Gheorghita Sorin

Web Developer and Designer

How to stay productive as a freelancer

In the first year of my freelancer career everything was working just fine and I was able to manage all the activities and tasks I had to complete during a work day.
Some friends and colleagues that were freelancers at that time were asking me how or what am I doing to stay productive, because they were struggling with this.
I didn’t have any response than, but now I am realising that I was productive because I was so happy I can work from home and I was able to make my own schedule and plan for the day.
After more than two years of being a freelancer I find myself staying in front of the computer for hours and hours, being paid for half of that time because I am procrastinating.

Why am I procrastinating as a freelancer?
For me this was a long process…it was a two year process to get half of my time wasted 😐
It happened gradually so I didn’t realise that the time I was spending on youtube or searching random stuff on the internet was increasing day by day. I sometimes just accepted my fate and refused to take any action to prevent this happening.

The reason #1 for procrastination
The reason number 1 for procrastination for me was not keeping track of the time spend for myself (youtube, reading news, scrolling on instagram).

The reason #2 for procrastination
The reason number 2 were the tasks I had to complete; Some of the tasks I am dealing with are complicated, some of them are not clear enough and I refuse for a while to start working on them because my brain doesn’t want to put effort to understand what I have to do…so I am watching another youtube video meantime.

The reason # 3 for procrastination
I am procrastinating when I am overwhelmed and I feel I can’t complete all the tasks I have. I tried finding other people to help me but this whole process turned into a messy job, a lots of complains from my clients and finally I just had to do more work by myself to repair the mistakes of the people I hired.

The reason #4 for procrastination
I am procrastinating because I am not making a list daily to track all the tasks I have to do. I am just checking my emails from the clients, I am talking with my clients on Skype and I am doing the tasks as they come…this often gets me into trouble because I sometimes get so much work to on the same day and I freak out because I end up working till late in the night and I am getting less and less sleep.

What’s the solution?
I am right now in the process of finding the best way to stay productive, so I will share here what works for me here.

1. Keep track of your time.
There are lots of apps and programs that can track your activity on a computer, even the urls you are accessing.
I know it’s impossible to make the day longer but at the end of the day you will be able to see how your time was spent.(Just like money)

2.Get clear requirements
Ask the persons you are working for to write clear and precise tasks for you. In case you write your own tasks, make sure you are clear enough so you will be able to understand what you have to do next day.

3.Make to do lists
Finding the right app, program or just using a piece of paper and a pen where to put every task you have to complete the next day is magic. I know about this, I read about it but I somehow forgot how important this is and I underestimated it till now.

So a few days ago I started using all these 3 solutions I found and I’m being already 80% more productive than before. I will create another article about how this worked for me and maybe new tips and tricks I found on my process of being productive as a freelancer and not wasting my time.

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