This post is also available in: Spanish
Work as a freelance: how to get the most out of your day
Oh, my freelance friend. We know that you are a brave warrior. You are capable of everything, that nothing or nobody can stop you when you take out your tablet or show your teeth behind the laptop.
Sometimes, between the heat of the battle, and while you shoot calls to your clients and keep a fierce fight with the bureaucracy, have you ever asked yourself how could you be more productive? (Indeed, these are the type of things that people who work as a freelance sometimes ask themselves).
We admire you and believe in your cause, so we hope that we can help you with some ideas to make the most of it so that you have time to walk the child through the park or have some beers from time to time.
– Calculate your prices well.
Have you gone through your accounts and it turns out that at the end of the month you earn half of what you thought you’d earn? That may be because you are not collecting the money for all the hours you work as a freelance.
No, we do not mean that you need to receive money from pending jobs, but that you are probably not giving economic value to all the tasks you do.
For example. Imagine that you are a psychologist and you have a blog that you use to attract clients. You charge your clients the rate of 30 euros per session, because you value your work, which took you some years of training so that’s why you are charging the rate of 20 euros per hour (plus 10 euros per hour for additional expenses such as renting the place to work, fee of self-employment, etc..).
However, you realise that the sum doesn’t add up and even though you spend all day at work, you hardly earn a few hundred euros a month. Think about this: have you valued the time you invest writing your blog, promoting your page, or answering emails asking for information? All that time you invest in your work as a freelance, it’s work. Remember, and value yourself accordingly.
– Get dressed to work.
Pyjamas are fine, but they were made for sleeping. If you do not take them off, in a way you will feel as if you were still in bed. Would you go on a date dressed with those pyjamas that your grandmother gave to you that last Christmas Eve? You wouldn’t right? Well, do not wear them when working then.
– Choose those times of the day when you feel more productive.
Do you wake up every morning feeling very energised? Take advantage of this, and get to work, do not use your energies to check Facebook or play video games. Identify those moments when you feel full of energy and get to work.
– Plan your work.
You need to be very clear about what to do and when you have to do it otherwise you won’t be productive. Good planning will help you set deadlines and goals. It can also be very interesting to establish an order depending on the level of importance or urgency of every task. Sometimes even a little diary could make a huge difference.
– Creative routines.
Routines create habits, and habits make work as a freelance easier. Establishing habits does not have to mean doing the most boring job – there will also be times to break the monotony – this way it’ll be easier for you to continue to perform in those moments when you just want to get back to bed.
– Use time management techniques.
There are loads of them for you to choose but if you are consistent, they usually work quite well. As a freelancer, it can be very interesting to try them. From the Pomodoro Technique to the GTD, they are usually quite flexible so you can choose the one that suits your needs.
– Contact a consulting company
We know you hate paperwork, plus it may be taking you more time than you think. Evaluate well if it’s worth your time or leave it in the hands of a professional, who will also be more aware of legislative changes.
– Reject some jobs
We already know that you want to take up all the jobs right now so you can get your name around and that you don’t want to say no to anyone but there will be some times when you won’t be able to do everything. Remember that it’s better to reject a job than doing one very badly so evaluate well and only do those things that you know you are able to do.
– Use technological tools.
Technology is one of the key elements for increasing productivity at work (if you have any doubts, read something about the historical evolution of production processes). There are technological tools that can help you with your work. Do you know EHorus? Click here and find out what it can offer you.
– Learn how to separate your work as a freelance from your private life.
Seriously, taking your laptop to the bathroom is not a good idea, and nor it is frying an egg while you check your schedule, If you do not set clear boundaries – both time and place wise – between your work and your personal or family life, you will have neither one nor the other.
There is literally nothing else you can do about this. If you do not rest well, you will not have the energy to work hard. A good sleep – specially a night sleep – is essential to increase performance. If you have sleeping problems, there are professionals and techniques that can help you improve the quality of your sleep. But please, do not spend all day with sticks in your eyes to hold your eyelids open like those characters of Warner Bros.
-Learn how to motivate yourself.
Sometimes, low earnings or those problems of any job will discourage you. Take these moments to remember why you decided to become a freelancer. Remember the freedom that your job gives you, how much you enjoy being able to organize yourself and not taking orders from anyone, how well you feel choosing your own schedules, etc. Being a freelancer has its disadvantages, but also its advantages; that’s why you chose to be a freelancer in the first place. Do not think too much about the drawbacks, always remember the advantages.
So this is it, my freelance friend. We hope this article has given you some ideas to be more productive at work, and hopefully be closer to that walk with the children or those beers with your mates. Good luck mate!