How to be More Productive as a Freelance Web Developer
If you work as a freelance web developer or web designer, you know that staying productive can be a challenge, especially if you work from home. There are always tasks and distractions that can keep you from focusing on your work. Increasing your productivity can help you take your career to the next level. Here are five tips to help you get more work done.
Work Designated Hours
Making a schedule and sticking to it is the number one thing you can do to increase your productivity. Set aside work time each day. During that time period, you need to be working on projects or contacting clients. If you work at random hours or in short bursts, it can be difficult to transition into work mode. Longer work sessions help you concentrate and focus on one project, which can help you develop a better final product. Schedule your work hours during a time of the day when you feel energetic. You want to work with your natural rhythms, and not against them. It does not matter whether you do your work in the morning, afternoon, or at night, as long as you pick a time and dedicate yourself to working during that scheduled period.
Learn To Say No
Once you determine your working hours, you need to refuse to take on any commitment that takes place during that time. This means that you might need to say no occasionally. Many individuals think that freelancers have a lot of spare time. They might ask you to pick up a package as a favor, or babysit. You need to protect your working time by refusing to do favors, go to meetings, or attend to any non-emergency matter during the time you are supposed to be working. After you say no a few times, friends and family will start to understand that you take your work and your career seriously. Act like a professional, and you will produce professional work.
If there are any distractions that keep you from concentrating during your scheduled work time, you need to eliminate them. Turn off the TV, sequester yourself in your office, and do whatever it takes to focus on your work. If you cannot eliminate a distraction, try earplugs. If you have roommates or live in a noisy home or apartment, consider working at a coffee shop or even renting a small office space.
Do Your Most Important Task First
Each day, determine the most important task that needs to be accomplished. You might need to phone an unhappy client, or finish a project that you have been struggling to complete. It can be too easy to defer unpleasant or difficult tasks to a later day. However, the longer you procrastinate, the more difficult completing the task becomes. Start your work session by doing the most important task of the day. Once it is out of the way, you will feel like you have accomplished something, and you will be free to work on other tasks without worrying about anything else.
Set Aside Time For Research And Skill Development
Reading blogs for inspiration or teaching yourself new skills is not really work, even though it feels like it. In fact, many freelancers spend too much time procrastinating and not enough time completing projects. Set aside time for reading and skill development so that these activities do not consume your working hours.