Are you a freelancer looking for ways to be productive? Freelancing can be a tough gig, but with the right routine, it doesn't have to feel like one.
Freelancing is a business -- it's not something you do on the side (although you can certainly start that way, and that's how most people try to project it as well).
When you are a freelancer, you are self-employed.
With no boss telling you what to do, no colleagues to prod you on, and nothing but yourself (and your motivation to do what you set out to achieve), you are all but on your own.
As such, staying productive (for years on end) is a big ask.
Check out these steps that will help put your freelance business on the right track.
Put up your work hours on the board. Follow it to the ends of the earth
First, decide your own work hours.
Take your personal habits into the equation. Are you a morning person? Shift the bulk of your work to the mornings. Are you a night owl? You know what to do.
More importantly, Be consistent with your work hours.
This is one of the hardest things for freelancers to do, but it's also one of the most important.
If you don't set boundaries on what time you are working and when not to be contacted then other people will dictate your schedule based on their needs or desires. A calendar is an important tool (just don't let other people -- like your clients -- and others) rule it. It's yours; you should be the master of your own time.
Allocate time for projects wisely
Decide how much time you will spend on each project. Freelancers can have as many or few projects going at a given moment as they want to take on at any one time (or are offered).
For example: If the goal is to make $1000 this week and there's enough work available then it's possible to work 12 hours a day. But that might not be sustainable or desirable for freelancers who want to have more of a social life outside of the work.
In this case, it's important to have boundaries on how much time is spent working so they can balance their workload with other aspects of life like health and friends.
Also, you should decide how much time each individual project should take (on a daily basis or hourly basis, until delivery). For instance, this is how it might look like:
Project 1 (monthly retainer): X hours per day (and exactly that, no more, no less)
Project 2 (fixed price, delivery in 3 days): As fast as you can. Work on it. Ship it away.