Thousands of thoughts are running through a freelancer’s mind during a project. “I need to plan this project to details. How do I get the perfect aerial shot? How do I promote it on social media? Oh snap, I forgot to reply to a message.” Your mind becomes a complete mess and you cannot make sense of all thoughts you get. In other words – you’re utterly distracted and you need to do something about it, since that state of being affects your productivity levels.
It’s not easy to train your mind and body to follow commands, so you’ll have to trick them into productive mode. We have 10 tips that will help you do that.
1. One project at a time
When you scatter your energy through different shoots, live events, and marketing campaigns, it’s nearly impossible to cover them all with the potential you know you have.
It’s important to have a detailed schedule that helps you organize your time. Google Calendar is the perfect online tool for that purpose. Use it to plan each step of every project, so you’ll be able to know when it’s necessary to say no to a new offer.
2. If you have to multitask, do that effectively
Multitasking is sometimes necessary when you’re a freelancer, since you can’t stay committed to a single client no matter how hard you try to plan the timeframe of your projects. If you have to juggle two or more projects at a time, then you need to be very selective.
Organize your day in precise chunks: you’ll work on a video for one client during the morning and you’ll focus on the PR campaign for another client during the afternoon.
3. Get up super early
The earlier you rise, the longer the day will be. Don’t make drastic changes in your lifestyle, though. If you’re used to sleeping in, you can start changing that habit by getting up 10 minutes earlier than usual every day.
4. Don’t check your email throughout the day
If you keep reading and responding to messages in the middle of a shoot, you’ll be distracted. The best way to deal with this situation is to check the email messages in the afternoon, so you’ll save the day for your best work. Inform your clients that if they have an urgent message, they can call you or send a text message.
5. Always start with the most important tasks
When you’re having an extremely busy day, there are usually a couple of things that must get done no matter what. You think: “I’ll get everything done and then I’ll focus with full energy to the priorities.” That’s the wrong approach to have.
If you want to achieve high levels of productivity, you need to tackle the priorities first.
6. Outsource whenever necessary
You’re a freelancer – clients outsource some parts of their projects to you. Does that mean you have to take the entire workload every single time? Not if you can’t handle it. If, for example, you need to craft a press release for a new campaign but you don’t have time for that or you don’t have the needed writing skills, you can outsource that task to writing services like Assignment Masters. If you need photographs to accompany your campaign, you can hire a freelance photographer.
In other words – whenever you come across a task that’s complicating your life, try to outsource it as effectively as possible.
7. Stop being a perfectionist
You keep delaying the launch of a big project because you’re still waiting for the perfect conditions? No matter how much you wait, the conditions will never be perfect. Instead of waiting for the perfect environment, you need to adjust the campaign to the current conditions. Otherwise, you risk being outraced by the competition.
8. Block out the distractions
If coworkers and friends are constantly distracting you when you need to be in productive mode, you should create a quiet working environment and stay there.
You have to take care of online distractions as well. Stay away from social media and use the computer solely for your work.
9. Get fit
When you achieve your absolute best physical condition, your mental and emotional state will also improve. You’ll be more focused on the results and you’ll know that you have the energy, commitment, and power to get there. Muscles don’t just look good; they make you feel powerful as well.
10. Optimize your life, not just your work
When you try to think of a definition for productivity, the first thing that comes to your mind is “do as much work as possible as fast as possible.” Well, that might be an aspect of productivity, but you can’t call yourself a productive person only because you’re an effective freelancer. You need to infuse your personal life somewhere along the way.
When you live a rich personal life and you maintain great professional success – that’s when you can call yourself a truly productive person. Take some art classes, start practicing yoga, join a hiking club, read your favorite authors, and do anything else that’s not related to your work, but makes you a happy person.
About the Writer
Mary Kleim, Freelancer
Mary Kleim is a creative writer. She works as a freelancer. She started her career as a freelance writer and now she is a coach for those who are willing to succeed in remote work sphere.