How To 3X Your Productivity As A Freelancer | 7 Killer Tips

It can be daunting for freelancers to figure out what schedule or work pattern works for them when they end up working late nights and Sunday evenings.

As a freelancer, such a haphazard routine can quickly lead to burnout. In this article, we’re bringing you 7 killer tips to 3X your productivity as a freelancer. 

Ready? Let’s dive in!

Avoid Distractions & Manage Your Time

Distractions are serious roadblocks when it comes to keeping your focus. It can be in the form of time spent on social media, phone calls or mindlessly browsing on YouTube. 

To avoid such hindrances, it’s well-worth using a time tracking tool such as Timeular to measure the time you spend on various tasks. 

Here are some benefits

  • Time tracking isn’t only about logging hours and timesheets anymore. With the right tools, you can boost your efficiency, motivation, and achieve more favorable results.
  • It helps you highlight all significant obstacles that come in the way of your productive work. By seeing where most of your unbilled hours go, you can work out the best way to increase efficiency. 
  • By managing what you work on (and how long you work on each task for), you can focus on what matters the most. If you have a good set of projects to work on, time tracking helps you with prioritizing them. 

You can also use techniques like the Pomodoro method, Pareto analysis, and the 168 Hours method to improve your focus and 3X your productivity as a freelancer.

Invest In Paid Tools

As bootstrapping freelancers, you might be inclined towards trading time for money and doing things yourself instead of paying for a tool. 

However, increased productivity can more than compensate for the money spent on paid tools. Take examples of freelancing projects like social media management or digital sales that can be made more efficient through third-party automation tools.

It makes perfect sense to invest in tools that can help you upgrade your game and save precious working time.

Here are some of the best-paid tools for freelancers:

  • Coconut: The service is tailor-made for freelancers and self-employed people. It helps by managing your banking, accounting, tax, and invoicing requirements. 
  • Grammarly PremiumThis is a browser tool designed to improve your grammar, vocabulary and writing style. It’s a great tool if you want to cut time on proofreading, emails, and messages. Discounts on Grammarly Premium are also available.
  • CamScanner: GrThis is a great tool for scanning documents and images. It also allows you to create PDFs from your smartphone. 

Prioritize Tasks Efficiently

Freelancers have to juggle through several projects for different clients, where effective management is the key to a successful freelancing career. 

When work hangs over your head, it can become a significant distraction; that’s why you need to prioritize tasks per their submission deadlines. 

For instance, if you have snagged up a high-paying project which doesn’t have a deadline, you can work on smaller projects that you can knock out within a few days to increase your productivity. 

Create Fixed Time Slots For Certain Activities

Activities such as checking your email, direct messaging, and updating your social media can be scheduled at a fixed time every day. Doing such activities in one go will save you from frantically replying to emails or messages between your productive hours. 

Also, there are many mundane (but essential tasks) like accounting, invoicing, project tracking, proposal writing, etc. For freelancers, this can hinder your productivity when you’re also trying to meet a project deadline. 

The best way to obtain more interruption-free productive time is to manage such tasks towards the end of the week – typically Friday evenings. This way, you can clear out the ‘busy work’ when you’re at your least productive. 

You can also use look at automating some of these tasks so that you don’t have to put manual effort into them each time.

Standardize Collaboration

Talking to clients or partners over the phone or direct messages can be convenient, but can drag down productivity. 

An increasing number of businesses invest in digital workplaces to enable a seamless and collaborative workplace spanning physical and virtual realms.

For freelancers, a truly digital workplace brings together different applications, offering up a suite of collaborative tools. It can make your working day more flexible, allowing you to better-serve your customers and focus on the things that matter. 

On platforms like Twine, finding the right freelancer is as simple it can get. Just post your requirements, connect with suitable freelancers, discuss your project, and finalize the deal.

Set Realistic Project Expectations

While scoping projects, it can be challenging to estimate how much time and effort a particular project might need. 

You only get to learn with time. It can be tempting to bend to a client’s timeline and budget because you want regular work, but its best to be honest and communicate what you can achieve within the given timeframe.

Some clients expect you to do what they ask without considering the complexities of a project. It’s really important to make your terms clear to avoid either party being let down. 

Partner Up

Whether you’re a standalone freelancer or a team of professionals, it’s always a good idea to partner up with other freelancers who offer complementary services so that you can provide a more comprehensive package to your clients.

From a strategic perspective, this helps you get a hold of larger projects that are beyond the scope of your expertise. For instance, someone who specializes in guest blogging could partner with a freelancer who specializes in sales copywriting – this way, you offer more value to the client (who may be looking for a range of different services). 

This also works very well from a time management perspective since you could outsource the various components of a project to freelancers who are experts in their respective fields. This helps you avoid an extensive revision process, which can consume a lot of your time.

The Takeaway

Successful freelancing is all about organizing your time effectively. Begin by creating a clutter-free workspace and identify blocks of uncommitted time in your existing schedule.

By segregating your schedule into productive time slots, you will realize how you can work on different projects without missing a deadline.

Once you get into the habit of working in an organized manner, you will find enough time for other aspects of life too.

Anand Srinivasan

Anand Srinivasan is a marketing consultant and the founder of Hubbion, a free to use task management tool for startups, small and medium businesses.