Make More Money As a Freelancer
As a freelancer, your ability to master both your time and attention is the key to making more money and truly enjoying your off-hours. Mastering time is one thing. Mastering your attention is another and requires laser focus. Here are some simple yet highly effective strategies to help you protect your time and become more focused during the time available. Use them together to create a powerful combination and turbocharge your freelance business. Using the tips below you can make more money as a freelancer.
Protect Your Time
Protecting your time starts with planning your workload effectively. How many projects do you have right now and what are the deadlines for each? Take out a piece of paper and plot it all out. Keep it in front of you for handy reference and update it as needed.
Next, set a schedule and keep it. I know, the whole freelance dream is supposed to be about being able to work when and where you want, right?
Even though you may have left the cubicle behind, creating structure in your freelance lifestyle is actually a good thing. It will allow you to get more stuff done and then go have some fun.
Block Out Work Sessions
Using a calendar, schedule separate work sessions in several 90-minute to two-hour blocks throughout the day. Why? For me, trying to fit in anything longer just isn’t realistic. I either lose focus or get distracted by events of the day. I also believe that it’s impossible to do anything truly creative in less than 30 minutes. You really need the ramp-up time to get into the zone.
Make your work sessions sacred, uninterrupted time. Block out three or four of them each day. One or two in the morning and two in the afternoon. Do not read email or answer calls during these time blocks. Do not allow interruptions from friends or family, and for the love of the Internet stay off it unless you need to conduct research.
Plan To Take Breaks
You should also build in meals and breaks around each session. It’s incredibly important to give your mind and body a rest after sitting in front of a computer for any extended period of time.
After each work session stand up, stretch, and step away from that machine. Get a cup of coffee, some other beverage or a snack. Even better, take a brisk 10-minute walk outside. This “fitness snack” will re-energize you and help you focus better during your next work session.
Now that you have protected your time, you need to make the most of it. Here’s how to get super-focused and get into the flow:
- Turn off all email notifications, including the little window bug and the ding
- Turn off the clicks on your keyboard if you’re using a tablet (you’ll save battery life too)
- Turn off your phone or use the do not disturb feature on your iOS device
- Shut your door/go some place quiet and/or plug in your headphones
- Take a deep breath and visualize completing the task at hand before you start
- Set a timer for the duration of your work session and get busy
Finally, do only one thing at a time with one app at a time. Multitasking is a joke. Just like a computer’s CPU gets gobbled up with lots of open applications, it can take up to 40% of your brain’s capacity to manage all of that switching around.
Over To You
These are the best hacks I know of to keep you as productive and profitable as possible. What are your tips and tricks to stay more focused and make more money as a freelancer? Please share your thoughts in the comments.