As a freelancer, you probably have a long list of tasks you have to do. In fact, it may seem like there’s not enough time in the day for everything you have to deal with. The good news, though, is that there are simple ways you can try to boost your productivity. With these tips, you can make things a lot easier for yourself, and you can also get more things done to keep your business strong and growing.
1. Start Your Day with the Most Challenging Task
Think about it; if you face the hardest challenge first thing in the morning, the rest of your day will seem like a piece of cake. After all, none of the other tasks of the day will be as challenging. So instead of doing the hardest stuff like reading your emails, pick the task that will really require a lot of mental effort from you.
You can do this more easily if you make sure you get a good night’s rest each time, and you get a nice healthy breakfast. You’ll be fresh both mentally and physically, so you’ll be at your best to face your greatest hurdle of the day. Once you complete the task or even if you just make some sort of headway, you’ll be confident that you can deal with the easier tasks as the day passes.
2. Keep Up the Momentum by Doing Batches of Similar Tasks
When you have to do one thing and then switch to another different task entirely, you have to spend some time to “rewire” your brain for the new task. So, it seems a lot easier and less time-consuming if you just do groups of similar tasks. Such a practice can get you into a nice mental groove that lets you optimize your time while you find more familiar tasks easier to do.
You can, for example, reserve a block of time for each type of work you do every day. You can then schedule a time for all your phone calls, then you can have other blocks of time for your emails, social networking platform activities, and for writing. By doing similar tasks one after another, you maintain a nice pace because you won’t have to waste time and effort in switching mental gears.
3. Keep a Realistic Schedule
It can be a bit disheartening when you plan to finish a certain task within a certain time frame, and you end up behind schedule as you’re not able to finish the task within the specified time frame. Maybe the failure isn’t due to a lack of effort on your time, but instead, it’s because you didn’t allocate enough time for the task in the first place.
To give you a more realistic idea of how much time you need for a task, at the end of a workweek you should list down every task you’ve managed to complete within that week. Then think back and count the hours and minutes it actually took you to finish each task. That should give you a better sense of how much time you should reserve for each task next week.
4. Don’t Multitask
There was a time not so long ago when multitasking was preached as the ultimate timesaver for work productivity. But empirical studies later proved beyond a doubt that multitasking actually resulted in lower productivity.
Workers aren’t able to focus adequately on their tasks, so the quality of the work got worse. It actually wasted time because workers were distracted too often to maintain their concentration. Workers who also persisted on doing several things at the same time suffered increased stress levels, which in turn led to worker burnout, more absences, and increases in disability claims. The stress felt by a large group of workers can also have a negative effect on company morale.
So just keep on doing one thing at a time. Finishing a single task can be very satisfying, and it can help motivate and ready you for the next task on your schedule.
5. Take a Break
Your brain and your body can’t keep on working without a break indefinitely. If you persist on working straight without a break, your mental and physical strength levels simply go down at an alarming rate so that you don’t end up doing good work.
Breaks are crucial during the workday, and you should take time to just rest for 5 to 10 minutes every hour or so. These breaks will help restore your focus and strength, and you’ll get more done in the end.
At the end of the day, just make a shortlist of 3 to 6 tasks you need to do for the next day. Figure out which one’s the toughest, and make that tomorrow’s first assignment.
Also, check out these 5 Ways To Stay Focus While Working At a Coworking Space