The perks that come with freelance writing only go so far as the amount of time, energy, and effort you put into it.
In working from home, tons of distractions and poor practices work against all of these. To avoid that, here’s how you can maximize your productivity.
1. Designate a specific area for working.
In that way, you avoid the laziness that comes with writing on a couch, bed, or even in front of the tv on your living room floor. Instead, you’ll be a budding, productive butterfly that writes. I’m all about the pajama life though!
2. Plan ahead and use the Pomodoro technique.
As much as I love freelance writing, I get excited just knowing that I have a break coming up. Unless I get into zombie writing mode which is like mindless fun.
Pomodoro timers force you to work for 25 minutes (or however long you choose) before stopping for a quick five-minute break.
I sometimes hate to admit it, but breaks are essential to productivity.
In addition, practice scheduling your workload. Go from weekly goals then start planning ahead every day — either the night before or the morning of — with what you want to get done in the next 24 hours.
If you don’t plan to be productive, it’s unlikely you’ll just come around to it… unless you’re a boss like that.
3. Eliminate all distractions.
Yes, this has to be said because it goes towards the effort you put in as a freelancer (and a human being in general).
For me, I can’t work with music (sad, I know), so I’m required to have quiet whenever I sit down to write. If that means plugging in a headset based on your environment, then that’s what you have to do.
Other distractions might be solved by getting rid of the kids — I joke, I joke. But I’d also solve this with some type of noise-cancellation, depending on age of course.
And then, there’s the dreaded social media. Who hasn’t fallen under the spell of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube? In my case, that’s usually all in the same day.
Unless your job is based around social media, make it a habit to avoid any of these productivity-sucking platforms. Still, the ‘gram is life.
An ideal way to do this would be to use tools like Cold Turkey Writer (which I’m using right now) that prevents you from accessing anything except your writing. You’re forced into productivity with it.
4. Optimize other productivity tools.
Some examples of great productivity tools are Trello, Evernote, and Mindmapping tools. I’ve created a how-to for freelancing with Trello, my personal favorite organization tool.
It’s tricky to develop a routine for productivity and stick to it. Writing comes easy for some of us… discipline, not so much.
Try to implement at least one of these at a time before putting all into play. When I’m not on my game, just a single trick makes a difference. You can feel on top of the world with just one productivity booster.
Let me know if you already practiced any of these methods in the comments and how they’ve worked out for you