As a freelancer, you are always in a multitasking headspace because even when you’re working on a project, you still need to be on the lookout for future clients and projects. It’s true that some of us work with long time clients and don’t really search for new projects, but when you’ve been doing it for a few years, it’s kind of hard to get out of that hustling attitude, which is why your brain constantly searches for new opportunities.
One of the biggest problems when working as a freelancer at home (especially) is staying on the track with your to-do list. Because you don’t have a “physical boss” to come up to you and push you to complete your projects, you need to use self-discipline to stay organized and meet all the deadlines.
Because I have struggled in the past to finish my daily tasks but I always respect the TAT (Turn Around Time), I wanted to share with you a few tips that can help you.
- Creative work first. Boring stuff second
If you need to write articles, to create a marketing plan, or anything that is related to being creative – do them in the morning. Some people will not agree with this statement and I understand that because, sometimes, I work better at night. But it depends on what I need to write about because:
- If I need to write something from scratch and come up with ideas on my own -> I work better in the morning.
- If I need to write an article that implies a lot of research or is a How To article -> I will do it later on because it’s easier and I know that I will take my time with it.
- If it’s really important, turn off distractions
Turning off your TV or putting your phone on Plane mode might help you to block outside stimulus and let you focus on the task at hand. Personally, I never put my phone on plane mode, but I’ve heard it can be helpful.
Having a quiet environment will help you finish things faster because it is easier to focus on what’s in front of you. That’s why there are people who like to work late at night, because people are sleeping, the traffic is non-existent, and you know that nobody is going to distract you.
- A lot of boring stuff to do? Turn up the music
The same way people at the gym listen to motivational music to keep them going, music can give you a boost if you have a bunch of boring tasks to complete.
We all have some sort of low skill, repetitive, and boring tasks that we need to get done in order to move forward. Maybe data entry, maybe sending emails for an outreach campaign, link buying, updating charts, or just updating a bunch of pages with the same information; even washing dishes. Whatever the case would be, doing this kind of “copy/paste” job are mentally tiring.
That why putting your headset and playing your favorite music will make the time move faster and keep you in a better mood.
- Create your own ambient background noise
Do you feel calmer when you can hear the rain? Do you like to work in a café? Do the sound of waves hitting the shore puts you on a better mood? Then make use of them and help you focus and improve your productivity with two great sites Noisli.com and Asoftmurmur.com.
Before discovering these sites, I used to listen to white noise on Youtube but these sites make it easier and have a bunch of options; you can even mix sounds and create your own perfect recipe.
For me, the best mix is to add some Rain + Wind + a little bit of Thunderstorm and put the Fireplace sound to 90%. Just imagine being in a wood cabin in the mountains and hearing this mix.