5 Productivity Improvement Methods While Working As A Freelancer
The freelance economy is certainly gaining ground in the U.S. and across the globe. According to a recent workforce study on “Freelancing in America: 2016,” the freelance sector now represents 35 percent of the U.S. workforce. The independent study also shows that there is indeed a market for this type of work, and over the years, more professionals will be embracing this option.
While freelancing could provide freedom and flexibility, an unstructured set-up could pose a challenge for those who are used to the strict demands of full-time office work. For those who have taken this option, an increase in productivity is necessary to maintain personal productivity goals and financial targets. Freelancing productivity can be improved through several ways followings:
Work in Collaborative Spaces
While freelancers typically work at home, in a cafe or coffee shop, a shared office space can provide a much-needed focus. There are now thousands of coworking spaces in the U.S. each providing an office-like environment for the freelancer but with the flexibility and freedom to utilise the space. A typical coworking space has all the freelancing essentials such as desks or workstations, conference rooms for meetings, and wi-fi access.
There are several benefits of collaborative working with other freelancers in a shared office space. Aside from providing a flexible work like environment, it enables sharing of industry information and spurs creativity. Working in a coworking space with other like-minded people could give you the push to avoid procrastination and achieve your specific freelancing goals within a specific timeframe.
One of the facilitative factors to the growth of the freelance industry is online access. In the digital age, having an online presence is a freelancing essential. Aside from a website providing a professional portfolio, the various social media platforms can also be used by the individual to market professional services, provide updates, and establish a network of clients.
When used correctly, social media platforms could be a cost-effective way of increasing productivity. While these apps could potentially become a distraction and a time waster, they could also be used to boost productivity. These platforms could help increase and facilitate communication between a freelancer and a client by generating quick feedback and responses to inquiries. Plus, positive reviews of services provided by the freelancer can be posted immediately, providing a cheap but effective marketing and promotion tool.
Invest in Personal Development
With millions of competitors out there, freelancers should also invest in personal development to ensure an increase in productivity and to keep ahead of the pack. Depending on the freelancer’s line of work, training and other professional development opportunities can be done online through webinars, web conferences, and web forums.
Signing up with a network or group of professionals could also open opportunities to attend forums and conference in various locations as well as access to resources. As a freelancer, this could also help with creating partnerships with other freelancers and potential customers and could help boost confidence in marketing one’s services.
Use Productivity Tools
Time and focus are two things that are valuable in a typical freelancing work day. Freelance productivity can be improved by utilising productivity tools. Just as the freelance sector grew in numbers, so did the range of available productivity tools in the market today. These tools address every aspect of the freelancer’s line of work, from financial and budgeting to time management. Many of the tools can be accessed and linked with multiple digital devices such as smartphones and computers.
There are also online writing tools that help the individual catch and correct errors and misspellings before finalising the document. There are also document management platforms as well as freelance project management tools that allow teams to share and collaborate online. For enhanced marketing productivity, freelancers have a choice among the variety of apps that facilitates optimal use of social media apps such as Facebook and Twitter. Some of these tools enable quick access and postings across multiple platforms to cut time.
Set a Clear Work Schedule
While freelancing gives individuals the freedom to work whenever they want, setting a standard for work is also important. Before going into freelancing, design a typical work day, block work hours and identify breaks. Conduct performance evaluations daily to see if target goals have been achieved. If not, take note of the results and make plans to improve the next day. Lists are a freelancer’s best friend. It makes it easier to prioritize and accomplish daily tasks.
While taking a break may seem like a waste of time for some freelancers, do not forget to take one or two day offs in a week just like in a normal work setting. The one or two day break could help recharge one’s energy. Productivity can be improved by having a consistent work and day off schedule, which helps the freelancer become more organised and focused in achieving daily goals.
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