Freelancing has become a buzzword today. From college students to professionals, everyone has taken up freelancing to make a living. And why not?
It pays their bills and also gives them enough leeway to work and enjoy their free time. In addition, having no one around removes the pressure of micromanagement, enabling you to remain focused and stress-free.
You are your own boss when freelancing. As relieving as it sounds, it has its own drawbacks. With the liberty of working at your own time, you tend to get lenient with yourself, there’s lack of discipline which eventually lowers your productivity. However, to increase your profits and to finish more in less time, it’s about time you focus on enhancing your productivity. After all, it is the bridge between your goals and accomplishments.
Here are some tips you can leverage to become more productive:
1. Create your own efficiency test
Evaluating yourself and the time you are spending on each client is necessary to know your hourly rate. This draws a clear picture as to where your money is coming from. Along with that, it also enables you to take corrective action if your time is not utilized efficiently. Only when you are mindful of the value delivered on the clock can you excel as a freelancer.
How to make this evaluation simpler? Using an 80/20 rule to analyze and interpret which clients are taking up most of your is beneficial. For instance, if a client is taking up 80% of your working hours, it means it’s hindering your productivity.
You can accomplish a lot more during those hours. And when a client is consuming only 20% of your time, it is a positive sign. You can spend that 80% on better-paying clients and also increase your hourly rate. This will help you boost your efficiency and also give you space to take up better projects.
2. Regularize your breaks
Amidst the distractions present at home, the number of hours spent on taking breaks usually exceeds the amount of time spent on work. However, a freelancer booked on several projects can’t afford to do so. Hence, inculcating will power to focus on work and avoid distractions is a crucial aspect of freelancing and regularizing your brakes to increase your work rate is a part of it.
There’s an interesting approach called the “Pomodoro” technique to achieve this. It works on the principle of single-mindedness. Here’s what you have to do: work continuously for 25 minutes then rest for 5 minutes. Repeat this 4 times and then you can give 30 minutes to yourself. This technique keeps you from getting distracted by any means be it social media or daily chores. The timer is ticking and your mind automatically works accordingly to later reward yourself with those 30 minutes of free time.
3. Plan your workday
Planning is often underestimated when working from home. The flexible work hours with no time restraints are the reason for this. But, it’s all the more important for freelancers. Why? Because this liberty of working at flexible hours lets you take it for granted and your to-do lists remain untouched. To prevent this from happening, a well-structured plan listing out work based on priority is essential.
Setting targets a day prior helps you chalk out a plan. This helps you focus better and eliminate distractions and lets you finish a big chunk of impending tasks in less time. Planning is a boon for those who are not accountable to specific business hours. Moreover, a strategized to-do list does not let you miss any task. With technology in demand, you can make use of smarter tools to list this or follow the traditional route of journaling. The ultimate goal is to achieve targets and not miss deadlines.
4. Group similar tasks
If you are freelancing as a content writer, for instance, research is the part of every project you are assigned to. Research is a tedious job and consumes a lot of your time slot. Hence, a smarter choice is to club this together and then initiate the writing.
By doing this, you complete the major task of every project in one go saving a lot of effort. Grouping similar tasks together also let you estimate the length of time against the time left for you to do the remaining tasks.
Even better, deploying the MoSCoW technique which stands for “must-haves, should-have, could haves and will not have”. It’s a prioritization technique that can help you branch out work which is mandatory (must-have), can impact your project moderately if not done (should-have), has a little or negligible impact (could-have) and will not have an impact (will not have).
Once you assign work to these columns, you know what can be clubbed together and done simultaneously and what can be kept for a later date.
5. Automate tasks
Redundant tasks like social media scheduling, emailing your schedule to clients or any other administrative tasks keep you from focusing on critical work that needs more attention. Smart work is the mantra to reduce your workload. Relying on innovative and smart software can help you free up space for unique tasks that demand human attention.
Saviom’s resource management software provides sophisticated time-sheets that allows you to update your tasks and also lets your client know about your availability. He, or she can allocate the tasks based on your bandwidth.
This not only helps you work on projects that are on high priority but also keeps you from being over-allocated. Similarly, other mundane tasks can be regulated too. Equipping yourself with these tools will save a great deal of time and also increase your productivity.
Working smart is all about how you manage your schedule. As deadlines get shorter, time management skills are key to being in charge of your work. These tips will surely help you boost your productivity and enable you to achieve more in less time. Incorporating these tips in your routine will have a profound effect on your work rate and profitability. You can either work for hours and complete your targets or work smarter and prevent burn-outs. The ball is in your court!