coffee helps productivity

Productivity Hacks for Freelancers and Creatives

Love a productivity hack? I know I do. I love hack list of all types, even though I may not use them all. I just stash them away in Evernote for later. A few simple tips to boost productivity and banish procrastination, coffee optional.

There are two ‘Ps’ of work, whether that is freelancing or full-time office job. They are: Productivity and its unruly sibling Procrastination. One can be the death of the other, especially if you get paid for when you actually work, which is the deal as a freelancer.

At the moment, I’m focussed on freelancing and how to make it work, but I think these apply equally to those on the payroll. So don’t jump off here if you’re not working alone in a Wi-Fi cafe, this is equally for you 9-5s too. Let’s unpack our two Ps – Productivity and Procrastination. First, to the trouble maker.

Procrastination

We all know what it looks like. Hours researching some inane factoid about Seinfeld in the online rabbit hole of the web. When did Elaine’s hair change from the updo at the front to the flatter style? Did Carrie Bradshaw ever wear skinny jeans? (Answer: no, it was the 90s and drain pipe jeans weren’t back then.) Just get some self-discipline but if you can’t do it yourself, here’s some help.

Ideas to avoid procrastination:

  • Use a distraction-free writing app.
  • Don’t go looking for mess and reason to clean your house.
  • Use timers to reward yourself with 10 mins of web ‘waste time’ for every 1 – 3 hours of focussed work.
  • Have children. You’ll never procrastinate again. Ever. Your work time will be precious.
  • Get a dog. Nothing like those sad pleading walkey eyes to get you to finish your work.

Productivity

You don’t need to turn yourself into one of those self-help-book-reading wonks who only sleep four hours a night to get stuff done, although this lot will always accomplish more than most of us. We all know that if we added up all the hours spent on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube we’d be appalled. No sense beating yourself up about lost time.

Tips to get started on being more productive

  • Find a good work music playlist on a music streaming service.
  • Get some good noice cancelling headphones if you’re in an open plan office.
  • Explore the If This, Then That site to automate tasks.
  • Don’t have children. And also do have children (see above).
  • Try Evernote and clip websites so you don’t have to save the site.
  • Save articles into a reader for later.

Just be realistic about what you want to do and the kind of life you want to have and you can get a good idea of what you can achieve. Find your acceptable level of productivity. Heard of the cult of ‘busy’? Yes we’re all busy, but don’t what and to what end?

So you want to be more productive? Try these brainstorming tips to get the gray matter working for you.

Interested in finding out about freelance writing? There are ways to put these productivity and brainstorming tips to good use.

If you’ve been very productive and created lots of content ideas, it might be time to develop them into an organised editorial calendar for your publishing schedule.

Rosalyn Page

Freelance journalist and editor. Rosalyn is an award-winning journalist, writer and editor with a niche in digital lifestyle, tech and travel who has worked in the media for nearly 20 years across newspapers, magazine and online.

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