Being productive is getting more things done in less time. As a freelance writer, the more projects you complete, the more money you can make. You want high productivity for success, but it’s tricky for those working from home with children, the chores and what not. Do you have trouble squeezing in more work in less time? You need to know these tips right now!
Productivity: How to get more things done in less time.
A friend (let’s call him Mr.FartsALot) who is new to freelance writing wanted to know how I was doing work wise. I told him I can do a 1000-word article in 1 hour. Mr.FartsALot said it may take him up to 4 hours. He figured that’s the reason I make more than $1000 a month while he wasn’t making any money. Mr. FartsALot wants to make more money and get more clients but it appears he doesn’t have enough time.
Does this happen to you?
Mr. FartsALot needed to know was how to be more productive.
Why Productivity is a daily struggle when “Working from Home”
The flexibility of choosing your own working hours is one of the best reasons to work from home. You save money on travel, office wardrobe and even trips to the salon because who cares how you look when you work from home.
A freelance writer working from home has the flexibility to choose your own projects and clients but you may be tempted to slack off; Netflix more than you need to, or get busy with the chores, the kids, and oh! the endless distractions of working from home. These simple tips can help to stay productive even when working from home.
1. Set a Routine
There is a reason children thrive on routines. Having a routine gives you a sense of security. You know what to expect next and know of the tasks to be done, at the scheduled time. The system gives you a sense of time and therefore, more control over your life.
I work when my children nap during the day and after they go to bed, at night. I likewise set time depending on the project type. For example, I write my articles in the peace and quiet of the night. During the day, my focus is on social media, email, client management and other non-writing freelance activities.
You may already have a routine –you may just not know it!
Some people are comfortable working in the daytime, some stop functioning after 5 pm, others thrive after midnight. You need to find your core productive time and schedule your work during those peak hours. One of the best ways to know how your day goes is by tracking it. If this seems a little tiresome, so use free tools like Toggl. It automatically tracks and analyzes your time efficiently.
2. Work in Work Clothes
Yep! You need to get out of those jammies and into work clothes. It doesn’t have to be a suit and a tie; getting into jeans and a decent dress shirt will trick your mind to be serious. If you continue your day in the same clothes as you were sleeping in at night then, chances are, you will slack. Get serious. Go change into a reasonable outfit and get cracking on those to-dos.
3: Switch off and Swtich on
This is an age-old management technique. When you sit to work, switch off your personal life (in your head). That means you need to tell your brain you are at work and practice thinking only of the task at hand. So while you work, do not think of your grocery lists, the dinner plans tonight or carry on conversations with your imaginary friend. Don’t get lost on social media. Schedule social media for breaks and just scan the articles while you research. This is what Mr.FartsALot needed to do to stay productive when working from home.
Multitasking is a myth; you can only do one thing at a time.
Make sure you turn off email notifications, put your phone on vibrate and kill unnecessary pages on your computer so it’s just you and the task. While at work, work; when at play, by all means, play! Don’t make a sangria out of both.
4: Write, don’t Edit
After you’ve done your research, your mind is pulsating with ideas. You need to vomit those thoughts right away or you may lose them! So just type, type, type. Do not pause, go back, spell check, right-click change spellings. NO. Stop Making Yourself Crazy with Self-Editing. When you edit every sentence before moving forward, it disturbs your trail of thought. So first, get it out of your system and onto paper/Google Doc/Word, whatever rocks your boat. After you’ve you got your first thoughts out on paper, edit your draft after a few hours or the next even. Then proofread and edit some more.
5: Dedicate a Workspace at home
This is one of the most crucial aspects of staying productive while working from home. When you have your own workspace, it gives you that sense of seriousness to work. The couch in your home relaxes you and beds are for sleeping. So bringing your work there will only make you sleepy, lazy or both. Your workspace doesn’t have to be a separate room. Small spaces can make brilliant workspaces. My dining table doubles as my workspace. If you can afford it, then dedicate a room as a workspace.
Important Action Points to Improve Productivity at Home
- Clear the clutter from your desk – Clutter will only hamper your productivity, so keep your desk as squeaky clean as possible.
- Face the wall – For a workspace at home facing the wall helps you stay focused, with no distractions from a window or an open door.
- Sip on the water – Take regular sips, not gulps, from a handy water bottle. If you only do one thing this week … drink more water.The oxygen and minerals in the water keep your brain active. You will remain alert the whole time you are at work!