Freelancers working from home - avoid distractions
As a freelancer, you may be working from home, therefore, there are endless opportunities to be distracted. Here are some tips to help you keep your focus and avoid distractions and procrastination.
Gain an understanding of which tasks you are better at performing at certain times of the day and try to establish a routine based on that. You might be the most creative at 1 am or be better at proofreading your own work first thing in the morning.
Break down big jobs into smaller, more manageable tasks to be completed by certain times and celebrate with a cup of coffee and a biscuit when you achieve those mini-deadlines. Book yourself an afternoon off for when you've completed and invoiced this project.
Know your distractions
Switch off your email when you have a deadline to meet. Switch your mobile to silent; knowing an unread text message beeped in 10 minutes ago will prove too much to bear. Similarly, close down all web browser windows if you find yourself wondering if surfing eBay might prove more entertaining than the job at hand.
One thing at a time
Open up only the application you need to complete the task at hand. This can help you avoid multi-tasking which has been proven not to be very productive.
Think of the money.
The sooner you complete this task the sooner you can invoice and get on to the next job. Every hour where distraction wins is money lost.
Set your alarm an hour earlier
If you're up against it, springing out of bed on a mission could break the back of the most of seemingly impossible deadlines.
Start in the middle
If getting going is proving hard work. So do the easy bits where you have an immediate answer to the brief and work towards the harder elements of the job as you go on. This is a better way of 'warming up' rather than endlessly sharpening pencils, getting your desk ready or shuffling paper in anticipation of starting.
Schedules and lists
Organise yourself by thinking through what information you need to complete the project before you start and feel the achievement each time you tick a stage off your schedule or 'to do' list. Commit yourself to the schedule by sending it to the client so they know when they will be seeing stages of your work.
Clear your head
If you're really struggling, put down the tools of your trade and go for a brisk walk around the block. Get some fresh air, it might help you reconnect and get energised to get working again.
More on working from home as a freelancer.