The thing about freelancing is that although it’s quite convenient, it also requires self-discipline. The most successful freelancers are the ones who stick to a schedule to maintain a certain level of productivity. Freelancers who find themselves daydreaming during their workday can regain their focus in several different ways.
A freelancer’s workspace is really where structure starts. After all, a freelancer who’s working on a laptop while sitting on a nice, comfy couch in front of a television probably won’t be as productive as a freelancer who’s sitting at a desk in front of a PC.
Converting a room into a home office, or even just setting aside a place in the home that’s purely dedicated to working, can make quite a difference when it comes to maintaining focus. A desk with enough room for a keyboard, mouse, laptop/PC, and a printer/scanner combination will suffice, along with a moderately ergonomic chair.
Noise or Not?
Interestingly enough, there are some freelancers who need to be able to listen to music or have background noise while working – for them, quietness is actually a distraction. These are the freelancers who might seek out cafes, or at least have their earphones plugged in wherever they might be. For these sorts of freelancers, it’s best to stick with music that they’re familiar with and have worked well to. Downloading the latest album from a favorite artist and listening to it for the first time while working on a project will most likely not result in a very productive day.
Conversely, there are freelancers who need quiet in order to focus on their work. It’s possible they might prefer working in their home office (door shut), or perhaps in libraries. Even the slightest noise might be enough to cause distraction to these freelancers – in which case, nighttime hours might be a more productive option.
On and off the Clock
The presence of an actual clock, be it digital or analog, can do wonders for keeping focused. For example, if there’s a lot of work to be done, and a freelancer only has so much time in one day to complete it, staying on-task and checking a clock every so often provides just the sort of discipline needed for productivity. Building in breaks for so many minutes after 1-2 dedicated hours of work can also help prevent burnout.
Freelancers should consider what it is that made them want to freelance in the first place. Was it to have more time with loved ones? Was it to earn some extra money in addition to a salaried job? There are many different motivations for choosing this profession, whether in part or full-time capacities, and whatever those may be, it’s important to stick to them.
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