So you started freelancing, finally quit your 9 to 5 job and made your dreams a reality. Remember that time when you were telling everyone “if I could work from home I would be able to work 10 hours a day!” How did that turn out? It took me about 3 months to start slacking and delaying my work for tomorrow that never came. I always ended up working on weekends because of this and I know a lot of you have the same problem. So what can we do about it? Here are my ten cents.
1. The Two Minute Rule
This one is very simple. If you have a task that takes less than 2 minutes to complete you should do it instantly. This can be a small data entry task or throwing your laundry into the washing machine. In your head, they can be long as a century but once you are done with them you will realize how little time awareness you actually have.
2. Act like you are going on vacation tomorrow
If you ever feel like not working today and leaving everything for tomorrow just imagine that you are going on vacation tomorrow. Not this obviously can’t work for everyone but it does the tricks for me. Creating a feeling of urgency can make you more productive and responsible.
3. Don’t waste time for no good reason
We probably all did this. I recently read a study that claims 89% of people waste time at work. This does make sense if you are working at an office for minimum wage. You feel like you deserve more and don’t want to give everything at work because of that. Working as a freelancer should eliminate all of that. You aren’t underpaid now. It is you who defined the hourly price. Wasting time as a freelancer makes no sense. By wasting time you are wasting money and shortening the time you could be spending with your friends after the work is done.
4. Leave your hobbies for later
I had the worst experience with this. I am guilty of checking Reddit boards every half an hour and this really affected my work. I could get stuck in one subreddit for hours talking about stuff that doesn’t really matter that much. It just felt much better than working. If you get used to mixing hobbies and pleasure with work you will have a really hard time in the long run. Put work first and hobbies second. You will be earning more for less time in front of the computer.
5. The Pomodoro technique
This one was created by Francesco Cirillo and it’s really simple to follow. It breaks down your hour into two Pomodoros that last for about 25 minutes. After that Pomodoro is done you take a 5-minute break to do whatever you want. This will help you focus more on work and spend that break time a lot better than usual. When you have only 5 minutes for doing something you really like you will want to make those 5 minutes count!
Try to combine all of the above. No one can change overnight but once you realize how much time you are loosing on stuff that doesn’t really matter, life and work will become a lot easier.