Freelancing is a very rewarding profession. However, it can also be difficult to manage your time and stay focused. Freelancers can often get distracted by all of the shiny new things on the internet, not to mention the constant influx of emails.
This blog post will give you some helpful tips on how to avoid getting distracted while freelancing and how to stay productive while working from home.
Identify your focus
At the start of each day, it's important to identify what you are going to focus on that day. Is your plan to work on a certain project, research one particular topic, or catch up on email? Be mindful of your goal for the day and spend your time wisely. To stay focused, you should probably work on one task at a time. Sure, multitasking might seem like the way to get things done faster but in reality, it takes much longer to accomplish projects. Multitasking is also proven to be less effective than single-tasking .
Find your flow
The more work you can do during a focused session of time, the better.
A very important thing to remember is that freelancers have to find their flow. Your flow is different from your average employee because you have to be able to focus on your work and not be distracted by other things, such as social media.
If you're having trouble finding your flow, here are some tips:
1) Set boundaries for yourself with accessibility
For example, if it's distracting for you to use the internet while working, then turn off your wife or at least put it on airplane mode
2) Find a place where you can concentrate and not feel like others might be distracting you
If it helps, make sure this place isn't too close to the kitchen or any other area where there's noise.
3) If you're having trouble finding your flow, then try playing some music that you enjoy.
This might help you stay focused and get in the zone. Just like exercise tunes may motivate us to run faster and harder, certain songs can help us concentrate and work smarter .
Use a timer when working at home
Working from home is great when you want to relax or are in between jobs, but it can also have some downsides. When they're self-employed, people tend to get distracted more often because they're not being watched by a boss. For me personally, I get distracted when I'm at home because there's always something I could be doing (laundry, dishes, taking care of the dog).
If you're having trouble staying focused while freelancing then try setting your timer for 40-50 minutes and focus on nothing but your work. You can do this for an hour or two max if you're really stressed.
If you're working on a project and get distracted, you will lose time and motivation. I recommend using the Pomodoro technique when working at home . This technique can be done with any timer and is proven to help people stay focused while studying, writing papers , or doing other assignments .
Step away from your work
If you're super busy and stressed, then try taking a break to de-stress and relax. Take an hour every few days (and at least one day a week) to go on a walk, call up a friend to chat , or even play video games.
Life is short. You might as well enjoy it! Join the Freelance Revolution today .
Take a break, even if it's only for an hour.
Ask yourself why you're trying to stay focused
It can be difficult to focus on your work and complete projects if you don't know what your main motivation is. Thinking about your motivation before starting a project or task will help keep you focused and finish the work.
A good way to stay motivated is to look at the big picture of where you want your freelancing business to go or what you want to accomplish with your projects. Also, make sure that if you are motivated by money, then you should know how much money you need before setting a goal for yourself . Another reason why it's important to know how much money you need is because if the project isn't worth your time, then don't do it!
Avoid the shiny object syndrome
A lot of freelancers get distracted by "shiny objects" that come their way. Shiny objects are often things like the latest course or system that promises to make you rich in just a few days.
The problem is, these courses and systems will often take up your time and divert your attention from what's important: your work.
What can you do about it?
One solution is to set up a rule for yourself where if something comes in via email, you don't open it until the end of the day. You should also stop checking social media during your lunch break or while trying to get work done. If you have other commitments at home, make sure they aren't taking up too much time and be very selective about what new courses or tools you invest in.
Get rid of distractions
There are many distractions that freelancers can get distracted by. One of the easiest ways to avoid distraction is to turn off your internet connection while you work. Turning off your phone signal is also an excellent way to prevent distractions.
Another way to avoid getting distracted is to create a list of tasks and prioritize them by importance. This will allow you to stay focused on what you need to do first, instead of getting side-tracked with less important things.
Making sure you have a comfortable space is also extremely important when freelancing from home. Make sure your desk isn't cramped and that you're sitting in front of a window for natural light if possible.
Handle email overload
Email plays a huge role in freelancing, especially if you work for different clients. It's important to handle your email effectively so that you never miss out on an important message.
Here are three tips to help you manage your inbox:
1) Set up filters that automatically filter emails into folders or categories.
2) Be sure to know which emails require immediate attention and which can wait until the end of the day.
3) Use tools like Boomerang which allow you to set up reminders for future actions (such as sending important emails).
It's not easy staying focused all the time, but if you're trying to be productive and want to maximize your work, then try these techniques. They'll help keep you on track and working at your best.
Create a schedule for yourself
A lot of people who work from home say that it can be hard to stay focused on the task at hand. This is why it's important to set up a schedule for yourself to follow each day.
You might start off your day with getting some coffee, looking at your email, and doing some research for your project. You could then take an hour or two to work on your project before lunch time. After lunch, you might take another break to do more research before working on your project after dinner.
Whatever schedule you decide to follow, make sure you stick to it! Create a timer app if need be! This will help you stay focused and avoid distractions throughout the day.
Make time for you
When you're freelancing, it can be difficult to get away from work. You might find yourself checking your email or social media accounts every few minutes. If you want to stay productive and avoid getting distracted, make time for you. Start by setting aside a certain amount of time each day where you only do the things that are important to your business and nothing else.
For example, if mornings are when you're the most productive and during that designated time period, you should focus solely on work-related tasks like answering emails and creating content for your blog. Setting aside a certain chunk of time in your day for other tasks will help you stay focused and productive because it gives your mind a chance to rest between projects.
Now that you've learned how to be massively productive as a freelancer, what's the next step?
Becoming a freelancer is a very personal decision. The beauty of it is, you can take charge of your own destiny and decide to be as or as little productive as you want. The key is to find a way to balance your work with the rest of your life.
I hope this article has been informative and will help you to take the leap into freelancing.