How can a Freelancer or VA Increase their Productivity

11 Tips to Increase Productivity as a Freelancer or VA

What could be greater than managing your precious time without someone screaming at your back? People may feel envious of you when they learn that you are working as a freelancer at the comforts of your home.

In reality, however, pursuing a freelance career isn’t as easy as it may seem. With tons of distractions in your house from yelling kids to your neighbor’s roaring sounds, it may seem difficult to focus on your work and get it done at the end of the day.

How to Increase your Productivity?

In freelancing, a lot of work is expected to be accomplished on a daily basis, which may force you to manage multiple projects and toxic clients simultaneously, thus affecting your overall work productivity. You don’t necessarily need to decrease the number of clients, but you may work on things that may increase your productivity as a whole.

Here are Some Basic Freelancing Tips which is Helpful in Improving your Productivity

1. Setting up your Working Time

Following your own time table can make you appreciate the importance of time management and self-responsibility. Make a reasonable work schedule and decide when you want to start working.

You can set the morning alarm, say 5:30 AM or 6:00 AM, then get up fast, brush your teeth, take a quick bath and prepare a good cup of coffee before heading on to a new day. Doing a little bit of household chores for a few minutes can help wake your senses up.

2. Taking Some Breaks in Between Work Schedules

Having some short breaks during the day can definitely increase productivity. You should take some time off to refresh your tired mind and spirit. Go for a short walk, perform exercises, or east some snacks in the kitchen.

Short breaks allow you to move more and put you away from the computer screen for a while. Skipping meals won’t help since working in an empty stomach increases health risk factors.

3. Setting up a Goal in Life

You will likely have a meaningless life if you don’t establish a personal goal either for yourself or for the family. Your productivity will significantly increase if you’re able to plan for short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals.

Imagine what you need to achieve, for example, buying a new car or spending time in an exclusive island beach resort, and then write down your financial strategies. Without noticing it, your freelance career becomes more meaningful to you.

4. Creating Things-to-do List

Writing a “things-to-do” list can help you organize your thoughts and goals, thus helping you concentrate on specific tasks that need to be done. You may use online apps or simply write down your list in a weekly planner.

Your list of “things to do” enables you to break down larger tasks into smaller ones. Instead of writing down the tasks in broad, it’s always suggested to write the task in full detail specifically. In this way, you’ll be able to focus on work more effectively and minimize the waste of time.

5. Utilizing your Work Time Properly

In freelancing, it’s critically important to control the amount of time you spend on every specific job. There are online apps available that can help monitor your computer activities regardless if you are just browsing the web or creating logo designs.

With these time-monitoring apps, you can keep track of how much time you need to complete the job, helping you become more productive in the process. And believe it or not, you will realize how long you’ve been seating in front of your screen. Apart from this, you may also give yourself a break by watching your favorite movies or listening to some music for at least an hour or two.

6. Evaluating your Work Performance

Do you know that performance assessment is very important to keep you motivated to work? Make a quick assessment of your performance at the end of the day and determine whether you managed to complete everything that’s written in your work plan. If you haven’t completed the tasks, carefully think of the possible reasons that slowed you down and then make necessary adjustments for the next day.

7. Not Having Meals at your Computer

You’ll be surprised when you find out how often you eat or drink while working on your desk. For many freelancers, this becomes a hard habit to break, particularly for those who aren’t mindful of their time.

If you won’t become aware of it, you might soon develop health problems, such as chronic back or shoulder pain, hypertension and muscle stiffness in various parts of your body. Move away from your computer for a while and have your snacks and refreshments in the kitchen. Once you’re done eating, walk around the house or do some household chores for a few minutes before going back to work.

8. Adding Some Nutrition

Taking some multivitamins and health supplements can help support your daily nutritional needs. But if you want to get the most of these nutritional supplements, make sure to stay hydrated, avoid carbonated drinks or sugary foods, and get enough sleep. Remember that sugary drinks just give you an energy boost at first, and then it disappears in just a few hours.

9. Reducing Browsing Time and Distractions

Internet surfing definitely slows you down as it keeps your attention away from work. To resolve this, you may use an RSS reader to receive fresh content from your frequently-visited sites. This may seem more beneficial than visiting your favorite website over and over during the day. If you have lots of subscriptions, you can sort out those subscriptions by folders to prevent you from visiting the sites which do not contribute to your overall productivity.

Browsing your social media accounts can also affect your work concentration. Just assign a specific amount of time to check your emails and news feeds, instead of leaving those emails and messages popping up in your screen all day long. Give it at least 15 or 20 minutes between the tasks while you’re on a break, but it would be better to check your personal emails and messages before you start working or after you have completed a specific task.

10. Performing One Task at a Time

Multitasking is not for everyone. A lot of freelancers feel that if they are able to complete multiple tasks at once, they can finish more and more work. You should think twice or even more for this.

Engaging in a single task seems more effective since working on one portion of the job allows full concentration. When you split your time between several tasks, expect your work performance to dive down a lot faster, resulting in decreased work output and reduced productivity.

11. Organizing your Thoughts and Everything

Here are more freelancing tips that can enhance productivity without compromising the quality of work:

  • Combine and filter all your mailboxes in one place.
  • Use markers or labels to sort out important emails from less-important ones.
  • Keep your social media accounts updated to help you find more clients in the future.
  • Turning down personal invitations when necessary or letting others know that you’re busy.
  • Reward yourself whenever you accomplish something big.

It’s not always good to work alone, and you will need the experience of other freelancers to help your career grow. Make friends with fellow freelancers through open forums, online classes, career-building seminars and other activities that involve social interaction.

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