In an uncertain economy and unpredictable market, more and more people all over the world are questioning the real value of the traditional career path. While the baby boomer generation may have enjoyed the ability to join a company at entry level and work their way up to power, wealth and prominence, many subsequent generations work hard for long hours only to find that the ladder of social mobility has been kicked out from under them. In an era of wage repression where corporate employers deliberately allow their employees’ wages to stagnate to further their profits, it makes sense that freelancing might seem like the only sane solution to the fundamental inequities of the conventional career path.
But freelancing isn’t a free pass to a land of milk and honey. You’ll be 100% accountable for your own productivity, your own output and ultimately how much you can earn. As such, here are some productivity hacks that will keep you profitable, productive and (perhaps more importantly) happy and sane as you navigate the path of the freelancer…
Ration your smartphone use throughout the day
When you’re a freelancer, you’re a small business like any other. And the humble smartphone can either be a useful tool that helps you streamline your business, or it can be your undoing. Ideally, you should keep it in your desk drawer in a separate room and consult it only when you’re not working. Otherwise it can go from being a tool to a productivity-sapping distraction.
Keep healthy snacks and water at your desk
Your body is a machine. And like any machine it can’t run without energy. Yet so many freelancers go through entire working days powered by nothing but coffee. News flash, folks… coffee is not a meal!
Keep your blood sugar stable and your body hydrated to ensure better focus and concentration throughout the day. Ensure that you always have a bottle of water at your desk and some healthy snacks like nuts, chopped veggies and fruits or even dark chocolate.
Give yourself a break… actually, give yourself 2 or 3
As tempting as it may be to fight through fatigue and frustration to get your project out early, an exhausted mind is literally never a productive mind. It’s just not physically possible to maintain peak productivity without breaks. And if you’re not taking breaks, you’re more likely to drift into your social feeds when you should be working.
So take a few short breaks throughout the day. Use them to scan through social media, use that online casino bonus you’ve been saving, play some Fortnite, read a book or do anything that’s not 100% work related. You’ll return to your desk much happier and more productive.
Establish set working hours and keep to them
Finally, it’s all too easy to put in hour after hour of overtime day after day. But an indeterminate working day is a productivity no-no. It’s much harder to get work done by the deadline if there’s no deadline in place. This is why all freelancers need to establish set working hours and stick to them.
Not just for the good of their productivity… but for their health and happiness!