9 Proven Productivity Hacks for the Flexible Freelancer
I’ve already said it, you’ve already read it, and we can agree that being able to work from home is the ultimate dream. But to make it work without losing your ever-loving mind, you need to set a schedule for yourself and stick to it.
Of course, being flexible is obviously a necessary characteristic of a remote-worker, but if you don’t respect your own boundaries, things will get out of hand.
When you’re working remotely without a strategic plan in place, you risk spending more time working, and less time living the life of your dreams.
Here are some scheduling and productivity tips for the remote-worker or freelancer-to-be, so you can skip the headache and start strong right from the get-go.
9 Productivity Hacks
Use a block schedule. Break your days into chunks of time that are each dedicated to a different project or client. It helps to schedule these blocks in your Google calendar (or iCal or whatever it is you’re using) so you can set a reminder for yourself when it’s time to switch gears.
Manage your tasks like a boss with these free printable worksheets. They’ll help with your block schedule set-up, in fact.
How to Use the Worksheets:
First, dump your to-do list from your brain onto paper by placing each task into one of three categories: Very Important, Important, or Get It Done.
Then, move each item from the Very Important category onto the next worksheet, where you’ll categorize each task by its frequency: Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. Once you’ve moved the Very Important Tasks, do the same with the Important and Get It Done tasks.
Finally, use the calendar worksheet to put together a block schedule based on the importance and frequency of your tasks. Tip: Use pencil.
Move your tasks into the Todoist app to take your productivity to the next level. You can sync the app with your calendar, and share projects with clients or team members, making this the ultimate app for freelancers.
Schedule breaks. Include at least one 10- or 15-minute break, and at least 30 minutes for lunch. And take your breaks away from your desk. Move to another room (the kitchen, for example, so you don’t forget to eat!).
Use the Forest app to help prevent mindless scrolling. Set a timer for how long you need to focus, select some ambient noise if that’s your thing, turn your screen off, and get to work. The app is sleek, simple, and will make you select a button that says “I give up” if you leave the app when you’re supposed to be working.
Keep a bottle of water and some healthy brain food at your desk to maintain energy levels. If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, drink an 8oz glass of water for every cuppa. Some healthy snack ideas are a dried fruit-and-nut mix, fresh blueberries, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, oranges or clementines, and bananas.
Diffuse essential oils to help you focus. Some of my favorite oils for focus and energy are Peppermint, Rosemary, Citrus Fresh, Valor, En-R-Gee, and Clarity. Learn more about essential oils by clicking here.
Use the Fabulous app to build healthier lifestyle habits. Custom “journeys” and challenges will help with your productivity and so much more.
Keep your desk tidy. Read this article from Cleverism to learn how a messy or untidy desk can impact your productivity and creativity.
Finally, know your limits. I’ll say it again: without a strategic plan in place, you risk spending more time working, and less time living the life of your dreams.
You will need to say “no” to some things in order to set and respect your own boundaries.
As I said in this post, if you’re not prepared for the challenges of working remotely, the challenges will turn into great big hurdles.
But it is possible to to work from home without losing your mind and isolating yourself from the rest of humanity.
Save this post to reference later, when you feel like you’re losing control of your to-do list. And download your free productivity worksheets now, so you can start managing your tasks like the boss you are!
There’s no doubt that hiring remote workers has its benefits. For example, remote workers don’t have to commute. They don’t spend precious company time getting caught up in water cooler gossip. They only bill you for hours they actually work. To help you get more mileage out of remote workers and make sure they have the right tools to stay on task, here is a list of the best time and task management apps for 2019 for remote workers.