Six ways to be more productive as a freelancer

Posted on: December 16th, 2013

Welcome to guest writer, Shannon Norman.

If you’re productive, it means you have the ability to get a lot of work done in less time. But how is this possible when you have so many things to do? These six tips will help you be more productive as a freelancer.

1. Be sure of the “what” and “when”

In order to make sure that you maintain a good work flow, understand exactly what your client wants, and when your client wants it by.

This is where the importance of a contract comes in. The contract between you and your client must contain all the necessary information to help ensure that nothing is miscommunicated or misunderstood.

2. Have everything together before you start working

Organise yourself before you get to work on a particular job. Why? Firstly, it’ll save you time, and secondly, you’ll make fewer careless mistakes because you won’t be interrupted by having to follow up or complete something you forgot to do before you started on your project.

By doing this, the project or task will flow with ease, and there’ll be less chance of any speed bumps along the way.

3. Adjust your environment

Make sure that you’re comfortable. If you’re not comfortable in your chair, change it as soon as you can. If you’re easily distracted, listen to music while you work to help keep you focused and stop you from being distracted. You’ll be surprised at the amount of times you stop working because of irritations and distractions.

Lighting is also an important factor to consider if you want to maintain the right state of mind when you’re working. Try and make sure that the environment you work in is properly lit.

Fresh air flowing through the office (or wherever it is you work) is never a bad thing, so give it a go and see if it helps you work better.

4. Your internal clock knows best

Some people are morning people and others operate better the later it gets. Whatever category you fall into, there’s a certain time in the day when you perform best.

When your energy levels are at their peak, that’s when you should be tackling tasks that require a lot of energy, focus and concentration.

Therefore, establish a routine as this will help you be more efficient.

5. Don’t waste time

It’s imperative that you use your time wisely. Stay off the Internet when you don’t need it, as this is probably one of the most distracting elements you’re faced with while working. With social media being so prominent in our lives, it’s easy to slip out of your concentration zone.

To combat this issue – set time aside for surfing the net. This way you can reward yourself after working solidly for a good couple of hours.

6. Take breaks

You might think that when you don’t take any breaks, you’re more productive because it feels like you’re doing more work, but the truth is, you’ll most likely get distracted by a particular something and forget that you have half a dozen things to get done before the end of the afternoon. 

The tasks that you do throughout the day require a lot of mental effort. Take breaks every now and then to refresh yourself. This allows your brain to relax so that you can feel energised when you get back to your desk.

Walk around, step outside, go to gym, walk the dog, buy an ice-cream – do something that you know will take your mind of work for a bit, even if it’s just for five minutes.

Whether you decide to freelance until the day you retire, or simply try it out for a short while, it’s going to take a lot of hard work, dedication and passion. Make sure that you are focused and productive every single day. Remember, practice makes perfect.

Shannon Norman is a writer and blogger for 1st Contact Accounting, a company that provides flexible accounting services to suit every contractor’s needs. For more information, you can visit their website: www.1stcontact-accounting.com

One Response to “Six ways to be more productive as a freelancer”

  1. Diana Schneidman
    December 22nd, 2013

    Shannon,

    I find it helpful to dig into an assignment as soon as possible. If my schedule does not allow me to get very far into it at this time, I at least like to scan the info I have and determine what the first steps will be.

    In particular, I want to make sure I have all the info on hand to get started. If I need to talk to someone at the client firm, I want to schedule that in advance.

    Though it’s possible to write well on a fast-approaching deadline, that doesn’t mean your client and resource people are standing by waiting to serve you.

    As they say, your procrastination is not my emergency. (Or at least I think that’s how it goes.)

    -Diana

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