Today I want to talk about how to be productive in every stage of the freelance journey.
So, if you’re new to me, I’ve been doing a series in the past few weeks about every single stage in the freelance journey, and now we’ve reached the end of that series.
So now, I want to give you a tip on being productive throughout every stage.
Let’s dive right in. Scroll to the bottom if you prefer to watch the video.
What I want to talk about first of all is productivity is really a matter of energy management more than time management.
The way to be productive in every stage of the freelance journey is simply to manage your energy efficiently throughout your work hours.
What I like to encourage my students to do is to identify what I call their “productivity power hour.” And that’s not just original to me. A lot of people call it that and it’s usually more, actually, than an hour. It can be two hours, maybe three, sometimes even four.
It’s simply that period of time during the day where you find yourself more naturally productive than at any other parts of the day.
Now, some people feel, if they are a morning person, that those early morning hours are their productivity peak hours.
Other people who are night owls feel like their energy, their mental focus, comes alive in the evening.
How to determine your Productivity Power Slot
So, whatever that is, you want to be able to, in the first step, identify what your productivity power slot of time is.
You may have absolutely no idea because it’s not necessarily simply a matter of being a morning person or an evening person.
I’ll use myself as an example.
I am a morning person. I usually wake up around 6:00 am, but my productivity power hour happens around 10 o’clock in the morning. 10 to noon, I’m really, really productive. I’m really getting a lot of things done.
So, from 10 to noon, those are two hours where I find my mental focus and my energy to spend on working at their max.
I dedicate those two hours to my business to the exclusion of everything else. My phone is on silent. I’m in my office. I am working. I’m very focused on what I’m doing. In those two hours, I’m getting as much done as possible.
And the result of that is that I get much more done in those two hours than I would in double that time at any other point during the day.
The way you identify what your productivity power hour is is simply to keep a piece of paper and pencil with you, and for the next week, every time you get some work done, write down what time you got it done.
Every time you wanted to get work done, but you got distracted, or you did something else, write that down as well.
Just take note of your day’s activities, and your day’s work activities, recreational activities, for an entire week and see if a pattern emerges…if there’s a similar time span where you are getting more done than at any other time of the day.
That will reveal to you what your productivity power slot is and then you can dedicate that slot to your business.
Optimizing your Productivity Power Slot
Another quick tip I want to leave you with is when you are dedicating your productivity power slot to your business, I want you to focus on doing one thing at a time.
Don’t have the email open, and you’re checking emails as they come in, or you’re also writing a blog post for your new client if you’re a virtual assistant, or checking the books if you’re a bookkeeper.
You shouldn’t be trying to juggle more things at once. That kind of multitasking is on its way out in the industry at large, because people are realizing multitasking is actually not a good thing.
What I like to do is dedicate my power slot to one big task at a time. Block it out. That’s why it’s called “blocking.” You take a block of time, and you dedicate it to one project or to one theme.
For example, say you need to write articles for your clients because you’re a freelance writer, you dedicate that power slot to writing those articles.
You DO NOT worry about marketing your business or handling admin things during that time.
You are spending that time doing the one act, the one task of writing.
In summary, identify your productivity power slot, dedicate that productivity power slot to your business, and when it comes to dedicating it to your business, do one big thing at a time.
Go to one big theme at a time. And don’t try to juggle different areas of your business, different themed tasks, but dedicate it to one task only, so you can really focus all of your energy to getting that done and moving forward.