As a freelancer, there are days when your brain just won't function as it does, and one project takes longer than it should.
So, how do you ensure you don't lag behind and get all your projects done on time?
Use the following hacks to increase your productivity, deliver as expected, and attract more clients.
1. Set Goals
To increase your productivity, you need to set goals for different aspects of your freelancing work.
- Financial goals – make X money by X quarter
- Personal goals – learn X skills by this month so that I can expand my portfolio
- Work goals – finish this task by this time to meet deadlines
Why do this?
Setting goals can increase your productivity so you don't end up working on projects aimlessly.
But what's the best way to deal with goals?
Start by listing down your short, medium, and long-term goals. Then, make a to-do list that helps you achieve these goals and break up the large tasks into smaller ones.
Next, leverage freelancing tools like Google Calendar to record your goals or create a to-do list. This way, you can stay focused all day and know what needs to be done daily.
Then, keep assessing your performance to discover if you’ve achieved your weekly or monthly goals. You can also use this analysis to find ways to improve your performance and increase your productivity.
2. Control Your Time
As a freelancer, you can work on your own time and schedule. However, this also means that you may find yourself working all the time, leading to burnout and lower productivity.
So how can you increase your productivity by managing time?
Create schedules: Clearly define work hours.
For example, identify what time you should be at your workspace, when to take a break, and when to call it a day.
However, remember to plan your day depending on your responsibilities and your most active time of the day.
Sync time with clients: Set time for client calls and meetings on your calendar.
For example, you can use Zoom or another video conferencing tool to plan calendar meetings with the clients. This way, you won't be working on a different task when the client wants to go over your deliverables or progress.
Form a routine: To avoid chaos, form a routine that helps you get things done.
For example, you can increase your productivity by scheduling a certain time for checking emails, doing demanding tasks, handling simple tasks, etc.
3. Leverage Productivity Tools
Productivity tools can ensure you stay on track and even have time to accommodate urgent tasks. They help you plan your time, customize workflows, and track the progress of your projects.
You can also use them to prioritize tasks based on urgency, add deadlines, share progress with clients, and so much more.
Worried about their price?
There are free project management tools like Orsolo, Trello, Asana, and others that you can use. And while they may offer basic project management features, they can help increase your productivity in the process.
4. Take Breaks
Taking time off to relax can increase your productivity since it allows you to recuperate mentally and physically.
For example, you can take walks, go shopping, work out, or run other errands that take you away from work and get you to move about.
Just finished a huge project?
Take a longer break.
A one or two-day vacation, for example, can help you reboot and prevent your mind from feeling stuck.
5. Vary Tasks
Working on one type of task for a whole day can overwhelm you and decrease your productivity. You, therefore, need to incorporate tasks that give your mind a break and help increase your productivity.
For example, sitting for 12 or more hours working on a website as a freelance designer can get overwhelming.
It can lead to fatigue and burnout.
For this reason, you need to include other varied non-demanding tasks into your work schedule. These include tasks like working on your portfolio or finding other jobs.
Alternatively, you can schedule time between your major projects to promote your work on social media and find influencers who can help you get more clients.
Worried about the cost of influencer marketing to promote your freelance offerings?
Well, influencer marketing doesn't have to be expensive. You can work with a micro or nano-influencer who would be happy to promote your services in exchange for a shoutout or a free service.
For example, with the designer example above, you can re-design an influencer’s website for free, and in return, they advertise your services to their followers and other key opinion leaders or influencers.
And the bottom line?
Whatever you decide, make sure that the varied tasks you take help reduce burnout and do not require much effort to complete.
6. Find Time to Develop Skills
To increase your productivity, you need to keep growing and developing your skills.
This way, you can keep up with trends, meet changing client requirements, and expand your professional network. In fact, that’s the biggest reason freelancers go for skill-related education too.
Furthermore, one of the things a client considers when vetting a freelancer is their skill level and the ability to deliver beyond expectations. And if you are among those bidding for a job, you want to make sure your skill sets stand out. For example, a content writer can sharpen his skill on how to write great content in a short time.
Finding time to read business books and memoirs can help you discover how successful business entrepreneurs succeed. It then becomes easy to increase your productivity by learning from others.
Alternatively, you could take time out to get a degree in strategic communication. This would not only help you communicate better with clients but also provide you with skills to become a social media manager, SEO manager, PR manager, and more.
Increase Your Productivity and Grow Your Freelancing Business
Freelancing gives you control over projects you can take, how much time you spend on them, and your productivity levels.
Finding ways to increase your productivity can, therefore, not only help you manage your time wisely but also ensure you meet your deadlines and make clients happy.
And guess what?
You have the power to design your working formula around the time when your energy levels guarantee quality work. Doing this helps you increase your productivity and build a reputation as a productive person who always delivers on time.
Do you have any questions about increasing productivity as a freelancer? Ask them in the comments.