Today in this article I will discuss how I managed to organize my work as a freelancer. I hope this helps to organize your day as a freelancer.
A few years ago, I started working remotely and set off to travel. My everyday life pretty quickly and effortlessly turned into a stock image, which first pops upon request of a “freelancer”: white sand, azure sea, MacBook and a glass of fresh orange juice on the table. And while friends and acquaintances wrote to me, that how they envy and want me the same way, I was horrified to get used to a new rhythm of life, in which there is no concept of a “work schedule”.
When sitting in an office without a window from 10 to 9, and on the street it’s dark, focusing on work is not such a difficult task. There are no distractions, sit yourself and click on the work puzzles. And it’s a completely different matter – when the ocean is splashing at the feet, beautiful motorbikes with bearded surfers are driving outside the window, and the phone is teased with pop-up notifications of concerts nearby, dancing in the sand and messages from friends inviting you to go to a wild beach for a couple of nights.
Customize your work to your personal schedule and not vice versa
At first, I suffered because I was a hyper responsible worker. If the choice was between work and entertainment, I always gave priority to work, even if my workday was already over, even if it was not my area of responsibility, even if the deadlines were not so critical and the task could wait until tomorrow.
Then I realized that hyper responsibility is not just a bad trait, but rather meaningless. When assigning a task, the customer or employer, generally, does not expect that it will be completed within the next hour.
Selflessness and abandonment of personal plans in order to make the task faster, most often go unnoticed and unappreciated. And there comes a moment when it begins to seem to you that you are doing a lot, but they are not appreciated. Although, in fact, you may be doing something that no one even asked you to. This can lead to frustration and premature burnout.
The timing of any task in 90% can be adjusted to personal plans. When I learned to do this, a second wind opened: now I start working with inspiration and excitement, and the thought that I could now have fun instead of sitting at a laptop no longer fills my head.
Make a plan for the day and follow it
When there is no clear plan for the day, attention is treacherously spreading in all directions. And you, without noticing it, you can promise your colleagues to close a bunch of additional tasks or plan some calls that will eat up all the working time, or even go somewhere to sunbathe.
Every evening I make a plan for the next day: I enter all the tasks that I plan to do tomorrow. This helps to focus, assess the amount of work and plan personal affairs.
And I also like to tick off completed tasks: it is very inspiring and stimulates mental activity. The brain is ready for a lot to get the coveted checkmark opposite the plan item as a reward.
This method has one very important nuance: as soon as the schedule for the next day is drawn up, you “close” it. This means that no one, even the most urgent task, falls into this list anymore, and for all incoming tasks from colleagues we reply: “Well, I’ll do it tomorrow.” This approach helps not to get out of balance during an emergency amount of work and accustoms the customer to responsibility when setting tasks. Situations, when the task is truly urgent, are, in fact, isolated. Very often tasks arrive marked ASAP simply because the customer or account manager delayed setting it, hoping that you were always free and there was nothing left to do.
Do not work in the same place where you rest
If you have created an atmosphere of rest and relaxation in the room, it will not be easy to concentrate on working in it. The brain is used to the fact that you usually watch movies here, read, hug your beloved person or cook breakfast, so it will be difficult for him to switch to an active mode and start working. Yes, and why? Let the house remain a home, a place of rest and reboot. Choose a cozy coworking or a favourite cafe nearby for work. Over time, coming there regularly, you will notice how the brain immediately adjusts to the operating mode there.
Take the phone away
When you manage your time yourself, the temptation to be distracted by extraneous factors – such as social networks or just talking with friends in a cafe – increases. Take your phone away for a while or turn on aeroplane mode. And form for yourself some convenient system of alternating work and rest. This one came up to me:
I allow myself to look at notifications from social networks only after I have completed the task. I take a break of 10-15 minutes and proceed to the next. And so on to the end of the list.
Keep track of your daily routine
It happens that on the verge of a breakdown of deadlines, we start working at night in order to deliver the project on time. Gradually, we notice that we have switched to a night schedule: we fall asleep at dawn and wake up at three in the afternoon. Here, to each his own, but for myself, I noticed that a violation of the sleep regimen has a very negative effect on overall well-being. When I overslept half a day and woke up a couple of hours before sunset, there was no energy for anything. Develop a comfortable sleep and wake schedule and try to maintain it.
Share in comments how you learned to organize your day as a freelancer.
You can also read: