are moving towards easier tasks that don’t need as much fuel to accomplish.
- Your work area
In adverts, it is common to see freelancers working on the beach or in hammocks. The real freelancer world needs more organization and you will be more productive if you design a specific place to work in. it doesn’t need to be fancy or even expensive to set-up but having such a place puts your mind in the working mode. The ideal place should be:
- Free of distractions
- Well aerated
- Naturally lit
- In soft colors
- Visible greenery and bird sounds are great for a relaxed atmosphere.
- Treat yourself well
Your health is your greatest asset and wealth. Care for it by taking regular breaks from your computer. Your eyes, your heart and your brain will all thank you for such breaks.
After doing all the freelancing work and earning from it, buy yourself a gift. This will motivate you and make you productive for a long time to come
There are many more things you can do to boost and maintain productivity as a freelancer but these six are good to start you off.