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Productivity for freelancers

How Can Six Sigma Apply to Increasing Productivity?

Scott BedgoodScott Bedgood
Scott Bedgood
Scott Bedgood

Freelancing, or the gig economy as it’s so often called, may sound luxurious to many. Working from home, on your own schedule, at your own set rates… very independent, right?

But it’s no walk in the park. We operate in an exceedingly competitive marketplace, relying on personal drive, dedication, and discipline to succeed. Not to mention, maintaining productivity during a global pandemic is by no means an easy feat.

Transforming with Six Sigma

Thankfully, there are tools we can implement to improve our personal productivity when we’re feeling sluggish or unmotivated. Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma offer key techniques to transform your personal business and boost productivity levels.

Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma provide tools to help businesses increase productivity levels and offer more value to clientele. While Six Sigma focuses on statistical analysis that helps to reduce variation plus defects, Lean Six Sigma blends principles from Lean management with those of Six Sigma. When partnered together, Lean Six Sigma focuses on creating better customer relationships with better customer satisfaction by eliminating wasteful practices plus improving productivity.

Within its basic principles, there are six ways in which Lean Six Sigma can increase productivity:

  • Reduce errors
  • Eliminate unnecessary work steps
  • Minimize distractions
  • Create more efficient processes
  • Emphasize continuous improvements
  • Successfully manage yourself

Six Sigma ranks among the foremost methodologies for making business processes more effective and efficient. Let’s take a closer look at the improved productivity freelancers can gain when employing six sigma methodology into their workflow.

Reduce Errors

As freelancers, we know our time is money. There’s no set paycheck guaranteed, and every dollar made is a dollar earned. Reducing errors in your workflow not only reduces time spent and improves productivity, it greatly benefits your bottom line. Six Sigma relies on three principles, metrics, methodology, and philosophy, to reduce output errors and enhance your freelance operational practices.

Eliminate Unnecessary Work Steps

At its core, Six Sigma methodology centers around eliminating waste. By streamlining your workflow with minimal steps, you’ll reduce turnaround time on projects and equip yourself to take on more clients and projects. Review your process step by step, merge your mailboxes, and use shortcuts to consolidate and unify your work practices from drafting proposals to final invoicing, and every step in-between.

Minimize Distractions

Working from home leaves freelancers struggling with a wide array of distractions from Netflix to laundry. Identify and minimize potential distractions to stay focused and increase productivity. Set aside a special workspace or home office that’s free of diversions, allowing you to focus your attention to the tasks at hand.

Create More Efficient Processes

Stability simply doesn’t exist for freelancers. Getting distracted, prioritizing projects, and managing your own business are all occupational hazards. Creating an improved workflow through Lean Six Sigma can help streamline your operations, large or small, helping you take on more projects.

Focus on Continuous Improvements

Improving your professional value goes a long way to gain and retain clientele. Implementing Lean Six Sigma tools assist freelancers in identifying opportunities for improvement within their workflow. Quite often, when it comes to freelancing work, when it rains it pours! With little to no control over deadlines, project scopes, and influx of work, focusing on continuous improvements within your personal business can help manage heavy workloads during busy times and engage new prospects during the slow times.

Successfully Manage Yourself

In a traditional workplace, you perform one role. As a freelancer, you perform every role! You’re tasked with marketing your services, completing projects, engaging with your customers, managing the finances, and more. Creating efficient processes through Six Sigma methodology, you can successfully manage and grow your business.

Scott Bedgood
Scott Bedgood is a journalist and author based in Dallas, TX. He's written for Success Magazine, Texas Monthly, Cowboys & Indians Magazine, Texas Highways, bodybuilding.com, and more. In his career, he's interviewed Grammy winners, Emmy winners, Hall of Famers, and professional jogglers (that's juggling + marathon running). He's the author of Lessons from Legends: 12 Hall of Fame Coaches on Leadership, Life, and Leaving a Legacy which features interviews with legendary college football coaches like Steve Spurrier, Barry Switzer, Tom Osborne, Barry Alvarez, and more. In addition to writing, he is a podcaster and video editor. A short film documentary he made about his indoor soccer team premiered at the Texas Theatre, the same theater where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested. He and his wife Sami met at the University of Oklahoma and now live in Texas with their one-year-old son and two rescue dogs

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