2019 Freelancer Goals: Double The Productivity...And The Money
When freelancing, increased productivity means increased income. It’s as simple as that. As the gig economy is continuing to grow in 2019, one of the most common freelancer goals in the New Year seems to be focused on productivity. Simply put, if you finish a project in half the time, then you basically doubled your rate. In addition, you also gained extra time for yourself, your family or your passions.
Maximize more than your time
“Time is money” is not a stranger for any freelancer or independent contractor. The more you work, the more money you make, but the same goes for the better you work. With more and more people giving freelancing a shot in 2019, we believe that productivity will no longer equal just time in the New Year. In fact, we came up with our own formula:
P stands for Productivity of course, which is directly proportional with the effort and the talent you put into a project. Productivity of course is inversely proportional with stress, which also causes distraction. The bottom line is that increasing productivity is not just about maximizing time, it’s also about maximizing energy and talent.
The Pomodoro technique – myth or fact?
The Pomodoro technique leverages single-mindedness to get psychologically get you in the best state of mind for completing your work. The technique is simple:
- Pick a task – before you start working and set your times, be sure to make a list with everything you want to accomplish for the day. Then select a task to start with.
- Set your timer – there are many apps to help freelancers with this technique, but even your phone timer will work. Set it to 25 minutes and get to work. Choose a quiet space, with no distractions.
- Stop! – the 25 minute block of work time is what is called a Pomodoro. It’s very important that you stop when the time is up and take a short 5-minute break.
- Record your progress – it’s also important to understand what was achieved during those 25 minutes and if anything can be improved for the future.
- Back to work – repeat the Pomodoro 4 times and record progress for each. Hopefully, you’ll be able to see small improvements.
- Longer break – after the 4th Pomodoro, take a 15 to 30-minute break. Eat a little, move around, try doing only mindless chores. Then you can carry on in the same way until your day is done.
Many have argued that the technique wouldn’t work for them as the constant breaks would throw them off course right in the middle of their focus. While it’s true that getting used to this type of work might take a little time, the technique is scientifically proven to work. Brains are not efficient for long periods of time, so concentrating for shorter time frames works. Brain cells are also used to patterns, so working for fixed time intervals results in more efficient work.
Grouping for increased productivity
Freelancer goals are as varied as their passions, work styles, and habits. But one thing they have in common is the desire to do more. Independent contractors and freelancers tend to work on several projects at a time for different clients. A good project management tool will help you keep everything organized. But what will help increase productivity is if you grouped your tasks or projects based on similarity.
Let’s say, for instance, that part of your projects includes research, which is a step you take for all your clients, regardless of end deliverables. Ideally, you should do all the research one time, for all clients, for all projects and then move on to a different task.
Meditation is full of answers
You may not learn how to perform a certain task or how to complete a certain project faster from meditation, but silence is known to spur ideas. Not only that, but meditation reduces stress levels, which, as seen above, increases productivity. It is in fact scientifically proven that people who meditate are far less distracted than people who don’t, even in different environments, such as a work environment. Mediation also helps staying positive, which we know can be a challenge for freelancers.
If you don’t even know where to start, technology comes to the rescue again. There are many apps out there that provide guided meditation. They can certainly get you started. You’ll learn how to increase your focus and teach your mind not to wander, which is one of the biggest distractions when working.