“I could earn so much more [insert high dollar amount here], if only I could manage to get more work done in a day.”
If you’re a freelancer, you’ve probably had exactly the same thought.
Often, the amount of work that I theoretically could produce is not the same as the amount of work that I actually produce. The gap between ideal productivity and actual productivity hurts – right in my pocketbook, because less completed work translates to lower pay.
Here are five ways that you can turbo-charge your productivity:
If we freelancers were really honest with ourselves, then we’d have to admit that a lot of work doesn’t get done quickly because we put off starting it. Sometimes it seems easier (or more interesting) to check our e-mail again for the umpteenth time, to read our favorite blog, or watch another video on YouTube.
Remember, procrastination kills productivity. Don’t procrastinate. Get your work started promptly and you will have won over half of your battle against wasted time and inefficient work habits.
Tackle The Tough Stuff First
Your gut is probably telling you to do exactly the opposite – to avoid doing the tough stuff for as long as you possibly can. In fact, the tough stuff may be part of the reason that you’ve been putting work off. But, your difficult projects aren’t going to get any easier if you wait.
In fact, they may actually become more difficult when time pressure also becomes an issue. Why not dive right into your most difficult project and get it out of the way? The rest of your day should be a breeze after you finish your most challenging project.
Know Your Productivity Cycle
Some people only do their very best work after midnight. Others are most productive at the “crack” of dawn. Still others work best after lunch. Everyone has a time of the day when they do their best work. Find out when you do your best work and schedule your projects to take advantage of your natural productivity cycle.
One of the key benefits to being a freelancer is that you can work any time of the day or night, yet a surprising number of freelancers still try to fit their work hours into the eight-to-five corporate mold.
Get Organized (Or at least find a system that works for you)
Organization really does save time. Now, by organization, I don’t mean that that your office has to look like a showroom or pass some “white glove” inspection for neatness. What I do mean is that should be able to readily access your work files and records.
For me that meant getting a bookcase with a “cubby” for each project. Regardless of the organizational system that you use, you’ll save time if you can go right to a file or folder when you need it (and you’ll sleep easier knowing that nothing is missing).
Take A Walk
I first discovered the problem-solving properties of walks many years ago when I was working in a corporate environment. I had spent most of the morning stumped by a particularly difficult problem. Suddenly, I was summoned to a meeting with one of my bosses on the other side of the large building where we worked.
I walked over there as quickly as I could. On my walk back to my cubicle the solution to the problem that I had been wrestling with all morning just popped into my head. Just like that I had solved the problem. So, walk. It’s good for you too.
Now that you have these five essential productivity tips, what’s holding you back?
Go ahead. Do it. Turbo-charge your productivity today!