In many articles and comments, I see a global problem for all novice freelancers: self-discipline. This is sometimes the stumbling block that forces a man to return to the office because there “everything is clear and regulated”.
Tell us about your experience and about how I developed a discipline – it really is easy.
In the first couple of years of freelancing, I have worked badly. For three days, not touched, and then a volley had completed the project. Sometimes it helped: was the accumulated inspiration and the installation went quickly (I was doing logotype and other graphics). Sometimes prevented, if there were a hard deadline and a large amount of work. But when the volume increased, I realized that more so will not work: if I’m going to spend the day on your business, just don’t have time to do everything you need.
I decided that I would work in blocks of time. This means that you get up, eat breakfast, sit down at work and about 3-4 hours doing only to her. Next – variable. Sometimes I had lunch and continued to work for another 2-3 hours. Sometimes went about his business and worked night or a little longer worked the next day.
Much depends on the essence of your work, but if you are a freelancer and not just outworking, there’s a life hack: carry communications on the phone. It helped me when there were things outside the house in the middle of the day. What I can do just at the computer, I do in the morning (or when you plan to stay at home). The rest of the phone on the road and in-between cases. So I worked in Toronto and Milan: laptop with bad luck, because all the work prepared in advance (edited and driven to drafts of blog articles), but only published and kept up a correspondence with partners in the email client.
You can chat with customers and to leave the feedback from your phone, as long as all links and portfolio at hand (get Google Drive or Dropbox for screenshots/pictures of your work + save notes links to profiles and portfolios). Do not forget to install all needed applications, for communication, checking mail, working with files and planning.
The main rule: they have to work sit and work. But not till dawn, and till the evening. In the last few years, I work nights only in extreme cases or when I want to. The rest of the night after 19-20 hours is my time and I have nobody has the right to take away.
Freelancing gives you freedom, but this freedom you pay the need to independently control. The sooner you realize that freelancing is the same job that you need to take seriously and responsibly, the easier it will be for you to get used to it and learn to balance between the need to work and the desire to go about your business or relax.
Use helpful techniques
Tomato Timer or other services with “Tomato” – they help to focus on a certain period of time and take breaks on time.
Try time trackers like Toggl or Timely to track the processes that take you the most time. If you use Trello, add the Plus for Trello extension for time tracking to it.
And for full concentration, there are various blockers of applications and sites: you add them to the list, set the blocking time and cannot log into them until you complete the work. RescueTime combines the functions of a blocker and a time tracker, and if you have already chosen another application, then just install the Stayfocusd extension.
- Divide the working day into blocks of 3 hours. Between them – a break and personal files.
- Communications can be transferred to the phone to do part of the work on the road. To do this, install all the necessary applications in advance and configure access to them. Do not forget about links to your website and portfolio (links are conveniently stored in Saved Messages).
- Make a habit: you need to work – sit down and work. Take freelance as seriously as you would any other job.
- Use helpful tools to increase concentration and productivity.