Finding the right productive zone can be a difficult task on its own, specially for freelance writers working from home.
You finally get the right angle for your story, but before you could type it in, the dog starts barking at you because he wants to go out. There is nothing you can really do. You can either take him out and disturb your work flow, or have him bark at you continuously until he finally poops inside the house .
Here are some ways for freelance writers to increase productivity:
Find your own time
This is very important because with so many people in the house, it can be difficult to focus for long. While you might be working with the right mindset, others might forget that this is technically your ‘office’ time.
Check your calendar, set apart a time for your work and personal chores. It is important to divide these two to find the balance between work and life, otherwise you will always feel overworked.
While you do that, analyse at what time of the day you are the most productive and at what time, you just cannot seem to get the work done.
For instance, I noticed I am usually very productive early mornings, or late nights. Afternoons make me really sleepy. So, I decided not to work between 4-6pm. Now, instead of working, I take a small nap and walk my dog.
2. Set a timer
Have you ever had one of those days where you just cannot get the work done on time? You know you could do it in half an hour but instead it takes you 2 hours.
I used to track my time through , which was good for some time. But then I realized it was just helping me track time for each freelance writing project, but it wasn’t helping me stay productive.
So, I decided to set a back timer instead. I would put up a 30 minutes timer before starting to work and then I aimed to beat the timer and get my work done before my phone started to beep.
And, guess what? It worked. My work got faster and I wasn’t getting distracted.
3. Make an everyday to-do list
This really helped calm me down when I had a lot of work to be done in a day.
The problem was – Even when I was doing one work, I was thinking about the other deadlines and how I had to get started on them soon. As a result, I was not able to give my 100% which was annoying me constantly.
So, instead I now make a checklist of the work that I need to do everyday. Whether its writing, attending a meeting or just replying emails. Every thing goes on my checklist and I don’t stop until my work is done.
4. Reward yourself for all the work done
Okay, this might sound stupid and something you do with your dog, but trust me when I say this – it works on humans too.
When I really don’t feel like doing some work, I tell myself that if I finish it I get to watch the next Game of Thrones episode.
So, I pace and get the work done, and only when its done and delivered do I watch the Game of Thrones.
(By the way, it’s Game of Thrones day and I have promised myself to only watch it after finishing all my day’s work. No Spoilers!)
5. Switch off the internet
When you cannot get yourself out of Twitter or an extremely interesting gossip column online, its time to get away from the internet.
Its very easy to get distracted online, whether its because of a new mail, or a new trending hashtag. But work means work, and you shouldn’t be letting anything get you distracted.
In case you do need the internet for research, you could use social media blocking add-ons on Chrome/ Mozilla which block all the time consuming websites like Facebook and Twitter.
Being a freelance writer and working from home can be an incredibly tough job but if your priority is your work, you will always get through.
Do let me know how you stay productive all day!