Staying productive is one of the biggest challenges I face as a freelancer. WIth the web at your fingertips it is often easy to get sidetracked, distracted, or consumed by other work that isn't as pressing as the projects at hand. It is important to stay focused and productive during the day. So for this post, I put together 10 quick productivity tips for freelancers that I developed as I gained experience.
Be sure to check out our freelance section for more interesting tips & tricks for freelancers!
1. Combat Daily Stress - Learn to combat daily stress through exercise, breaks, and other activities to clear your mind. This will help you stay focused during the hours you need to be working hard on your freelance business.
2. Plan It Out - Planning leads to organization and a less stressful business. Plan out your day, week, month, and stick with it. This will help you stay organized and on task while you follow it.
3. Develop Relationships - If you've read any of my previous articles about freelance you will know that I am a huge fan and believer in the power of networking. Networking helps grow your business network, and helps you make friends in the industry, find new clients, and many other great things. Take time to develop relationships with other designers, developers, and creatives it will pay off I promise.
4. Keep It Simple - Another big motto of UltraLinx is the minimalistic lifestyle. We love minimal architecture, minimal design gear, and an all around minimal life because it has helped us so much with our own work. Keep your online life simple. Try to keep your desk and workspace clean. Work on simplifying your tasks in an effort to finish them quicker and more efficiently.
5. Manage Your Time - Dedicate time for fun and time for work. Space your day out in a manner that keeps you creative and motivated to get work done. Never overwork with the idea that staying an extra few hours will help. Sure at times it is ok to finish a last minute project, but don't make it a habit. It leads to poor work and more stress on yourself.
6. Learn to Say No - One of my biggest problems in the past was overloading my schedule and saying yes to every freelance opportunity that came to me. Learn to turn down certain projects that are too time consuming and less beneficial to you. It is ok to say no at times, so long as you have plenty of other work to compensate for this.
7. Tackle the Dreaded Tasks First - Got something eating away at you? Finish it first and free up your day for other work. There is no use staying worried or thinking about that project all day and waiting to do it later on, just get through it and move on to the less pressing projects.
8. Avoid Email - Avoiding email has helped me get so much more work done. Dedicate time to check your email later in the day so it doesn't dictate your productivity for that day. Stay focused on your work, and check the emails after so that you don't get distracted from your significant projects.
9. Cut Out Distractions - Kill those time wasters. Whether it be social media, texting, watching tv, or whatever that is getting in your way of work, try and cut those out. Unless you work in a social media type job of course :). However; if you don't try to avoid it when other work needs doing. Like everything else on this list, dedicate time for it so you don't kill your productivity.
10. Stay Fresh - Avoid burnout by staying fresh and keeping your stress level low. A lot of freelancers have said that working less, but more efficiently has led to more quality work and even higher pay because of it. Keep your day simple and take enough rest so that you can work hard when you need to.
The UltraLinx Newsletter
Tips & tricks for freelance designers along with updates on freebies, new products, and the upcoming UltraLinx Design & Resource Store, all in one tidy Newsletter!