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Staying Productive: 7 Tips for Freelancers

So, you’re finally freelancing, but are you staying busy?  At times, one of the biggest challenges of freelancing is not landing the hottest jobs or drawing in the best clients. It’s staying focused and active enough to see a project all the way through to completion.

The freelancing lifestyle is rich with distractions.  A freelancer has the complete freedom of choice, so she could simply plop down in front of the idiot box and tune out to a favorite show.  She could take her friend up on that offer of an afternoon tanning session at the beach.   At any given moment, freelancers could choose to do anything but be productive, but that’s not always wise.

The good news is there are a few tricks of the trade dedicated to keeping a freelancer focused and on the task.  In this post, we’ll discover several of them.

1. Manage the Day

Let’s face it; the design character of many designers is simply not amenable to a set routine day in and day out.  That’s why most freelancers become freelancers, but the importance of managing day-to-day tasks and activities still applies.  It saves more time and effort to sit down and decipher 1) what needs to be done and 2) when it will be done then it does to wander through the day with little or no direction.  Try these task managers for help:

Remember the Milk


2. Order Your Day

Now that you’ve created a good task list, it’s important to put it all in order by prioritizing the list according to set criteria.  This criterion can be anything from most to least difficult to most to least urgent, but making sure that good criteria is definitely in place beforehand.  When used each day to prioritize your task, doing so can bring much needed order to the chaos of a hectic schedule.

3. Know Your Day

What is the best time of the day for you?  Are you a morning or an evening person?  Do you work better at night?  These types of questions will get you thinking about the type of day that is ideal for premium productivity.  From there, you should be able to work out a strategy for accomplishing daily goals and tasks that suit your particular work style.

4. Know Your Weaknesses

Equally important is an honest perspective about the activities in your world that tend to serve as self-imposed roadblocks, setbacks and sidetracks.  These distractions may at first be hidden under a thick layer of denial, but uncovering and exposing each can certainly mean better productivity.  After all, the more thought given to planning how to finishing a project, the more time that can be spent planning and enjoying the fruits of your labor.

5. Set a Fixed End-Time

This very wise, “carrot at the end of the stick” philosophy is highly effective.  Human beings act on motivation, and without it, we tend to be a bit lazy or put forth far less than our potential.  A fixed time limit for a project works as a subtle prompter urging us forward and motivating us to push a project all the way to on-time completion.  Try these great time trackers for assistance:


Manic Time


When there is the order to a day’s events, it’s amazing how much can get accomplished.  Try these few tips on for starters and begin the journey to more efficient freelancing.


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