Running a freelance business means wearing different hats, so we came up with a list of productivity tips for freelancers to help you stay on top of everything. Working for yourself means you take care of things like marketing, managing clients, working on projects, and keeping on top of social media. In order to manage all of that, finding ways to improve your productivity is key.
Of course, life isn’t just about work. Work-life balance is important and you want to carve out time for your personal life! Taking care of family, socializing with friends, and doing chores all need attention too. Keep reading to discover our seven best productivity tips for freelancers that are easy to implement.
Here’s Our List Of Productivity Tips For Freelancers
Turn Off Your Notifications
You know what’s really distracting? Getting notifications from your social media accounts when you’re trying to work. It’s very tempting to pick up the phone and check to see who has posted what. The best thing you can do is turn off all of your notifications for your social accounts.
Keep Your Smartphone Away From You
Smartphones are the best toys, aren’t they? You can connect with friends, do job searches, watch videos, find recipes — anything, really!
However, they are big time wasters and it’s too easy to lose track of how long we’re on the phone. It’s best to put your smartphone out of sight while working because even if you turn off your notifications and put your phone on silent, it will buzz or the screen will light up and you won’t be able to help yourself. Try putting your phone in a drawer or even in another room.
Develop A Morning Routine
How you start your day can set the tone for the rest of the day. You want to start it off positively and with a motivated mindset.
Create a routine that you enjoy — don’t force yourself to wake up at 5am if you’re not an early riser! — and stick with it. A good morning routine doesn’t have to be long. Ten minutes works wonders if that’s what you can fit in.
As freelancers, it’s important to feel good because we tend to be isolated during the work day. Find time in the morning to feed your body a healthy breakfast or smoothie, write down your intentions and goals for the day, meditate, or do an exercise to focus your mind. That could be writing in your journal, visualizing, yoga, or exercise.
Another activity that is helpful is writing your goals in story form. It’s a fun and creative way to stay motivated! Read this post to learn how to do it and to download a free goal setting planner.
Create Email Scripts
One of my fave productivity tips for freelancers is to use email scripts. Sending out emails to introduce yourself to potential clients, promoting your services, and following up on leads takes a lot of time. Shave some minutes off of those tasks by writing a few scripts that you can apply for specific purposes.
Store your scripts in a folder on your computer and have them easily accessible when you need them. Make sure you customize your emails before hitting send so you don’t sound robotic in your scripts.
Choose Three Top Tasks Every Day
I make to-do lists every day, and it’s rare I get around to accomplishing everything. As much as you want to squeeze everything into one day, life always throws curveballs. Something unexpected comes up or a task takes longer than anticipated.
And that’s ok because I always make a note of my top three tasks for the day. If I accomplish at least two, I’m happy.
My productivity increases when I decide on my top three tasks — and they’re not necessarily “big” tasks, either. Sometimes it’s doing research for a project or creating social media posts for the week. Whatever you do, make sure that it moves your business forward.
Schedule Times To Check Your Inbox
Most of us go running when we hear that familiar ding indicating we have a new email in our inbox. This can be distracting because it pulls you in and out of a state of focus constantly.
One of my favourite productivity tips is to check your email a few times a day. It’s okay not to immediately open an email and respond right away. If it’s an emergency whoever it is will text or call you.
Instead of checking your inbox multiple times throughout the day, take control of your inbox and limit checking your email to three or four times a day. A sample schedule could be: 9 am, 1pm and 4pm.
It’s also a great idea to set a cut-off time for checking emails. This allows you to enjoy your evening and time with family, friends and to focus on self-care.
Use Project Management Tools To Help With Productivity
Learn how to manage your projects effectively so you can manage your time. Project management tools give you more control over your schedule and keep your business running smoothly.
Project Management Tools
Trello is a fun productivity tool that allows you to manage and organize projects through boards. In your boards you input tasks that can be moved around and checked off when completed. You can use it for anything: freelance projects, personal goals, even
grocery lists. Trello has an excellent free plan!
Asana is another online tool that allows you to manage projects and priorities. Tasks can be broken down by steps, and you can track progress. You can email directly from Asana and have conversations with clients or collaborators. There is a free plan available.
Other project management platforms like Bonsai and Dubsado are great as well, and of course, creating your own system using other programs like Excel or Google Sheets is just as effective, too.
Did you like the productivity tips for freelancers?
Managing your time as a freelancer means finding what works for you in order to be productive. Since your schedule is already flexible, you have room to try out the productivity tips from this post and discover what works for you.