So many people have a dream when they start their own business — they want to have more freedom in their lives, travel more, do more of what they love, and work less.
This is why many people sacrifice the stability of a “real” job to “DIY it” instead. They want to live an exceptional life. And they realize they may need to take matters into their own hands to boost their chances of making that happen.
But being your own boss isn’t always easy…
Sometimes it’s a real struggle. And newbie freelancers aren’t always prepared for how difficult it can be to stay motivated and productive without someone looking over your shoulder all the time.
It’s so easy to say “I’ll just watch one more episode of this show” or “Sure, I can meet you for coffee even though I have work to do.”
So to be a successful freelancer, you need to create some solid strategies to help you stay on track and supercharge your productivity. On the blog today, Sireesha Narumanchi from crowdworknews.com is going to share the productivity wisdom she’s gained from nine years of working from home.
Take it away, Sireesha!
5 Amazing Ways to Supercharge Your Productivity as a Freelancer
If you work from home, then you’ll definitely know how difficult it is to keep up the quality of your work and be productive. There are just way too many distractions and things that require your immediate attention that sometimes, you just give in and set aside work.
I have been working from home for over nine years now, and I must admit, I still feel too overwhelmed sometimes. Truth be told, working from home has given us so much freedom, but that freedom sometimes holds us back from achieving more.
Thankfully, there are ways to supercharge your productivity when you’re working from home. One thing to remember though, it takes time to become more productive. Productivity requires consistent effort in order for you to accomplish daily or long-term goals, no matter what they are.
Here are some ways you can be more productive as a remote worker or a freelancer:
1. Work When You Can Focus
Did you ever notice a surge in your work efficiency during definite times of the day? That’s science. Research proves that you can achieve more tasks when you work at your peak productive times rather than working the whole day.
When you work from home as a freelancer or a remote worker, don’t attempt to work when there are a lot of distractions around you. There will surely be times of the day when you won’t get disturbed by your kids, your parents, your friends, or your pets.
To become more productive, work during your golden hours until you develop a routine. You can then trick your brain to go into “work mode” automatically when your productive window is approaching.
I am an early riser, so the best time for me to get things done is during the morning. I no longer set an alarm to wake me up in the morning because I’m used to working when my kids are still asleep. Some people prefer to work at night, but if you have little kids, you can work during their nap and play time.
2. Take Your Time
Getting burned out is common for those who work in an office, but people who have remote jobs are not immune to physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.
Freelancers tend to work longer hours because we have multiple clients and projects. For those who are new to freelancing, experiencing the freedom to earn a lot of money for the first time without spending grueling hours commuting or being caught up in office politics can be exhilarating.
But working for ten hours a day or more will have long-term impacts on your productivity. And it will make the quality of your work suffer. The best way to combat workaholism is by taking breaks.
No matter how important the project you’re working on is, if you feel the need to take a break, then take a few minutes to recharge. It’s ok to steal away some “me time” even if you have overwhelming deadlines at work.
Take a walk in your backyard, go to a nearby coffee shop, or play with your kids. Do whatever it is that will de-stress you and clear your mind. It’s going to give you more energy to work harder and smarter. And it will allow you to better focus on things that matter. So go ahead and take that break!
3. Make a List
Being organized is something many remote workers neglect, because why would you bother to clean your desk or tidy your drawers when no one’s going to inspect it anyway?
For me, there is no way you are going to achieve success with your work if you are not an organized person. Whether it is a simple task of cleaning your work desk or making a list of tasks to be done in a day, little things add up and can impede your productivity.
Make an extra effort with planning and organizing things. For example, if you have an early Skype meeting with a client, then get the reports ready beforehand and make a note of the meeting agenda. This way, you will not be caught off guard nor forget to discuss important things.
You can always rely on apps like Todoist, Wunderlist, or Trello. Integrating technology in organizing things will surely boost your productivity.
4. Rotate Projects
Our brains can be tricked into performing better if we have a variety of tasks to do. So in order to get more work done, you can try to juggle two or three projects. Doing this will enable you to work on different tasks and refresh your mind without feeling like you’re stuck doing repetitive work.
Keep in mind that you should only juggle tasks that you can handle. Because if you force yourself to switch tasks even though you can’t handle all of them, then the quality of your work can suffer. If you feel bored with one task, switch to another while you’re still motivated to work.
5. Set Proper Expectations
Having an honest discussion with your clients and setting proper expectations can help you achieve productivity. When taking on new clients, be sure to communicate your working style, set targets to achieve, and be clear with the deadlines.
Letting your clients know that you are online during specific hours of the day can set boundaries. Some clients are respectful of their remote workers’ schedules. Others prefer to hire those they can communicate with even after office hours.
Due to time zone differences, it can be hard to set a time of the day when you’re available to sit and discuss things. But if you’re able to come up with a schedule that works for you and your clients, then you will be more productive because you don’t need to respond to their messages outside the hours you’ve set for them.
Always be sure to provide relevant updates even when your clients are not asking for them. This way, you’re setting their expectations and not keeping them in the dark as to where you are with the work they’re expecting you to accomplish.
Productivity is one of the most desirable and crucial skills that a remote worker can have. In order to excel at work, you must put more effort into working efficiently and producing quality outputs at all times. Follow these techniques and train yourself to be more disciplined. You will reap the harvest of your hard work.
I totally agree that it can be difficult to stay productive when you work from home. There are so many distractions and other fun things you could be doing. But your clients won’t be happy if you flake out on them. Following Sireesha’s advice will help you keep your clients happy while also enjoying the freedom you crave.
Ready to start your own freelance business? Check out our free intro to proofreading workshop to learn how you can become a freelance proofreader!
Sireesha is a career blogger and founder of Crowdworknews.com. She loves discovering new ways to earn money online through legitimate work-from-home jobs, online businesses, and side hustles. She has successfully grown her online business from scratch to a full-time gig in just two years. Sireesha has been featured on websites like Moneyish, Payoneer, Virtual Vocations, Spark Hire, Skillcrush, Side Hustle School, and MyCorporation.
This really resonates with me. Especially number 3 (with bells on – how do people manage *without* lists?!).
Hi, Anne! I agree! Lists are so important! 🙂
Use a time-traker! It helps to become less distracted and more concentrated on the project making. I prefer free inner beesy.pro time tracker but I know there are dozens of simillar apps.
Awesome! Thanks for sharing! 🙂