Freelance Productivity tips: Staying on the Ball

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Freelance productivity tips come in all shapes and sizes. Lucky for me because my pencil didn’t seem sharp enough this week.

As a freelance marketer required to churn out all kinds of assets each week, feeling flatter than a pancake that’s tangled with a steam roller is not a good thing.

So I try* to stay sharp the following freelance productivity tips:

Change Scenery

I have an awesome setup at home, however it does become painful to spend home and work in the same spot. When I find this is the case, finding a temp work spot like a cafe really helps.

Or I do a little pre-emptive strike in that I work with clients in their spaces and that in turn helps me appreciate my own space more and lessens the chance of same-desk-itis. No matter where you roam, expect that one of the easiest freelance productivity tips to pull off is simply change the scenery.

 Wake up Early

Daylight saving has recently changed over and I know part of the flatness has been from ‘losing’ that extra hour in the morning. There is something really nice about feeling like you have done a lot early as opposed to looking down and seeing midday is just around the corner and you still have lots to do.

Don’t Overwork

In our culture that values working way too hard, not overworking is probably the hardest of freelance productivity tips to adhere to. Work is my personal crack. I adore writing, working, marketing, social media- the whole nine yards. But I have to make myself take time away from the computer on a regular basis lest I become less intrigued and more bored.

So I make myself have a day off a week and I break at 4:30pm each day and don’t resume work til 7pm for a final two hour burst.

By the way, that 2 hour burst is one of my most productive times. You should try it some time!

Say No to Stuff

If I don’t get time to myself to just do what I need to do without phone calls, emails, appointments and requests, I get frazzled very quickly. Some people simply don’t understand that because they gain their energy through bouncing off people. But I have learnt that I need to observe my limitations and so should you.

The reality is most sensitive, creative, introverted, deep thinking people have self maintaining energy. Protecting that energy from being drawn out of you is extremely important for your productivity and sense of happiness.

So if you are like me and need that ‘me time’, make sure you get some! No is one of the handiest freelance productivity tips because it also saves you from bad jobs as well!

Change the Order

If you feel engaged with one task and yet another is higher priority, if it’s going to serve you to unblock your flow more than do things in order, I say do it. Choosing to do what you are excited about and nailing it will pep you up and give you more energy to do the next thing on your To Do List.

Get it Done…or Don’t

Solo operators (whether that’s as a freelancer, contractor or startup business owner) don’t get to have a ‘meander through work’ day like most other people do. We can’t just lay down the tools because there isn’t anyone to pick up the slack.

How do you deal with this? Sometimes you have to force yourself to push through…and sometimes you have to force yourself to take an unplanned day off.

My feeling is I would rather walk away from a day I don’t feel like working and make up the time later than sit there and dribble through the day at my computer achieving very little.

When I walk away, it usually lasts half a day and then I get my head in the right place for proper work again. It’s a case by case basis of course but if I can take the couch day, I will because I know I’ll definitely make it up when I am feeling more proactive.

Is there anything that gets you over flat days? What are your freelance productivity tips?

*sometimes it doesn’t always go to plan. 

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Karen Lambert
    November 1, 2012 2:33 pm

    What happens when the symptoms go for 3 days!!! Me thinks it’s time for a holiday – how about you?

  • Heh… Holiday may be a good idea. Or doing what I am doing, which is planning for a holiday so I have a deadline to work to. 🙂


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