Productive Freelancing: How to Control Time & Make Cash
Time is money, and it’s all right if it’s clichéd or if you have heard that a million times.
Time is still money and hourly projects are a good testament to that. Productivity is important not because it’s a measure of how effectively you use time to your benefit but also because productivity determines how much you get paid.
The more work you pack into an hour and the better you do it, the more you make. So here’s how to do productive freelancing and how to make sure you can control your time:
Let those goals flash
You won’t put in the commitment and dedication needed to get more productive if you don’t know why you’d have to do it in the first place. Have goals? Make sure they flash, all day long, from where you sit.
Was it a home at an exotic location that you wanted? Was it to get out of debt? Did you want to travel the world?
Make sure you put up this on your desktop background or office walls (if allowed).
Early risers are often more productive. There’s just something about early mornings, in the eerie silence as the rest of the world sleeps, that makes that block of time extremely productive. Some freelancers we know reserve that precious time for the most important tasks of the day such as pitching, applying for new projects, or getting some brain-intensive work done such as writing, designing or coding.
Take breaks while you work
It might seem counterintuitive but taking breaks makes you more productive. It helps you get a breather, re-energizes you to get back to work again, and gives you a break. Sitting is the new smoking, in case you didn’t know. Follow the Pomodoro Technique and take breaks of 5–10 minutes every hour or so. Now, for that one hour you put it, you’d pack in a punch.
Pull away from Internet and phones
The fact that you are connected to the Internet while you work and that your smartphone is in your pocket makes you vulnerable for distraction. Once you drift and surf on those links, there’s no coming back. Apart from research, and finding information related to the task at hand, do not use the Internet. Don’t go reading blog posts or magazines. Also, avoid picking calls, chatting, and playing with the apps on your phone.
All that can wait.
Don’t let anyone barge in
You are lucky if you work alone. If you work with teams or if you sit at a co-working space or a shared office, chances are that your time will be sitting duck to people who’d want your time for anything from opening doors (no access cards?) to asking for help.
If success is more about saying “no” more than saying “yes”, here’s your chance to say no, now.
This also holds good for friends, visiting acquaintances, and family members. No one holds your time as precious as you do.
It’s all in your hands.
Originally published at peerhustle.com on August 7, 2015.