If you are a freelance writer, you know that your productivity is all you have to rely on to be able to make a handsome amount of money at the end of the month. The math is simple: the more you write, the more you get paid. The same applies to freelancers in other fields as well.
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Having a freelance career requires as much dedication and commitment as any other job or profession. If you have opted to work as a freelancer, there are some rules that you need to set forth to be able to deliver your best, and also to attract more clients.
Let's set the ground rules first. Being a freelancer doesn't mean that you can wake up and sleep at any time of the day. On the other hand, working as and when you ‘feel like it’ might work for some, but it can also be a recipe for disaster for others, especially the ones who don't know how to manage their time well.
In order to make the most of your freelance career, you must treat it like a regular job. Define regular work hours and stick to them. Take breaks when required and you can definitely skip working for a day or two, if you don't feel like working. Bottom line, define a routine and stick to it. Do not leave your desk until your target for the day is met. You are your own boss and you're also responsible to complete your tasks on time.
“The worst thing you do when you wake up each morning is to eat a live ‘alien’,” says Becky Blanton, author of The October Abduction of Thomas Martin series and TED Global speaker. The right approach is to address most dreading tasks scheduled for the day before you check your mails or start working on other stuff. Once you have taken the load off your shoulders, you'd feel much more at ease and motivated to wrap up other trivial tasks too. If you don’t do the creative heavy lifting in the first few hours of the day, the reality is that it’s not going to get done. It is advised to spend the entire morning dedicating yourself to accomplish productive work.
In terms of deadlines, leave some room for life to happen, too. You never know when your computer gives up on you or when you or your close ones might get sick. Give yourself more time to think when setting deadlines. It is always wise to extend your deadlines by a day or two, even if you think that you don’t need it. As a freelancer, your income is directly proportional to your reputation amongst your clients. Always try to set deadlines that gives you ample of time to deliver your best quality.
If you brain isn't in the right place, it can be really hard to stick to a routine. Finding your best productivity hack shouldn't be impossible if you are aware of your habits and actions that can pump up some motivation. For most, taking a good shower works as well as listening to an uplifting song. Find a productivity trigger that signals your brain that it's time to work.
Use technology to your advantage. There are many productivity tracking tools and applications that help you be focused on your job. Learn more about these tools and pick the ones that best suit your requirement. Google Drive is a good example for tracking your work, and it also gives you the freedom to access your data from everywhere. On the other hand, using email templates will save you a lot of time if you write similar emails to your clients. In order to manage your work and daily tasks, making use of project management tools, such as Asana and Basecamp should help you plan your work in advance and stick to the schedule.
What about you? What works for you? Share your ideas and suggestions in the comment section below.