Freelancers should follow these tips to get back on track.
Freelancers face a different set of challenges than other employees, and they must often be their own marketers, motivators and bosses. It is easy for productivity to slip, but these tips will get any freelancer back on track.
Beat Daily Stress
Being a freelancer can be enormously rewarding, but it can also be just as stressful at times. Learn to lower your stress in healthy ways, like practicing meditation, making exercise part of your routine or talking to a friend. The less stress you experience on a daily basis, the more productive you will be as a freelancer.
Use Free Tools
There are many free and inexpensive tools available online that can help freelancers stay organized and therefore increase productivity. Use Google Desktop to stop wasting your time with complicated folder systems, use AutoHotkey for repetitive tasks, and use free online templates to organize everything from your budget to your invoices.
Create a To-Do List
Start each day by making a to-do list of three to five things to accomplish. Make them meaningful, important or significant to stay on task and prioritize your work, or use your list to help you find more work during dry spells.
Keep Your Inbox at Zero
Every email you open should be filed or deleted. Respond to all inquiries as soon as possible, and have set times for checking your messages each day to avoid straying from more important projects. Having a clean inbox will increase your productivity by helping you stay on track.
If you are a freelancer who works from home, create a peaceful, productivity place in which to work by getting rid of clutter. Creating a clutter-free zone will make your work space less stressful and therefore increase your organization and productivity.
Beat Procrastination with Dashes
Stop procrastination once and for all by using the “dash” tactic – accomplish everything you can in a short burst of energy. Force yourself to work on the item you have been avoiding for a set, but short, period of time. If you are seriously avoiding it, set a timer for just one minute, then work your way up to more time.
Track Your Time
As a freelancer, you probably thought you were free from time cards, but it can be very helpful to track how much time you spend on projects. Whether you use a kitchen timer, your cell phone or a more sophisticated online system, track your hours to see how you are spending your time and devise strategies for using it more wisely.