Freelancer tips and tricks: How to be more productive while working less

Nick Rodriguez By Nick Rodriguez - Updated: September 27th, 2018
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Freelancer tips and tricks: How to be more productive while working less

We've all had thoughts about the perfectly productive working day and schedule. Get up early around 5 am, and be at the desk at 6 am ready to hit the ground running. With all the tools you need at the ready, your calendar and collaboration tools, plenty of coffee, and nothing but pure focus and productivity for the rest of the day. While this may be an optimal routine for a robot doing repetitive tasks, it's an entirely different story in the freelancing world, and one that could lead to different results than you would expect.

Regardless of the work being done, the truth is that humans are just not built for repetitive tasks or multi-tasking, and so can quickly become mentally fatigued and overwhelmed. Add in the higher level creative tasks and strategy required with freelancing, and an overburdened schedule can quickly lead to fatigue and exhaustion. At some point you will hit a wall and productivity will drop off considerably, leading to diminishing returns. It's nice to say that you work 120 hours a week, but what you are really saying is that you're wasting 120 hours a week.

But what can be done to increase productivity since we are human and not built for these types of repetitive work tasks and long hours? Obviously we cannot stop working altogether and sit at a coffee shop all day day dreaming. Instead it helps to realize that there are trade offs as with anything, hours worked and productivity are not linear, and everyone is different in the way they schedule their time and unlock the creative abilities required for real productive work.

So let's examine ways in which we can increase real productivity without worrying about how many hours have been spent on specific tasks. This is easier said than done at a regular job with an angry boss breathing down your neck, but as a freelancer you are the boss and in charge of setting the schedule, strategy, and day to day tasks.